Day 17 proved once again that you look at things from a very different perspective when you are eating on an extremely limited budget. I am still trying to digest the meaning behind the fact that it was worth it to me to buy tampons to get a free jar of peanut butter. Today I had to reflect upon how happy I became (I literally jumped out of my chair with excitement and did a little happy dance) when I received a package of free food from Kraft in the mail.


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


Earlier this month you could “like” Kraft on Facebook and choose from several sample packages they were giving away. The time frame said that the packages wouldn't arrive for 4 to 8 weeks, so I anticipated that I would get mine after this challenge was over, but the package arrived today. In it were the following:

kraft gift bag

4 sample packages of Wheat Thins Sundried Tomato & Basil
3 sample packages of Maxwell House Vanilla Caramel Latte
1 coupon for a free package of Cheesy Explosion Macaroni & Cheese dinner
1 coupon for a free package of Oscar Mayer Deli fresh turkey pastrami

The wheat this will make a great snack or addition to a lunch. The more spice options from plain salt (I have been using salt from Wheat Thins and tortilla chips to give flavor to some meals). I have a feeling that the Maxwell House Vanilla Caramel Latte will end up in the trash. It is never a good sign when a coffee product has the ingredient “instant coffee” listed behind “sugar, nondairy creamer [corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated coconut oil, sodium caseinate (from milk), dipotassium phosphate, mono-and diglycerides, artificial flavor] and maltodextrin. I will likely use the macaroni from the macaroni & cheese, but not the “cheese.” I am most curious to see what the deli fresh turkey pastrami tastes like.


I stuck with my cup of oatmeal in the early morning even though i had run out of fruit to add flavor. I'm not sure why I do that to myself because I already know that I am not going to like it. I was just too lazy to make a trip to the store to get bananas after all the store trips I have been making recently. There was a good suggestion in the comments that I flavor the oatmeal with fruit juice which I will definitely give a try.

For the bigger breakfast, I chopped up part of my potato and fried it up and then placed an egg on top with a piece of whole what toast on the side. I also had a bowl of corn flakes and a cup of half water and half V8 Goji / Raspberry vegetable and fruit juice:

day 17 breakfast


I decided to have spaghetti for lunch and simply threw in a bunch of pasta and placed a light amount of the four cheese pasta sauce I had. While it doesn't look all that appetising from the photo, it was actually pretty good. I also discovered that I have always put way too much pasta sauce on my spaghetti in the past because I still got a good flavor with a fraction of the amount I would usually use. I also had another glass of half water / half V8 Goji / Raspberry vegetable and fruit juice

day 17 lunch


I made another half cup of long grain rice in spicy V8 juice and used it with more of the left over black beans that I had to make a burrito (adding sour cream and salsa on top and wrapping it in a whole wheat tortilla — I only have one left). I still had more so I also placed a some is a small jar and mixed it up with sour cream and salsa to make a dip for tortilla chips. I also had a bit more of the steamed carrots and broccoli on the side.

day 17 dinner burrito

day 17 dinner

For the second day in a row, I had a snack of a Fig Newtons and a tortilla chips in between meals.

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 sample packs of Maxwell House Vanilla Carmel Latte
4 sample packages of Wheat Thins Sundried Tomato & Basil
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

3 sample packs of Maxwell House Vanilla Carmel Latte
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 18: Disappointment


Rebate Fanatic. Saving you money every time you shop online! Sign Up and Start Saving Today