Eating Squirrel Leftovers – Day 69: Eating Well On $1 A Day


The house next door to where I am house sitting has a large apricot tree in the back yard. As I was looking up into the tree at all of the lovely fruit, a squirrel casually sauntered by on the fence, hopped into the tree, grabbed one of the apricots and started eating away:

squirrel in tree

What happened next convinced me that squirrels seriously have it out for me. After eating about half the apricot, the squirrel looked at me and spit it out so that the apricot landed on my side of the fence. He then casually grabbed another apricot and began eating again:

half eaten apricot

This continued for about 20 minutes with the squirrel spitting out mostly half eaten apricots in my direction. Even worse, if the squirrel picked an apricot that he didn't feel was worthy of his discriminating taste for whatever reason, he would just spit it out without eating any of it where it would land at my feet. It didn't take a genius to see that I was being mocked by a squirrel (seriously, you can't make this stuff up).

I have found out a lot about myself during this challenge, some of it not pretty. I thought I had hit rock bottom when I almost came to tears after I had lost my best coupons. Unfortunately, it now appears that things can get worse. Surrounded by half eaten apricots (along with a few full apricots that the squirrel had rejected), I realised that I would be willing to do what would have been unthinkable before I started this challenge. That's right — in a matter of a couple of days I'd not only lost all my coupons, I'd found myself willing to eat squirrel leftovers.

apricots

Apricot Oatmeal

Having made the decision that will likely keep me friendless for life, I was going to make sure that I at least enjoyed eating the squirrel leftovers and immediately put them to use for an apricot oatmeal. The apricots were delicious, but even this came with a sad realization — that squirrels have higher culinary standards than myself.

pitted apricots

chopped apricots

apricots in oatmeal

apricot oatmeal

Peanut Butter Raisin Sandwich

I decided that if peanut butter banana sandwiches were tasty, then a peanut butter raisin sandwich should be pretty good as well (although I am sure my sister would probably reject it as not being a proper meal as well). As it turns out, I was right – they are pretty damn good. Throw in some toasted Wheat Thin chips and a glass of blueberry pomegranate juice (half juice, half water) and you have a good tasting quick meal:

peanut better raisin sandwich

Chicken Veggie Rice

I wanted to take advantage of the chicken I had purchased, so I decided to make chicken strips over a veggie rice. I fried the chicken adding salt, pepper, a little garlic salt and onion bits:

chicken strips

I then put this over rice I had cooked with half a cup of frozen veggies:

chicken veggie rice

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

Goal: 100 days eating on $1 a day
Current Money Spent: $47.19
Money Left to Spend: $52.81 ($5.54 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1268.64

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The Beginning ::: Day 70: Giant Lemon

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33 Responses to Eating Squirrel Leftovers – Day 69: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. wendy says:

    You might know the answer to this or even covered it already, but I didn’t run across it so I apologize, but I have a Kroger card and I’m wondering if I load coupons onto there will I still be able to use paper coupons? I haven’t loaded on there yet b/c I’m very nervous about this, a lot of the on-line coupons are not able to double.

  2. Diana says:

    I think it’s awesome you were brave enough to post about this! And I bet you’ll be surprised that not TOO many people criticize you for this. This is why I keep reading your posts–for the REAL stuff.

  3. jeffrey says:

    @wendy

    Since I don’t shop at Kroger, I can’t give you a definitive answer from experience, but my understanding is that you can at most stores. I would simply do an experiment – try it on a single item and see what happens and you will know for sure.

  4. Honey says:

    I am jealous that you live in a place where there is so much food available for picking! I live in Phoenix, so 3 months out of the year you could probably scavange prickly pear, and lots of people have lemon trees, but that’s about it. It’s hard to grow anything edible here, I bought a basil plant last weekend because the tag said it was practically impossible to kill and it’s already on life support.

    I used to eat peanut butter, raisin, and american cheese sandwiches all the time when I was a kid. Peanut butter and banana. Peanut butter, raisin and banana. Dried cranberries are also good if you can get them. Peanut butter and apple sandwiches. Peanut butter, apple, and american cheese. The possibilities are endless when we’re talking peanut butter.

  5. denise says:

    Am I a terrible person that your wildlife adventures always leave me laughing out loud?

  6. Jason says:

    @denise
    I agree, I have read 69 + entries but todays “Squirrel Leftover’s” has prompted me to write! Way to go Jeffrey, your determination will see you through this challenge.

  7. Ta says:

    Wendy, yes you can. I actually just did this today.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I’ve read your blog from start to finish over the last week (in between wrangling my kids) and I just can’t get enough!! I’ve made my first purchase, 6 bottles of Sobe Life Water at CVS for .18 (taxes in NC are sucky). Keep the fun coming.. you are great!! :)

  9. Eric says:

    “Throw in some toasted Wheat Thin chips and a glass of blueberry pomegranate juice (half juice, half water) and you have a good tasting quick meal.”

    I beg to differ. This is what you might eat if you were in the process of moving to a new apartment and had nothing else left in the kitchen, or if you were a hobo riding in a boxcar, but calling it a “meal” really destroys your credibility. Who’s going to want to emulate your couponing when they can expect to eat “meals” like this?

  10. Mike Crosby says:

    You can count me as a friend.

    That was really funny.

  11. Ann says:

    Loved this post!

    And Eric, what do you eat for lunch? A 3 course meal? There wasn’t a thing wrong with this lunch, everyone I know eats sandwiches for lunch almost everyday! Not everyone can or wants to eat out everyday for lunch! Sheesh!

  12. jeffrey says:

    @Eric,

    It has already been well established that I don’t eat meals that some feel are “real” – the solution is very simple – buy something different than I would with the methods I use. Nowhere do I claim to be a fantastic cook or encourage anyone to make the same things that I make. I am slowly but surely expanding my cooking repertoire (not difficult since I had none), but it isn’t going to happen overnight and I can pretty much guarantee you will see other meals like this along the way.

    If you don’t like peanut butter, then buy something else. If the look of what I cook will determine whether or not you feel if this type of couponing is right for you, then it probably isn’t. It really shouldn’t be about what I am eating, but how I got the food because you can choose any food you want using these methods.

    I happen to like peanut butter and could eat it daily forever. That is why it is on the list of things that I buy when I find money maker scenarios. If you don’t like my food, simply look beyond it to how I was able to get it and you will find that you can save a lot even on the foods that you like.

  13. Kelly says:

    Oh my gosh! You don’t have to convince me about the evil doings of squirrels. I forked out $600 for removal of 4 from the outer walls of my house. The last one was smart. He watched one go in the cage after the peanut butter and the trap shut. Then he turned, looking at me through the window, then back to the cage and back to me. He knew what was going on and I think he was planning an attack through the attic after that. :-S
    SQUIRRELS ARE EVIL! 😉
    And hang in there, you will get your treasured coupons stockpiled again. Things have a way of working out.

  14. Patricia says:

    You’ve increased a notch in my awesomeness scale!

  15. gwen says:

    dont’ you think you are eating to much bread for meals, here some inspiration http://eatathomecooks.com/ 😉

  16. Amy says:

    Count me as your friend too!
    I love a guy who will eat squirrel leftovers.

    Bananas and peanut butter make a great sandwich too. You don’t even need jelly.

  17. Melanie says:

    All I know is when you are hungry and in need of food and working with limited funds, you will do whatever it takes, even taking squirrel leftovers.I’ve had to take bread and cereal out of the grocery store dumpsters. If I had more funds, I wouldn’t resort to doing that, but until I can find a job, I have to do what I can. Kuddo’s for being brave enough to writing about the squirrel leftovers. And Squirrels are evil. We had one at college that would sit in a tree and throw nuts at us as we walked back to our dorm. It happened every time we went by the tree, or anyone else for that matter.

  18. Lori says:

    My school lunches as a kid were PB sandwiches with a side box of raisins…of course, you hook up the two for a culinary masterpiece. If you have a K-Mart (Big K?) nearby starting 7/11 they have PB on sale for $1
    If you are tiring of bread:
    Homemade Tortillas
    2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup water
    3 tablespoons oil (usually olive, but try canola)
    In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface; kneed 5-6 times (in layman’s terms, that is gently squeeze and press with your hands/fingertips). Divide mixture by 8. Make 8 balls and roll out with a glass or rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to about 7″ diameter. In a large, lightly oiled skilled cook tortillas over medium heat for about 1 minute on each side until lightly browned. There is probably a tutoral somewhere on the web if you need pictures.
    btw, don’t feed squirrels Altoids…we dropped one on the sidewalk one day and a squirrel rushed out from a bush and claimed his prize…a few moments later we heard him spitting and carrying on a ruckus in the little bush he was hiding in…we think he might have been swearing at us.

  19. helen says:

    You might get some use from this site: http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/ . It lists recipes that are generally not too difficult, and also gives a cost estimate with nutrition information. Also, a real plus is that you can search recipes based on an ingredient. Good Luck!

  20. Melanie says:

    I found my first Catalina! I’m so excited. It’s for baby diapers. Can I combine it with a manufacture’s coupon for bigger savings?

  21. Niki says:

    @Melanie

    Catalina coupons are a litte tricky because they say the store name on top which leads you to think that they are a store coupon but they are actually a manufacturer coupon and cannot be combined with another manufcturer coupon for the same product. Instead you can combine your diaper catalina with a in-store coupon or sale to get even bigger savings!

  22. Jessica says:

    Great post about the squirrels!

    They really aren’t evil… they just have to get to know you :)

  23. Tink says:

    My friends have squirrels that take 1 bit out of everything in their garden. Our squirrels plant corn in our garden.

  24. Susan says:

    I think you are so brave for admitting you did this! I raise a lot of my own food and long ago realized that I had to “share” my berries and tree fruits with any number of animals. It didn’t take long for me to admit that partially eaten fruit was acceptable fare at my table. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one willing to do this.

  25. JoDi says:

    That story is hilarious! Maybe they’re just trying to help you without making it obvious to the neighbors that you’re eating their apricots! 😉

  26. Another Amy says:

    Since you can’t eat fruit from someone else’s tree without them offering the fruit first, maybe you could train the squirrel to run up other people’s tree and throw the fruit to you!

  27. rob62521 says:

    I didn’t know you were on Facebook. I went on and clicked “Like”.

    Squirrel leftovers are far better than what the Donner party had…

  28. Dawn says:

    If you ever get some fresh strawberries, try them on a peanut butter sandwich. It’s my 3yo’s favorite. I usually eat leftovers from the night before for lunch and he eats the PB&S sandwich.

  29. Kristi says:

    I two have read all of your postings over the last week and I love this blog! I prefer to think the squirrels were sharing with you :-)!

  30. pepsibookcat says:

    Don’t worry. You’ve still got a friend here.

    Just consider what you did dumpster diving — in squirrel dumpsters.

  31. LIsa says:

    Speaking of cheese, peanut butter, and apple etc. What is really good is if you take a piece of bread, toast it very lightly in the toaster. Place it on a cookie tray. top with apple slices, then sugar and cinnamon and a cheese single. Bake in oven until cheese melts. Time in oven depends on temp you cook it at. Watch carefully.

    Also I mix chopped veggies like onion, pickle, celery, green pepper, even chopped apple into traditional mayo/tuna salad. Have used ranch dressing instead of mayo before. Can put tuna salad on lightly toasted bread like above and top with slice of cheese.

  32. Susan says:

    I can’t believe anyone would diss a peanut butter sandwich! Also, PB & bananas with a little honey or syrup on a tortilla makes a wonderful breakfast burrito.

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