Day 16 marks me having passed the half way point of this challenge. It also marks the first day where I am actually under the $1 a day maximum I have to spend on food (16 days, $15.75 spent) which bodes well for me for the rest of this challenge, especially since I have managed to put together a decent base of food this first two weeks. I still have my fingers crossed that the grocery stores will bring me some great deals in the coming week, but feel a much more comfortable knowing that I will be able to get by if there aren't many deals.


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



I decided to go back to my cup of instant oatmeal (with banana) to begin the day even though I no longer need to do this for the medicine I was taking since that cycle has ended. I just felt that it was a good eating pattern for me, especially since I really begin to crave snacks in the late afternoon if I eat only three meals. I think this has to do a lot with the timing. My usual schedule has bee to eat my cup of oatmeal at about 7:30 and then a bigger breakfast at 10:00, lunch at 2:00 and then dinner at 7:00.

For the bigger breakfast, I had a bowl of cornflakes with banana on top, a piece of whole wheat toast with an egg on top, and a little salsa on top of that. I also had a full cup of the V8 Goji / Raspberry vegetable and fruit juice which is actually quite good:

day 16 breakfast


I had a similar lunch as I did the day before. I had peanut butter toast with banana on top (I needed to use the last of by bananas because they were beginning to get too ripe — so now bananas are on my shopping list). I took a stalk of celery (plus a bit more that I had left over from putting it in the tuna salad the night before) and put the rest of the onion and chive cream cheese mini I had left over from yesterday's lunch and then peanut butter for the other two. I also had some chips and Fig Newtons on the side, and another full glass V8 Fusion 100% Goji / Raspberry vegetable juice for my drink:

day 16 lunch


I took out the steamed carrots and broccoli that I had and put about half of it into a bowl. I then took one of my tomatoes and chopped it up and added it as well and added a small amount of Miracle Whip and stirred it all up. I cooked up some spaghetti pasta, cooled it off and also added that to the bow to make a pasta vegetable bowl for dinner:

day 16 dinner

I had been going through the V8 Fusion 100% Goji / Raspberry vegetable juice pretty quickly, so I decided to make those into ice cubes and use them to add flavor to my water:

frozen V8

frozen V8 glass

I also had a snack of a couple Fig Newtons and a small bowl of chips in the late evening while I was working.

This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $15.75
Money left to spend: 15.25 ($2 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $499.81

3 packages (small) Fig Newtons
1 jar Miracle Whip
1 potato
1 mystery purchase
1/3 lb ground beef
4 tomatoes on vine
2 broccoli crowns
1 loaf of bread
2 jars of Classico pasta sauce
2 Safeway brand pasta (spaghetti and rotini)
1 celery stalk
2 bags tortilla chips
3 cans tuna
1 bottle Welch's grape & peach 100% juice
1 bottle V8 Fusion fruit / vegetable drink
1 bottle V8 spicy vegetable drink
2 boxes of Caprisun fruit drinks (10 packs)
1 jar of salsa
1 bag of black beans
2 half gallons of milk
36 boxes of cereal
2 dozen eggs
2 avocados
11 bananas
2 boxes of Quaker Instant oatmeal
55 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
1 package of Knudsen Light sour cream
10 apples
2 lbs of carrots
8 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
2 jars 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 / other items to Food Bank that was purchased with my $1 a day

1 Stayfree pantiliner package
1 Kotex U tampon package
5 Bayer children's aspirin
2 sticks of deodorant
4 bottles Windex multi-surface cleaner
1 can of Pork & Beans
32 boxes of cereal
50 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
2 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner
2 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner refill


The Beginning ::: Day 17: Different Perspectives


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  1. I read all of your posts yesterday in one sitting and I am so impressed by your efforts. I wanted to suggest an idea… How about if you use some of the Capri Sun or a bit of the juice to sweeten your daily oatmeal?

  2. I know you said you aren’t a cook, but regarding over ripe bananas, learning to cook banana bread is a very, VERY easy intro to baking. It’s just measure, mix, dump in a pan, and bake — no rising or kneading or anything like that. Good beginner baking and a yummy treat for breakfast or afternoon snack.

    Oh, I just thought of something you and other folks might not know but could find useful. It’s about eggs, and it’s a factoid that has been a big grocery help for me since I learned it.

    Eggs, esp. if you’ve kept them refridgerated, are good long after the date on the carton. (Also, this is good thing to know if you have a source of free/cheap farm eggs. For example, I take care of a friend’s animals whenever her family travels and get to keep any of the eggs I gather from her chickens. Over days, that adds up to more eggs than my son and I can healthily eat anytime soon.)

    Here’s how to tell if an egg’s gone bad if you have some “old” eggs you are feeling dodgy about:

    Fill up a pot or bowl deep enough with water that the egg will be covered. Carefully drop the egg into the water. If the egg sinks fully and lays all along the bottom, it’s relatively fresh and is good. If the egg sinks and one end stays on the bottom but it stands up with the other end pointing toward the surface, the egg is still good but is getting old. Eat that one soon before it goes bad. If the whole egg floats, throw it out or add it to the compost. It’s gone bad.

    I can’t remember where I learned the above, but since learning it, I’ve seen it again and again in other sources.

    Think about this the next time eggs are on sale really good or you’re offered a big basket of farm eggs and think, “I can’t eat all these before that date!” Also, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, eggs can be frozen. Crack the eggs. The ratio is 1 tsp of salt to 1 cup of egg goo stored in an airtight freezer container. When you go to thaw and use the mixture, I’ve found it helps to had a hint of water to the goo when stirring it up. I learned the freezing eggs trick from the 3rd book in the Tightwad Gazette series by Amy Dacyczyn.

  3. I find that I can dilute most juices by half or maybe a third, and there’s still plenty of flavor. You can save the juice bottles, and when you buy more you just add water and can potentially double your juice stockpile.

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