Fighting With Wildlife – Day 45: Eating Well On $1 A Day


Apparently, wildlife wasn’t particularly happy about my foraging today. I should have known that it was going to be rough when I had a ten minute standoff with an angry squirrel as I tried to make my way to the lemon tree (no, it wasn’t my most manly moment. All I can say is that I’m happy that there wasn’t anyone around with a video because there is no doubt it would have ended up on YouTube to my immense shame. In my defense, however, I grew up watching Monty Python, so I tend to fear cute, agitated animals).

Then while walking toward the river, a baby snake scared the crap out of me (I know how this cat feels) when I almost stepped on it:

baby snake

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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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Then when I did find a new patch of blackberries, the bees were already busy collecting pollen and didn’t seem all that happy so have me around searching for ripe blackberries making me run for cover 2 times. Then even the blackberry plants got into the action by making sure I left with war wound scratches on my arms and wrists for the blackberries I did claim. I think I will do something to appease Mother Nature before my next foraging trip…

Even with wildlife against me, the foraging was successful with 2 containers of blackberries and 8 lemons:

lemons and blackberries

In addition to foraging, I made a grocery store run to use some of the Rolaids ($1.49 each when 8 mix and match purchased using
$4.00 off 2 any Rolaids from the 6/6 RedPlum Sunday coupon insert
making it a $1 moneymaker when you buy 2) coupons I had. I ended up getting 30 boxes of Rolaids (which will be donated) that allowed me to buy the following:

day 45 purchases

3 lbs of long rice
6 bananas
1 large bag of frozen veggies
1 large bag of frozen spinach
2 lbs of Vidalia sweet onions

which cost me a total of $1.33:

day 45 receipts

day 45 receipt 1

day 45 receipt 2

day 45 receipt 3

I still have coupons to make a couple more trips (I stopped because I didn’t want to run the grocery store out of Rolaids so that there were plenty of others could also take advantage of the deal). There is also a great money making deal at CVS (and other drugstores) this week which I will definitely have to do as it will be quite helpful with the limited budget.

This is what I had during the day:

Blackberry Banana Smoothie

After the nature ordeal, I was going to fully enjoy my hard earned finds with my new favorite way to get new energy after my morning walk:

7 ice cubes
1/2 cup blackberries
1 small banana

berry smoothie

Whole Wheat Cinnamon French Toast w/ Blackberry & Banana Topping

Several people had mentioned that I had the ingredients for French Toast, so in the late morning I made some whole wheat cinnamon French Toast (egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla flavoring) topped with blackberry and banana mixed together:

cinnamon french toast

Clara’s Great Depression Poorman’s Meal

I had the rest of the Poorman’s Meal that I made yesterday to fill me up in the afternoon.

Great Depression poormans meal

Potato Veggie Chowder

Thanks to DeeAnn, I decided to try making a Potato Veggie Chowder soup for dinner. Here are the directions she gave me:

Stuff you need:
Stove
Saucepan
Measuring cup
Cutting board and knife
Potatoes (1 or 2 per soup meal you want to make)
Frozen Veggies (about half as much corn as potato)
onion
Water
Chicken bouillon cubes
Milk
Pepper (and maybe salt)

How to make it:

1. Cut up the potato (the same way you do for diced potatoes, or use leftover fried potatoes)

2. Add the potato chunks to the pot.

3. Throw in a handful of 1/2 an onion and shake on pepper until it you have as much pepper as you would want on your hash browns.

4. Put water into the measuring cup and then pour it over the potatoes until there’s as much water as you put milk in your morning cereal. Refill the measuring cup if you need to.

5. Check the measuring cup to see how much water you used. Add 1 bouillon cube per cup of water.

6. Add milk to the pot until the potatoes are completely covered.

7. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat to Med-Low and put a cover on it. Check the soup in three minutes. The mixture should bubble a little if you look at it for a few seconds, but not boil like crazy.

8. Cook for about 7-15 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes, until the potatoes are almost done.

9. Throw in the frozen veggies and stir. Cook another 3-10 minutes, until the veggies are done.

10. Taste the soup. Add salt and pepper if tastes boring.

And this is what it looked like:

potato veggie chowder

potato veggie chowder prep

potato veggie chowder soup

It was quite good – enough so that there wasn’t anything left over as I had originally planned and that is always a great sign when your cooking is as challenged as mine is 🙂

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

Money Spent $35.98
Money left to spend: $25.02 ($1.33 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $900.85

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The Beginning ::: Day 46: Coupon Organization

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13 Responses to Fighting With Wildlife – Day 45: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. Sheila says:

    Your range of food is looking better all the time. You are eating well and the foraging is really saving $ and upping the vitamins consummed. Go forth and continue to wage the good fight against all the critters and briars.

    Country squirrels are shy and run if they see people. City squirrels are fierce, they don’t back down for anything. Honey bees that are feeding are too full and are generally non agressive. Watch out for paper wasp nests though, those things are nasty devils. Snakes, well I just don’t care for them. As long as they go one way and I go mine all is well though. It’s bound to get more exciting in the animal kingdom the more you forage.

  2. Shara says:

    Last year we were hiking in Taos, NM with some friends. I was in the lead and as I stepped over a rock I looked down and saw a baby rattle snake sunning across it (about 6″ from where my foot passed). Luckily it was lazy and the path was wide enough for everyone to give it plenty of room.

  3. Jenelle says:

    How do you get so many coupon inserts? from the rolaid transaction above you have at least 15, but you’ve stated you still have more coupons.

    You’ve said you gather them from Starbucks and on recycling day. At Satrbucks do you have to be there Sunday morning to get them? How much tme do you spend gathering all of the inserts?

    Also, we do not get Red Plum in my local paper anymore. Seems like all the best deals always use the Red Plum insert. :/

  4. Ann says:

    Your adventure has been very inspiring! Especially today’s adventure with the wildlife. Keep it up!

  5. low says:

    I would be less afraid of staring down squirrels than beleaguered store clerks.

    You must provide some details on this finer aspect of social engineering. If you have an accomplice, maybe a tube video? (Don’t make your sister hold the camera.)

  6. Linda says:

    You are doing great and learning to cook at the same time! I am inspired by your use of coupons and your dedication to the food banks!

  7. Mel says:

    Take a pair of tongs with you next time you berry pick. Then you can grab branches with them and hold branches back while you pick berries with other hand. You’ll end up with fewer war wounds. Good luck.

  8. Colleen says:

    wow everything looks great! I should go foraging, Awhile back I was really broke and went around picking lemons, oranges and tomatoes with permission from the owners of course!

  9. Mary Ann says:

    I find myself continuly checking back to see if you have updated! You are such an insiration to me to do even better with my coupons and shopping. Your meals are looking real good. Have a nice day.

  10. Donna says:

    This is the most entertaining blog. I am rivetted — better than anything on tv – ha!

    I am now clipping coupons like mad.

    Thank you!

  11. Katrina says:

    Such an inspiration and a great read!! I think you also might have the makings for banana bread in there too, great grilled or on the fly, makes for great french toast…

    Topping that with nuts would be good, and come to think of it, adding any kind of nuts to your diet would be a good thing. I am sure you can find a coupon deal there somewhere.

  12. Geoff says:

    I agree your food content is improving! I also applaud the fact you’re keeping your eye out for foraging opportunities. Last fall on my daily walk (I live in the country) I found some apricot trees and peach trees (no they weren’t a farmer’s, they were on public land…I checked) that provided some great additions to my menu.

  13. Steven says:

    What a nice blog, a pity this does not work in Belgium, coupons here are much more restrictive and can never be ‘money makers’ unless they make a typo in the rules …

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