Feasts are expensive, but are still cheaper than everyone bringing their own food. The reason they're expensive is that they all require an ingredient that can only be bought with an Ironpaw Token, the 100 Year Soy Sauce. Ironpaw Tokens are a non-tradable currency obtained by doing quests (including dailies, or a weekly if you're a scribe), and their short supply can be a real limiting factor on leveling cooking. Leveling the "ways" of cooking requires a lot of tokens, and once they're leveled, using them requires a lot more. If you rely on dailies for these, you'll never have enough.
A better way
Luckily for us, you don't have to rely on dailies! The first thing I noticed when I was first exploring Halfhill was that Nam Ironpaw, the token vendor, had a repeatable quest called Replenishing the Pantry that asked for a Bundle of Groceries. Once I worked my way past the Preserving Freshness quest, he did, at least. Anyways, essentially, you can buy an empty container from Merchant Cheng (next to the seed vendor) which can be right clicked on to consume some quantity of cooking materials to make a Bundle of Groceries. This can be turned into an Ironpaw Token.
You can buy empty containers for meat, vegetables, and fish:
- Meat: It takes a single stack of 20 of any of the types of accepted meat.
- Fish: It's generally one stack for fish, however it's three stacks for Golden Carp, which are a lot easier to obtain, and therefor cheaper.
- Vegetables: It takes a single stack of 100 of any of the types of accepted veggies.
The Ironpaw Shuffle
Anything that can be used to generate gold with minimal use of your asdf keys can be called a shuffle, it seems. Elen, also from El's Extreme Anglin', over on The Consortium coined the term "Ironpaw Shuffle" a few days into the expansion, so I'll use it here. If you can buy the materials to make Bundles of Groceries more cheaply than you can sell Soy Sauce, Salt, or Pepper (or, I suppose Aprons, which are also sellable), you can spend a bit of time clicking and running between the market and the mailbox for a nice tidy profit.
A nice side bonus is that this repeatable quest generates a little experience - you can park an unused alt in Halfhill to do all your turn-ins, and get some free experience.
As Elen mentioned in that linked guide, this can be a lot of clicking. Not an issue if you're only doing it once in a while, but if you're going to do it a lot or are the type of person who can't stand inefficiency, there are of course macros to help. Lelia, on page two of the guide thread, wrote these:
Meat and Fish
Simply put these into macros and click them to combine your stacks into bundles.
Ironpaw Tokens on their own are not sellable. The three things you can buy with them that will sell reliably are the 100 Year Soy Sauce, Rice Flour, and Black Pepper. Of these, the Soy Sauce will probably sell the best, as it's used for all stat banquets. People leveling cooking will burn through a lot of these.
Interestingly, it's rarely profitable to actually cook and sell banquets yourself. So many people leveling cooking will sell the actual food below the cost of the materials. If you're going to learn the banquets, don't do it so you can "add value" to the tail end of the Ironpaw Shuffle. Also, if you are able to make them for your own reasons, before investing in the materials, check whether you can get a ready-cooked banquet for less than you could make one.
The last way you can use this system is to use the Ironpaw Tokens you've bought with cheap food to trade in for more expensive food. Each token can be used to purchase a sack of food which will contain enough ingredients for a quarter of a Bundle of Groceries. For example, you could spend 40g on 20 of the cheapest meat on the Auction House to get a token, and then use that to buy a Sack of Scallions, which will provide 25 Scallions. Or whatever other ingredient is expensive on your realm.
Scallions are expensive on my realm (probably because of the Sea Mist Rice Noodles), so this would be a good trade. You should check the Undermine Journal for your realm. Actually, the screenshot above is from their cooking page, which will list all of the items you can trade on a single table, sorted by price. Pretty handy! I'd link directly, but that would put you in a specific realm. Go to theunderminejournal.com, select your realm and faction, hover over "gathered" on the top bar, then click "cooking". If you do a lot of this, there's another macro on the Consortium thread I linked that you can use to open Sacks, which might come in useful.
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