Wild Turkey (not the drinking kind) – Day 66: Eating Well On $1 A Day


I decided to take a new walk today to see if I could find some new foraging areas in a place called Rancho San Antonio park. There were a lot of blackberry bushes along the creek beds, but they didn't look nearly as promising as the ones nearer my house. What I did see were a lot of wild turkeys (is it bad that when I look at them, I think what a wonderful meal they would make?) with their young.

I was tempted to get closer, but with my previous experiences with wildlife and having been thoroughly intimidated by a squirrel, my self defense senses kicked in and pointed out that wild turkeys are pretty damn big. They were definitely not an animal I wanted to get into a fight with, so I decided to be satisfied taking a couple photos from a distance.

wild turkey

wild turkey with babies

About a mile from the parking lot as you walk to the hills, there is an old ranch house that has been turned into a educational farm. The farm was closed, but there was a sign indicating that they sold fresh eggs from the chickens that they have there:

fresh eggs

I have no idea what the price is, but I think that I will go one morning early to find out. If I remember correctly, they also sell fruit from the trees and garden where they grow fruits and veggies on the farm when it comes in season as well.

Loquat & Cherry Plum Oatmeal

I have discovered that fresh fruit (the more the better) and oatmeal go well together – much better than trying to flavor it in other ways as I had to when I first started this challenge. Since I still haven't been to the store to pick up some more bananas for my morning smoothies, a big bowl o like this has been a good way to tide me over until the afternoon.

chopped loquats and cherry plums

loquat cherry plum oatmeal

I have continued with my double peanut butter sandwiches (peanut butter spread liberally on both slices of bread – think double stuff Oreo) in the afternoon since they continue to be pretty hectic and unpredictable. The only issue is that I am now down to my last jar so if I want to continue to do this, I am going to have ts stock up again soon.

Beef Mushroom Rice

I decided to use the last of my beef by cooking it up with onions and mushrooms (seasoned with salt, peeper and a bit of garlic powder) and then placing it on top of rice I had cooked. I also added half a tomato on top:

beef onion mushroom

beef and rice

beef and rice with tomato

I made enough that I have leftovers for another meal which should come in handy as I will be traveling again soon, and that always makes a mess of my meals.

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: $40.53
Money Left to Spend: $59.47 ($5.54 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1251.47

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The Beginning ::: Day 67: Free Dinner From My Sister

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8 Responses to Wild Turkey (not the drinking kind) – Day 66: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. Beth says:

    I kind of doubt the eggs will fit in your buck a day budget. Free range, all natural, organic generally means PREMIUM prices.

    And no coupons. 😉

  2. Ryan says:

    @Beth

    I typically buy those items with catalinas which wind up not costing me anything compared to the food I got to get the catalinas. Add such a strategy to a periodic sale, and you have a semi-regular means to obtain organic, free range, all natural products below cost or even free.

    Just two weeks ago I walked into Safeway and picked up 4 boxes of cereal (which I used coupons for and wound up only spending about $2) which generated a $4 catalina toward the purchase of any milk product. I did this twice and walked out with two gallons of organic milk for only .50 each. Total: $6 for 8 boxes of cereal (2 which I later donated) and 2 gallons of organic milk.

    Safeway has such catlinas all the time. Just find a catalina program that generates for items you can also get for free or nearly free with coupons, and then use the catalina to purchase your eggs – even if they happen to be at premium prices the day you do so.

  3. Ryan says:

    I should mention that I’m also trying this challenge in attempting to feed a family of four on a organic AND kosher diet, and so far have met with great success and have already halved my grocery costs in the first three weeks. Once I get my stockpile up in the next two weeks, I expect to go shopping less and less (only when there are sales) going forward and saving even more as a result. I hope to meet my target goal of feeding such a family on less than $8 a day. So far I’m in the $14 range, but considering I was at $26 a day, I consider that proof that this helps anyone. I expect to save more as my stockpile grows.

  4. Peter M says:

    Even if your cooking skills are still lacking in many ways, you do have something that many people dont. A creative imagination and the guts to taste your creations lol.

    I’m curious about your Financial situation, how much money have you been able to save up while doing this challenge? Especially since you went from junk food and eating out to 1$ or less a day.

  5. jeffrey says:

    @Peter M

    I don’t know exact numbers because I never tracked my food spending before beginning this challenge. With all the eating out I did, I would not be surprised if it was in the $500 a month range, possibly higher. I basically ate what I wanted when I wanted (which usually meant I did not prepare it) before beginning this challenge which is not a good way to save money on food.

  6. TB says:

    I absolutely love your blog and have read from day one to current over the last 4 days. I love your sister she sounds like mine – evil in a good way..lol

    It’s amazing that if you know the rules to the game you come away with all this free food/products and help food banks in the process – kudos!

    A suggestion for your pantry, in the event you find you have more fruit than you can eat (from your foraging)you could throw them in the freezer and use them in smoothies at a later date. Small fruit – wash, dry and put (in single layer) on a plate or similar dish with a lip around the edge and put in freezer. If fruits touch they will stick together. Note: if you take the fruit out of the freezer and let it thaw it will be mushy – good for topping pancakes or maybe oatmeal. I’m not sure how loquats would freeze but, I imagine, if you cut them in half or quarters you would have the same results. Put them skin side down on the plate so they don’t stick to the plate (it would be the tongue on the frozen metal scenario)or you could put them on grease-proof/wax paper to stop them sticking.

    I remember you talking about sour skins on the plums you used for your smoothie. An easy way to skin them is to put them in boiling water for a few seconds (try 5 or 10 – it’s been a long time since I’ve done this) – the skin should peel right off. If it doesn’t, return them to the boiling water for a few more seconds. This works really well for tomatoes as well and probably other fruits with similar skins.

    Also, I recently had to go to a dietician and was told that it’s very important to get protein in at breakfast as it cranks up the brain and body for the day – so maybe you could have your peanut butter in the morning and cereal with banana in the afternoon but ultimately what works for you is most important.

    Sorry for the length of my post.

  7. TB says:

    Sorry, forgot to mention, after “scalding” the fruit (same as scalding yourself) in boiling water be very careful when removing the skin. The fruit will be extremely hot and once you pierce the skin steam will be released. You might want to try using a fork or tongs to hold the fruit in place and a sharp paring knife to pierce the skin and then peel the skin away which would protect your own skin/flesh from burns.

  8. Erin says:

    Your dinner probably would have been better had you cooked the tomatoes in with the rest of the ingredients. It really concentrates the flavor, plus the juices run out all over the other stuff too.