I love peanut butter. I seriously love the stuff. If I hadn't been able to buy some for this challenge, it would have been immensely more difficult for me to stay on tract. I love peanut butter so much, I was willing to buy tampons to get some for free. I have no problem eating it by the spoonful out of the jar and I believed (until today) that peanut butter in combination with any other food would be a no miss combination. I was wrong and I stand corrected:


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 found out that mixing CapriSun with my morning instant oatmeal was not a very good combination, so needed something else to give it a bit of flavor. There was a comment that adding a bit of peanut butter to the oatmeal would give it some flavor, so I decided to give it a try:

peanut butter oatmeal

peanut butter oatmeal mixed

It was one of the strangest combinations I have had in a long time. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. It was just strange tasting — the type of taste that would be good if you had a year to acquire a taste for it, but it would take a full year before you would become comfortable with it. Give it a try and you will know what I mean.

For my larger breakfast, I chopped up the last of my potato and fried that up with the last of the left over black beans I had cooked a few days before. I added a spoonful of salsa on top and had a bowl of Corn Flakes with banana on top:

day 21 breakfast


For lunch, I fried up an egg on toast (I only used one piece of bread because I am almost out of it and don't want to buy more while I am still house sitting). I put the rest of the potato and black bean mix I had for breakfast in a cup on the side, the last of the Wheat Thins samples packs and a few Fig Newtons with the last of the CapriSun (I have a whole other package, but also failed to bring that with me house sitting)

day 21 lunch

In the late afternoon, I remembered that the celery I had was on its last legs, so I put that together with some peanut butter for a late afternoon snack (peanut butter on celery is vastly superior to peanut butter in oatmeal):

day 21 snack


Dinner was decided by default. I am running low on almost everything so I simply looked at what I still had which was pretty sparse. I cooked up the last of the spaghetti pasta and used the rest of the four cheese pasta sauce that I had (it was actually more than I thought and I covered the spaghetti in with a thick amount of it (I'm finding that I am actually liking food with lighter amounts of sauces than I had previously used). I also topped it with half of my last tomato:

day 21 dinner

So I am now at a pretty major crossroad. I am house sitting in an area where I am not familiar with the grocery stores and where the grocery store deals aren't all that great this week. I really should do a shopping to replenish what I have on hand, but I think I am going to suck it up and wait one more day and simply eat the last of the last that I have on hand.

Sunday CVS starts their new week and they have a good money making deal on:

Gillette or Old Spice Body Wash, 10-18 oz $4.00: Buy 1, Receive $4.00 Extra Bucks, Limit 2

There is also a $4.00 off 2 Gillette Antiperspirants/Deodorants or Body Washes, any from Proctor & Gamble 5/2 Sunday newspaper insert (a number of buy One Get One Free Coupons are also available: BOGO Free Gillette Body Wash from the 5/2 Proctor & Gamble 5/2 Sunday newspaper insert, a BOGO Free Old Spice Body Wash from 4/18 RedPlum Sunday newspaper insert and the BOGO Free Old Spice Body Wash or Fresh Collection Antiperspirant from the 5/2 Proctor & Gamble 5/2 Sunday newspaper insert). Using any of these coupons will make the purchase a $4.00 (actually about $3.25 after taxes) money maker where I can buy other food items to make it work out even. If I can wait to use this on Sunday and use what I buy Sunday to get me through the rest of my house sitting stay, then I should be in good shape heading into the last week of this challenge.

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 22: Disaster!


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  1. Here’s one you’ll love.

    Get two slices of whole wheat bread, or the best quality bread that you like.

    Slather one slice with peanut butter. Slather the other slice with Nuttella, the chocolate/hazlenut spread that comes in a jar.

    Slice a very ripe banana in half, lengthwise, and place two pieces in between the bread. Put it all together and sautee it in a little butter the way you would a grilled cheese sandwich. DELICIOUS!

  2. I have told about 20 family and friends about your web site.

    I decided to postpone my $1 a day food project. I want to wait until I get a sufficient stash of coupons built up.

    I currently spend over $300 a month on food, including coffee shops and restaurants. My goal for next month is to stay within a $200 a month food budget. If I can do that, I feel more positive about sticking to a $31 a month food budget, perhaps in October or November. I need practice with self-control.

    I buy food mostly for myself but I also share with my parents.

  3. Based on the picture, I think you put too much peanut butter in the oatmeal. I personally like the taste, but even I sometimes don’t like it!

    Patient saver that sounds good, but sweet!

  4. If you try thinking of oatmeal as you would barley or rice, you might think of other things to do with it—something savory rather than sweet, for example. Supper rather than just breakfast. Perhaps just sprinkle some into in a soup made from carrots, celery, & a bit of the tomato-y sauce you’ve had. And sorry if this grosses you out but, if you add a bit of fat drained from hamburger to the “oatmeal soup”, it will thicken slightly giving you a more robust broth. If you finely grind oatmeal, you can use it like any other flour to make a gravy or even unleavened non sweet pancakes. Season with whatever you can figure out.

  5. Sorry you didn’t care for the peanut butter/oatmeal combo. I first tried it because a friend of mine ate it that way and was surprised how much I liked it. Palates vary. 😉

  6. What that oatmeal needed was some sugar, butter/margarine, coco powder and cook it a bit and viola! no-bake chocolate cookies!

    I personally prefer my oatmeal with brown sugar, some cinnamon and nuts would make it taste somewhat like fruit crisp topping but of course you don’t have most of those items. Makes me wonder how much of those things you would be able to get if you kept this challenge going for longer. I know our local grocery store was giving a catalina for $10 on mcCormick spices this week and I suppose in the sunday supplements within the past few weeks, there had probably been coupons for them.

    Funny I got the Gillete deal this week only with no coupons, but as it was essentially free I didn’t mind.

  7. Peanut butter with a little bit of honey added makes the universe a better place, indeed. 😉

    I know I mentioned the merits a jar of honey would’ve had for your experiment earlier. But, think about how much charm just a dollop of honey would’ve added to each bowl of plain instant oatmeal.

  8. Wish you could’ve copped a source for supercheap raisins by this point in the challenge. Raisins would’ve enhanced your experiment hugely.

  9. I find that if I eat breakfast before I leave for work (at 7am), then I gorge on the office candy bowl before lunch. I brought a large tub of the plain 1-minute oatmeal (not instant) and a tub of peanut butter to work. Starting with those 2, you can make any number of combinations. My favorites additions include mashed banana (so you get it in every bite… plus it makes for a HUGE creamy bowl), chocolate chips (or a couple of Hershey’s kisses from the dreaded candy bowl), jelly, apple (chop finely and add prior to cooking so they soften up) brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, Hershey’s kisses with almonds in them… the possibilities are endless. I even tried Carnation instant breakfast one time, but I don’t recommend that at all.

  10. I’m enjoying your blog very much, even though much after the fact. You may already do this, but if you store your celery standing up in a cup of water (cutting the ends off), it will last longer. I’ve even taken celery that’s gone limp and saved it this way!

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