Apparently Eating On $1 A Day Is Too Easy – Day 61: Eating Well On $1 A Day


Apparently my sister has decidede that simply eating on $1 a day is too easy. With me ending month 2 with over $20 to spare and slowly eating better food and learning slowly to cook better meals, my sister has gone into full SARBSS mode in an attempt to make things more difficult for me for month #3. Some of the “suggestions” have been to make the challenge living well on $0.50 a day, to be required to buy any food needed for recipes that readers send in to me (I can already predict that I would have a huge influx of Lobster and caviar recipes find their way to my email), starting month 3 with nothing again, limit where I can buy food to a single grocery store or doing the challenge for another family.

The thing is that while $20 is a huge amount when eating on $1 a day, it only takes two or three weeks of sub-par sales at local grocery stores to quickly wipe out that cushion. Having the cushion also makes the challenge a lot less stressful for me. It's never fun to be in a position when you have to hope that grocery store sales will be good in order for you to be able to eat.

I've decided that I will keep things as they currently stand through the first 100 days (same rules, readers determine the decision to any conflicts or questions) at which time it will definitely be time to consider some other options (like going to Hawaii for a couple of months to swim with turtles and sip tropical drinks on the beach)

I have also started to put together a basic guide on “How To Coupon When You Hate Couponing” but I need a little input from all of you as to what areas you definitely want covered and what parts of what I have done thus far have been most confusing (or you still don't understand how I was able to do something). I hope to have something for everyone n the next couple of weeks.

Today was a travel day again and in taking the advice of everyone about how I should get more organized, I did my packing the night before. Unfortunately, part of that packing included my digital camera which I was unable to find until I unpacked at the end of the day meaning that for the first time I have no photos of what I ate throughout the day (see, I knew there was a positive aspect to being disorganized). Photos will return on the next post (apologies on that).

I did get up and take a morning walk to get more of the cherry plums which I used to make another cherry plum banana smoothie. I grabbed a bowl of Kashi oatmeal before heading out with peanut butter and banana sandwiches and the Parmesan cheese Goldfish crackers in hand. When I got home I finished up the rest of the fried potato, onion, mushroom and spinach dish I had made whereupon I began unpacking and immediately found the camera I had been desperately searching for the entire day.

It should be an interesting third month and it is hard for me to believe that two months have gone by since I started this. The current weekly grocery store deals aren't that great so it doesn't look like it will be an easy month, but I'm hoping that my garden begins to produce edible veggies that I can incorporate into my meals. I hope that the challenge continues to be both entertaining and insightful and am happy that you have decided to continue to follow these adventures…

This is the current list of food I still have
This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $40.01
Money left to spend: $20.99 ($5.04 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $1171.64

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The Beginning ::: Day 62: Challenge Goals

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56 Responses to Apparently Eating On $1 A Day Is Too Easy – Day 61: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. Becki says:

    Maybe I am a little slow, (and definitely very bad a math!) but I would like a step by step guide to figuring out the deals. I get the basic concept of stacking, catalinas, etc. but have trouble following how all of that worked. I need VERY basic — I have this coupon for $1.00 off 1 xx item; I have this coupon for free yy with two xx items, so I am buying two of xx and one yy. The regular price is $zzz but I got $2.00 off and the price of yy, so it was actually $aaa. I know this seems very simplistic, but I get lost on the multiple products and deals.

  2. David says:

    I recently found this and have read through the entire experience. I do have a few ideas for the future…

    1. You can’t shop or forage from 8am – 6pm (typical work/commute hours). Not all of us have the luxury of working out of the home.

    2. Lunch must require preparation that would be available in any office building.

    3. Perhaps eat out once per month, as many would be roped into doing this. Alternatively, you must host a dinner once per month.

  3. Just me says:

    I tend to agree that if the goal is to prove you can survive on $1 in a day in America, foraging, dumpster diving, free food from neighborsand the like should not be part of the challenge. Those are things you do when the $1 a day premise isn’t working out. Of course if you were a poor starving soul, dumpster diving and foraging, free food from neighbors etc would be fine but this was a bet to see if you could purchase all the food needed for $1 a day. Those things were all creative, but outside the bounds of your bet.

    Looking at what you ate, I imagine you could be a little deficient in certain vitamins, but so are a lot of people who are spending a lot more on their groceries. Complete protein from vegetable sources tend to lack vitamin B, vitamin D and a couple others that escape me at the moment.

    If you were a more knowledgeable cook this challenge would have been much easier for you.

    For one example, take a four-pound pack of chicken breasts 99 cents a pound. Debone all of them and extract with water for chicken broth for about a week’s worth of soup, saving the remnants of meat from the bones and pairing with whatever else is on hand and some beans and rice for. That’s pretty high quality protein for about a week of meals. The rest of the $4 pack is about 60 oz of fairly high-quality protein, which is less than 7 cents per oz. A 59 cent can of tuna at 5 oz is almost twice that per oz and the hamburger is $1.39 a pound and is probably what 25 percent fat rather than protein.

    The deal gets even better if you get a whole fryer on sale instead … I can get those sometimes for .59 cents a pound and do about the same thing as I do with the chicken breasts. I just like chicken breast better because you can slice them up for mexican style fajitas or slice them up for stir fry with whatever is on hand or toss them into a nice Italian dish or onto a nice salad for lots of variety.

    Well, just some food for thought. I think you did pretty well all things considered and obviously did better than the sister expected! Interesting project, glad I ran across it.

  4. Jim says:

    I appreciate your effort, and realize I am writing well after this post, but I am itching to see you take a break and for your sister to do it for at least a month; 1$ per person per day for her family.

  5. Dash says:

    Your sister needs to show a little class and admit that you won.