You know when you go on a trip and you forget your toothpaste or something else and you get angry with yourself because you knew you were going to forget something and despite that, you still forgot it? Then you have to go to a local store and pay an outrageous price for whatever you forgot because you need it. It is even worse when you do it while trying to eat well on $1 a day.

I knew that I would forget something when heading out to the house sitting job and I was right. I left the 100% grape/peach fruit juice that I had been using for flavoring my morning oatmeal and the spicy V8 juice I had been using to flavor my rice in the refrigerator. The problem is that when eating on $1 a day, you can't just go to the store and replace what you forgot. I guess I'll just have to do without for the next 5 days.


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


The good thing was that a good night's sleep and getting settled into the place curbed the munchies that I had yesterday. I really think the issue is the two morning meals. That really seems to help reduce my cravings in the late afternoon and I think that even after this challenge is over, that I am going to continue that eating pattern because I think it will greatly cut down on the junk snacking I did far too often before beginning this challenge.


Since my grape/peach juice wasn't available to flavor the early morning oatmeal, I decided to try the CaprSun to do the same thing. Big mistake. It ended up tasting worse than not having any flavoring at all — and that is a pretty difficult thing to accomplish. I'm not sure exactly why, but it just gave it a really strange taste. Suffice to say, I won't be trying that again.

For the larger breakfast, I ended up frying up a couple of eggs and placed them on toast (using the salt in the bottom of the tortilla chip bag that I polished off for flavoring) and then had a bowl of Corn Flakes with banana on top:

day 20 breakfast


I decided to use my last can of tuna to make a tuna salad sandwich for lunch. I cut up half a tomato and a stalk of celery and added that to the tuna with a bit of Miracle Whip. The celery is on its last legs for freshness, so I also took another two stalks, cut them up and added cream cheese to them (there are two more left and I will have to use them right away before they go bad). I also had one of the Wheat Thin sample packages and a CapriSun juice:

day 20 lunch


I am so far behind in my list of things I need to get done that i actually forgot about dinner until about 8:00 pm because I was concentrating so hard to catch up. At that point, I just wanted something easy and light to eat. I boiled up some spaghetti noodles and placed the leftover tuna salad i had for lunch on top to make a tuna pasta salad:

day 20 dinner

I have been disappointed with the deals available this week. I thought that I was going to be able to stock up on Pillsbury biscuits, but they excluded all the lower priced items from the sale putting them out of reach of my $1 a day challenge. I'm still hugely disappointed that the coupon for free lunch meat from Kraft doesn't yet exist in any of the stores I have visited. I will have to go through the sales circulars again and see if I can find a deal that I missed before because I am going to have to begin adding some more food soon.

This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $16.57
Money left to spend: 14.43 ($2 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $500.63

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
14 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 21: Peanut Butter Revelation


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  1. CVS has a moneymaking deal of 4 ecbs if you have a b1g1 MQ for gillette body wash or the $4/2. You could use your 2 ecbs as a jumping off point. There is quite a bit of food on CVS sale. For me, I’m doing the Ragu Sauce deal but your needs may be different.

  2. Oh, I see it now. This is for next week starting Sunday. Yes, definitely want to try and take advantage of that since it will give me about $3 (after taxes) to spend on food 🙂

  3. I had read the book, “On a Dollar A Day” which is about two vegan teachers who do the same thing you did, but on a vegan diet. Reading your blog is making me think about trying my own 30 day $1 a day food challenge. I usually shop at Trader Joe’s and try to buy organic though and I haven’t seen many organic food coupons. But I want to see if it’s possible for someone like me to live on food that costs $1 a day. After writing this post, I’m going to the local Vons, Ralph’s, and Stater Brothers to get their store club cards and I’m going to check out what blinkies, if any, they have. I will actually make it easier on myself though. I will allow myself a food base from leftover food and I will allow myself to use as many Sunday ads as possible, which I pick up for free from the local Starbucks. I will also allow myself free food from trees, our garden, etc. I get paid June 3rd so my project will go from June 3rd to July 3rd. Please wish me well. (I wouldn’t want to eat this way 12 months out of the year, though.)

  4. I wish you the best of luck. I picked the $1 amount because people seem to think that with that amount that you would not be able to buy enough food to not be constantly hungry. I figured that not only would I not be hungry, I could also eat decently well.

    I think that $1 is extreme, but I think that it is a good one month exercise because it really makes you realise how much you can do for very little. It is a great exercise to get your creativity going and to look at what is available in a different way. I look forward to hearing about your experience.

  5. Wow, my local grocery stores have very few blinkies! Stater Brothers doesn’t have a club card. Vons doesn’t accept competitor coupons.

  6. My largest cost is the price of meat. My “guys” would never do without meat. There would be a huge revolt at my house. I eat very little meat and actually eat very cheaply. ITS THEM! Do you have any suggestions about how to score meat? I already buy the marked down meat. I also save all left over meat in little zip lock bags that I have cooked (nothing is too small) and I make up either burritos or biscuit cups & freeze for later. I will usually add a little rice, beans (mashed so they are hidden) and some cheese.

  7. @Joomi Lee — blinkie coupons are pretty hit and miss. Sometimes there are a lot, sometimes very few. Just remember that blinkies that you find in one store can be used in other stores. None of the stores in my area accept competitor coupons and none double — it would certainly be easier if they did, but you can still get good deals if they don’t. Also, don’t forget drug stores as they are often a good place to buy things that earn you money that can be put toward food.

  8. @Maxine — I probably am not the best person to ask this question since I don’t eat a lot of meat and have purchased very little during this challenge. If you have an extra freezer, you can buy in bulk and freeze it when it goes on sale. Also keep a lookout for cross promotions with BBQ season. Sometimes there are sales when you buy specific BBQ stuff(charcoal, buns, condiments, beer), you get a discount on a meat purchase:

  9. I did my grocery shopping today and between CVS and Walgreens I got stocked up pretty well on cereal. CVS also had a buy and Old Spice Body Wash and get $4 back on next purchase. I have decided that when i see something like that I will pick it up as I like to be able to donate health and beauty aids to the residents at the senior home here in town (the ones with low income) where those kinds of things are a God-send to help stretch their budgets.

    I can see though that getting into this again after a many year break from couponing, the whole system has changed! I think once I have more coupons things will go better, but I don’t think they do coupons this Sunday due to Mmorial Day. Does anyone know?

  10. This tip is too late for your challenge, but you can keep celery fresh longer by cutting off the bottom and keeping it upright in a tall container of water, like a vase of flowers. Just change the water every couple of days.

    Thanks for your inspiring story! I’m reading you via Money Saving Mom on Facebook.

  11. No blinkies in this town. I remember one of the stores having them for a while, but the nasty trash that makes up most of the population of this sorry excuse for a town tore them all up.

  12. Hi! Just a hint for everyone: if celery isn’t moldy or black, just limp, you can revive it by placing it in a glass of ice water, roots down like the stalks were flower stems. It will buy you some time. (Maybe everyone knows this already, but I just learned it not long ago)

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