Eating Well On $1 A Day: Day 2 – The Object Is To Stay Alive


Yesterday I made two significant discoveries during dinner: 1) Not only do I really not enjoy cooking, I don't know how to cook. It would have been good for me to consider this fact before I decided to do this. 2) I am not very partial to Pork and Beans. It would have been good for me to know this fact before I decided to buy two cans.

Today, in my continuing enlightenment of why I have never done this before, I discovered that not only do I not know how to cook, I'm so bad at cooking that I nearly killed myself after only one day of this project. Believe me, the rest of this month is bound to be interesting.

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This is part of a month long 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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So at about 3:00 AM I wake up with my stomach feeling a bit unsettled. I curse myself again for deciding to buy those Pork and Beans and look in my bag for some anti acids (while we are on this topic of enlightenment, deciding to house-sit for a fried on the day you begin a project like this isn't one of the smarter moves as well). I take then, doze of and on restlessly for another 2 hours and wake up again with my stomach hurting even more. I down another two ant acids and try to get some more sleep.

6:00 AM arrives and it is time for me to get up to feed the dog. My stomach is still unsettled, but not terrible. I jump into the shower. When I get out, all of a sudden I don't feel well at all and puke out my dinner for the night before (if I'm going to be doing that, I want alcohol to be involved). I instantly make the decision that I will never eat Pork and Beans again.

While praying to the porcelain god wasn't a good way to begin the morning, at least I feel a bit better (despite the lingering taste of stomach acid and Pork and Beans mixed together) and decide to walk the dog while I have a chance of not puking more along the way.

I finish the walk without incident and then need to decide if I should drive to meet my sister who asked me to walk with her in the morning. I decided that fresh air was treating me better than the inside of the house and opted to go.

I meet my sister at 8:00 and go for a short walk with her and Lizzie (the cream cheese thief). While I don'.t get sick, my stomach starts to hurt again and my head begins to throb. We get back and I take a swig of Pepto Bismol and a couple of Tylenol and head for the bed to try and rest it off.

I wake up about an hour later curled up in the fetal position afraid to move thinking that the pain, which can't possibly get worse, might if I move the wrong way (to all women with bad PMS – I will never, ever make light of it again). The pain would come in waves from “you should go to the hospital if it huts that bad” on the good side and “so, this is how it feels when people get their fingernails ripped off with pliers, only to my stomach.”

Deciding that to die on my bed after only one day of this challenge is not what I wanted my obituary to read, I drove myself to the hospital emergency room where they felt that I needed to be checked in.

This would be a good time to let everyone know that while I don't have an iron stomach, I lived 15 years in Japan where I ate all kinds of squirmy foods that most people would walk away from without a problem. I also have a pretty high pain threshold as my visit to the dentist in Mexico can attest.

Upon arriving in the emergency room, the nurse decided that I needed to be checked in and have a bunch of tests done. As I sat on the hospital bed getting blood drawn, an EKG, urine test, etc., the sharp pains began to subside and I was left with a tolerable consistent pain, although my stomach was tender to pressure.

After spending about 4 hours there and feeling somewhat better, the doctor said that I stomach virus, although there was a chance that I might have appendicitis. She decided to let me go with the promise that if the spiking pain came back, I was to immediately head to the emergency room again. Also, if my stomach was still tender the next day, to make an appointment with my doctor.

Since I wasn't feeling like eating anything in the morning and I wasn't allowed to eat while they were conducting tests at the hospital, I skipped both breakfast and lunch. With my stomach still a bit queasy, I have simply been snacking on Wheat Thins this evening and will give real food a try again in the morning. That certainly saved me a bit on food costs, but the doctor bill will definitely not make this a frugal month if my food was the cause of it (I did not have food poisoning which really would have been embarrassing…)

Since getting back home, I have simply been slowly snacking on the rest of the Wheat Thins mini box that I opened yesterday which seems to have settled my stomach a bit more. At one point I thought I would make myself some dinner (I since thought better of this as I'm hoping to stay out of the hospital tomorrow if at all possible) and went to the store where I purchased 2 avocados and 10 Philadelphia cream cheese minis (with the extra coupons I had collected yesterday and I even got a few more, but I need to use them by Tuesday when the promotion ends) for $0.06:

avocados and cream cheese

advocados and cream cheese receipt

That gives me the following list of food which I can hopefully eat tomorrow if I am feeling better:

Money Spent $4.55
Money left to spend: 26.45
Retail Value of everything bought: $134.69

2 avocados
2 boxes of Quaker Instant oatmeal
14 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
1 package of Knudsen Light sour cream
10 apples
2 lbs of carrots
4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
1 jar of Skippy All Natural peanut butter
2 cans of pork and beans
1 bag of long grain brown rice
2 packages of Mission 100% whole wheat tortillas (10 count each)

Donated Food to Food Bank that was purchased with my $1 a day

15 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
1 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner
1 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner refill

The Beginning ::: Day 3: Eggs & Bananas

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11 Responses to Eating Well On $1 A Day: Day 2 – The Object Is To Stay Alive

  1. creditcardfree says:

    I hope you feel better soon. I don’t think I’ll eat Pork and Beans ever again either!

  2. Pat Merritt says:

    Ok – this is a great concept, but you are scaring me. Please make sure that you don’t croak doing this.

    Now, I assume the reason you are able to survive on $1 a day shopping is because you are using coupons and special offers.

    So what would be interesting is finding out: What stores, what type of coupons, and how much all this would cost without coupons. Because you are seeing significant savings with these specials and coupons.

    I’m glad you are buying fresh veggies and fruit too.

    Please keep well.

  3. Rob says:

    I hope you are feeling better too. I am very interested in following your experiment. Remember you are eating a lot of fiber and adding so much right away can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Also, carrots tend to irrate my stomach…maybe I am not the only one?

  4. admin says:

    I am doing much better today – had a good breakfast and the stomach is feeling much better. It’s looking like I just happened to catch a bad stomach virus which happened to be when I started this. If it comes back due to my cooking, I will definitely reevaluate this challenge, but I’m hoping that I don’t have to admit that my cooking is that bad.

    I have been listing the coupons and stores, but I will try to highlight them more prominently in the future posts. I will also add a line that tells the retail value of the food that I purchased.

  5. Red Loves Kitty says:

    Uh, you *do* realize your real name(unless you filled out that application with a fake one), supermarket-card number and area code are on that receipt?

    There are too many Kittyfolk out there, let alone what the rest of us have to contend with, for that to be safe, way safe.

    Glad you’re feeling better. Sad to say, as we age adventures in eating often produce that very set of symptoms (argh, enough alliteration).

    Dang, I wish my area allowed I’net coupons, let alone so many on a product…

  6. Brittany says:

    Wish we could find avocado prices like that here. Cheapest I can find is .99 a piece…most often it’s 4 for $5

  7. Idta says:

    lmao..I am sorry, but your whole trip to the hospital story was pretty funny…

    I am sure it wasn’t to you, but it made me lol.

    I can’t believe you spent 4.55 on foods that have a retail price of $134.69…That’s pretty nuts. I don’t even think it’s possible here in Canada lol.

  8. TAHALA says:

    Oh well done! There is nothing like these coupons of any great use in Australia, sadly. You tell a marvelously entertaining tale! Do keep on it…! Your niece is adorable :)

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  10. Tracy says:

    Personally, I like pork and beans. I grew up eating them cold. Mixing them with rice is not really a good idea though, as the flavors and textures do not complement. Pork and beans is a simple food that goes best with cornbread, corn tortillas, whole wheat toast, or saltines. Or, use them as an accompaniment to cheap hot dogs.

    If you have the time and a wide-mouth Thermos for slow-cooking, though, pinto beans (from dried) are a much better choice from the standpoints of both taste and cost. As cheap as pork and beans are, dried pinto beans are a tenth of the price, coupons notwithstanding.

  11. kimk says:

    I’m going to assume the stomach virus is unrelated to diet. By now I’m sure it’s a distant memory so will pass on any get well remarks and say as I have not read of your death, am happy to hear you survived this ordeal.
    I’m not surprised at all to hear you can’t cook. There is not the ingredients of one decent meal among your purchases