Free Cheese! Day 84: Eating Well On $1 A Day


I went to see my dad to do some paperwork for a nonprofit organization that we are launching together (completely different than this project — like I don’t have enough to do these days…but I digress) which meant that I was in an area with grocery stores that I don’t normally visit. I had been checking stores where I have been house sitting to see if I could find any of the elusive $1.00 off 1 peelie coupons that others have reported finding for Kraft cheese making it free.

It did actually look like those peelie coupons existed, but many had taken advantage of the peelies before I could get to the stores in my area (the Kraft cheese sections in many of the stores had been decimated) and so I hadn’t actually seen any. But luck finally looked upon me and I found a store that still had a fully stocked Kraft cheese section with packages that had the peelie coupon still on them (it’s bright yellow in case you want to search for them at your store):

Kraft $1 off coupon

I ended up buying 15 packages (being sure to leave plenty for other people that wanted to take advantage of the promo as well) which I decided to donate to the local food banks (which I hope I don’t regret). I will be doing quite a bit of driving for various functions I have over the next few days and now that I know what I am looking for, I’m hoping to find more for the food banks and also get some for me as part of this challenge as well.

Cantaloupe Banana Smoothie

I thought I would change things up a bit and try a cantaloupe banana smoothie:

cantaloupe smoothie

I was actually a bit disappointed with it as it ended up being too sweet tasting for me. I think I have grown used to a bit of tartness in the smoothies that I actually find refreshing in the morning. It really didn’t taste all that bad, but if I have a choice I think I will opt for another type of smoothie in the future.

Cream Cheese Tomato Sandwich

Michelle left a comment that sounded like it would be worth a try (simplicity and a change of pace being a key component of the attraction)

I had one other idea for you. One of my favorite sandwiches is sliced tomatoes on toast smeared with cream cheese. A good way to use up the cream cheese too.

I ended up adding celery leaves along with the cream cheese and tomatoes to the whole wheat toast:

cream cheese sandwich

I then added a small bowl of cantaloupe to go along with it:

cream cheese sandwich with cantaloupe

Good stuff and I can see why Michelle has this on her list of favorites. I’ll have no problem making this again and have added it to my favorite list as well.

Because I had been gone most of the day, I ended up spending most of the night in front of the computer snacking instead of having a proper dinner. It consisted of celery and peanut butter, carrots, cantaloupe, toast, M&M’s pretzels, plums and cherry plums — basically naything that I could just grab and munch on back in front of the comput3r. I’ve been trying to not do this (I have a very bad habit snacking at the computer) and have done pretty well during this challenge at not doing it much (when I do, it is in the afternoons), but I definitely failed this evening…

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: $53.60
Money Left to Spend: $46.40 ($6.17 must be spent at CVS, $1.50 must be spent at Safeway)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1406.23

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The Beginning ::: Day 85: The Coupon Man Poem

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14 Responses to Free Cheese! Day 84: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. Adam Wilhite says:

    I’ve really enjoyed following this blog. It’s a great story of how far a dollar can go if you just put some planning into it.

  2. Lostinbrave says:

    If you should do this for longer time you should try to go out to eat on the budget.

  3. AB says:

    One of my long time favorites has been an open bagel with cream cheese and sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. It is essentially a cold pizza. You could even add some herbs if you have them. If you come across some bagels on sale you could use those instead of the bread. Which reminds me, do you check the day old bread sales usually in some obscure corner of the grocery store? You can get some good deals there AND use coupons for the marked down items if you have them.

  4. K says:

    Hi Jeff, I was (and still am) deeply amazed at your amazing progress and the thing you’ve learnt throughout this journey. I just chanced upon your page last night and have been reading it all day long. However, I live in Asia (Singapore to be specific) and in our area there’s no couponing system that I know of. I’ve tried searching websites for Singapore coupons but to no avail. Any idea how I could cut back on grocery costs as much as possible?

  5. Vics says:

    I’ve been reading this most of the way through and although we can’t use coupons in this way in the UK, I find it interesting.

    I must say though, even though I don’t like peanut butter in the slightest, I have found myself craving it reading this blog. XD

  6. jeffrey says:

    @K

    I’m not familiar with Singapore, but if it is anything like Japan, the best discounts come on perishable foods the last hour the grocery store is open where they are usually discounted 50% or more. It is especially easy to stock up on rainy days when the store makes the same amount of estimated food, but it is a slow day due to the rain. Then a lot of it is simply looking for patterns such as buying fruit and vegetables in season.

  7. Josie says:

    I don’t quite get it … if catalina’s can be used on the next purchase don’t understand how can the amounts be applied to the cheese to get it for free.

  8. jeffrey says:

    @Josie,

    Apologies – I’m not sure exactly what part you are confused by. Please let me know specifically how you are doing the math so I can see where the confusion is taking place.

  9. ashley says:

    Wow, honestly i love this adventure you are on! for the past 48 hours I’ve been spending all my free time on your blog! I’ve been trying to get into couponing and this has been an even greater motivation. I may try the 30 day challenge, but include the stock pile i already have. Thanks for all the tips and tricks, and thanks for doing all those donations! I always notice money making and free coupon experiences on other blogs, but never think to buy it and donate it. Will start doing it now! You’re on the final stretch, Keep up the good work

  10. Tammy says:

    @Josie

    The cheese will cost you in the beginning but you will receive $5 cats, for every fiveyou purchase, to use on your next purchase. You can use those $5 cats on anything in the store. So, it’s like you didn’t spend that money.

    I hope this helps clear things up for you. Happy Couponing!

  11. Tammy says:

    @Josie,

    I forgot to mention, you can use those $5 cats on future purchases of cheese to reduce your out of pocket cost and really stock up on cheese.

  12. Josie says:

    Thanks Tammy, appreciate the explanation!

  13. Bibliovore says:

    If you taste your smoothie before you pull it from the blender and you find it’s too sweet, you could whir in a little lemon juice or other sour ingredients, to taste.

  14. EL says:

    When you are making a smoothie with fruit that does not have enough tartness, try using a little yoghurt. I drank banana yoghurt smoothies for breakfast for years. (I added vanilla and a little instant coffee for flavoring). On the other side, if your fruit is too tart, add a few soft pitted dates for sweetness.

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