Blahhh – Day 39: Eating Well On $1 A Day


Despite a good day in adding some of the things that readers have recommended I get for this challenge, overall today was a big blah. Tomorrow I have to go into the hospital to have a colonoscopy (boy, doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?) so that the doctors can try to figure out why I had the intestinal abscess last month. That meant that I was only allowed to drink clear liquids today, and no matter how good things go during a day, if all you can do is drink clear liquids, it isn't going to be a very fun day…

I ended up making a trip to CVS because the $5 off a $15 purchase I had was expiring today. This is what I came away with for a total of $0.14:

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This is part of a continuing challenge to eat well while spending an average of only $1 a day on food. You can find the beginning and the rules of this challenge here

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cvs purchase day 39

8 Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cups (used $1 off 1 Skinny Cow coupon that made them free – can print two times per computer) — thanks Dana
1 box Barilla rotini pasta
1 package of chicken flavor bullion
1 jar oregano leaves
1 jar garlic powder
1 jar chopped onions
1 box sugar
1 jar imitation vanilla

I'm totally happy about the ice cream, especially since I missed out eating ice cream for my first month celebration. I didn't realize the vanilla was imitation when I bought it (I just wasn't paying attention) so I may need to take that back. Along with the 8 Skinny Cow coupons, I used one $1 Extra Bucks coupon I had and I ended up paying $1.14, but I received $2 in Extra Bucks back making the cost to me $0.14 (although I must spend another $1 at CVS):

cvs receipt day 39

cvs extra bucks day 39

In addition, I received the South Beach Living S'mores Fiber Fit bar sample in the mail along with a coupon for $1 off 1 box in the future:

freebie day 39

There is also a moneymaker at Safeway that I found out about. Rolaids is part of the buy 8 items get $4 off promotion running through June 15. Rolaids packs are priced at $1.49 each and there was a $4 off 2 Rolaids coupon in this past Sunday's (6/6) RedPlum coupon insert. I have 8 of those inserts already on hand and will be looking to see if I can get hold of a few more since each coupon will give me about $0.75 (once taxes are taken out) to use toward other food purchases.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

This was it:

food day 39

In preparation of the colonoscopy, I was only allowed to drink clear liquids all day. They gave me a list of what was acceptable that included water, vegetable broth, chicken broth, bouillon, consomme, white grape juice, apple juice, 7-up. Sprite, Kool-Aid, Gatorade, jello (yellow, green and orange only), Popsicles, honey and clear candy. Since I didn't have most of these, I decided to see how well I could last during the day on water with a squeeze of lemon juice. I purchased the chicken bouillon if I needed and was willing to buy chicken broth if it came to that, but I made it through the day without much of a problem. Then in the evening I had to drink a half gallon of the stuff above which was not fun at all. Not fun at all, but there wasn't much choice in the matter…

This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $34.27
Money left to spend: $26.73 ($1.51 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $754.94

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The Beginning ::: Day 40: Being Hungry Sucks

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14 Responses to Blahhh – Day 39: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. Kristine says:

    YAY, ICE CREAM!!!!!! And hurry up tomorrow, so you can get back to eating again…keep up the good work, I am thoroughly enjoying reading about your adventures!!!

  2. ceejay74 says:

    Another idea for potatoes, now that you have oil: baked potatoes. I recently discovered the best way ever:
    Preheat oven to 400. Wash & dry potatoes.
    Drizzle potatoes with oil & rub it all over until the potato skin is completely coated. Sprinkle all over w/ salt & pepper.
    Put potatoes in baking dish or on baking sheet. Don’t cover or use foil!
    Bake 1-2 hours, depending on potatoes & oven used. Turn every half hour and press gently w/ oven mitt or many paper towels protecting your hands. When potato seems to yield or crumble slightly within the skin, it’s about ready. If the potato inside seems to stay firm and stuck to the skin when you press it, put it back in for another half hour.
    This yields the best potatoes! The skin is actually the most delicious part–crisp and salty. You can scoop out the insides, mash w/fillings of choice, stuff back into potato & bake for 10-15 more minutes for twice-baked potatoes, or just top & enjoy as is.

  3. Dana says:

    If you still have it, use the fruit drink instead of water when making the pancakes, it gives them a tropical taste. Also, you can use biscuits (2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/3 cup oil and 2/3 cup milk) as a base for mini pizzas.

  4. Anon says:

    My favorite way to have potatoes is mashed. It’s really simple. Wash them, cut them up and put in a pot. Then put in cold water until it just covers them (there will be some sticking out the top) and boil until they fall apart. You can also make soup this way. Do this, then add milk or cheese, some green onions, salt & peper, and whatever else you want. Mix it all up, and you’re good to go. You can also make it with just water, but it’s a little bland.

  5. Nicole says:

    Since you don’t bake, I thought I would give you a heads up that real vanilla is very expensive, and you get very little for your money. I have had to switch to imitation vanilla myself in the last few years. Some people say you can taste the difference, I personally can’t tell the difference.

  6. Shara says:

    Check out the Cook’s Illustrated cook books. They explain the why of a lot of cooking techniques, as well as what can be substituted where with the why and how. They have a Better Homes type cook book that includes a lot of basic things, like how to bake potatoes, as well as more complex things as your skills expand. But I would recommend flipping through their ‘New Best Recipes’ because they go into a lot of detail that, as a beginner, you can really learn from.

  7. Gretchen says:

    I just found your blog today and am very impressed. Americans have it good – I live in Europe and they don’t have coupons and food can be very expensive, especially in the city, although the produce is outstanding.

    For cereal – try “banana milk”. Use a blender and whirl banana and about 1 C water together. It’s surprisingly good!

  8. Alicia Lee says:

    I can’t remember how I found your blog, but have been reading it faithfully the past few days to catch.
    First, good luck on your colonoscopy. I’ve had a few friends who’ve had it done & they said it wasn’t that bad.
    Secondly, I’ve got great admiration for what you’ve done with this challenge! I’ve noticed alot of Americans go the way of “cheap” junk food & end up obese. I hesitate to say “through no fault of their own” since they obviously don’t have access/haven’t been educated in how to eat cheaply and nutritiously.
    I CAN cook, but never seem to have the time. However, you’ve given me alot of great ideas to use in the future. I’m a 55 y.o. non-traditional college student (I’ll be a sophomore in the fall 2010 semester) with a 19 y.o. non-working son (who also recently dropped out of high school). He’s a picky eater, of course, but I’m all for trying new & economical ways of eating. Especially since I’m living on umemployment compensation, having been terminated/downsized from 2 jobs in the past 2 years.
    Kudos to you & please keep the blog going!!!! Let us all know how you make out with your test.

  9. NS says:

    I wanted to share my favorite EASY recipe — maybe you’ll have all the items at some point as you go along.

    Tuna casserole
    Half package egg noodles (or substitute other pasta)
    1 can tuna
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    Frozen carrots and/or peas as desired
    Cheddar cheese, bar or shredded
    French fried onions or crushed potato chips to top

    Preheat oven to 350. Boil & drain the pasta and fill your casserole dish with it. Drain the tuna. Add tuna and CofMS and mix well. Add frozen vegetables and mix well. Sprinkle shredded cheddar, then fried onions or crushed chips. Bake for 20-25min. (I’ve never tried with fresh veggies, so I don’t know how much longer it would have to bake.)

    This is pretty filling and will feed you for several days if you use it judiciously — I usually can’t stop myself from immediately going back for a second helping.

  10. Jessy says:

    When you do your potatoes in the morning, chop them and put them in cold (COLD!) water for about 15 minutes before doing them. Drain and rinse off before putting them in your pan. This will release some of your starch, and allow the potato to cook a little more evenly. For your pan, start out on medium on your stove, and put some of your oil into the pan to heat. Let it heat for five minutes or so, and then put in your less-starched potatoes, and let them brown on one side. Hope this works for you! :)

  11. Gail says:

    I have been amazed at the coupons I’ve been getting at CVS, the more I shop there, the more ways I have to save!

  12. Mitch says:

    I have a printing suggestion for you which may nullify the two print rule. I’ve had to use it as a temperary fix in the past because I don’t have a printer hooked up to my computer.

    If you don’t have Adobe Reader installed, install it for free from the adobe website. Then when you go to print your coupons, you should be able to print them as a PDF. The. You can save the coupon file and print it as frequently as you wish by opening it with Adobe Reader.

    Just a thought if you didn’t already know about that.

  13. jeffrey says:

    @Mitch

    Can’t do that – it is illegal and considered coupon fraud. Each printed coupon has a unique serial number that is issued with each printing.

  14. Mitch says:

    Ahhh I see. Well thank you for that tidbit of information. It is nice to know in case I do ever end up printig any
    coupons out. I don’t want to accidently get myself into trouble!