You would be very happy that you didn't have to be around me today. I was in a irritable mood all day (pretty unusual for me) and it was the first day in this challenge where I was really dissatisfied. It has also made me realise a lot about myself that I had never really thought too deeply about.

It all began with not getting a good night's sleep. I have come to find that the way I sleep will not only determine the type of day I am going to have, it also greatly impacts what I (want to) eat. I should have taken a nap and rested up, but I had a lot of things that needed to get done. By trying to do everything and not taking a nap, I only made things worse.

Because of the days schedule, I also didn't have two morning meals or one large breakfast as I have been and this contributed to my general grumpiness the entire day. But the issue that put it over the top and made it a miserable day was that I didn't have any snacks.

There have been a couple of days this month where I went on eating binges. In both cases I had plenty of snack food accumulated and went through it. Although I was disappointed that I went through it far quicker than I had anticipated I would, I never felt deprived or unsatisfied. That was not the case today as I was having these cravings and I didn't have any snacks on hand to satisfy them.


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


Since there weren't snacks, I ended up going through some of my staples which may cause some issues these last few days. I should have had plenty of bread to last me through the end of this month, but now I am down to only a few more slices. I also went through my peanut butter so that i only have enough for maybe 2 more sandwiches. I ended up drinking 4 CapriSun juice packs trying to get my energy level up (and failing).

I wasn't really hungry, but I was definitely not satisfied like I was when I had chips, Wheat Thins or Fig Newtons. The results were that I was completely unproductive and my mind was always wandering toward food and what I wanted, but didn't have. It wasn't a good feeling and I can only imagine that it is multiplied many times over when people don't have enough food to eat. I wonder how much this nation loses in unproductivity because people haven't had enough food to perform at their best?

I did make a trip to the grocery store and ended up getting 3 more bananas and an ear of corn (I just needed something different) for $0.96:

bananas and corn

bananas and corn receipt


The plan was to have a bowl of Corn Flakes in the early morning and then a bigger meal later, but I ended up getting too busy (and was away from the house) to eat the second breakfast. That meant that all I had was a bowl of Corn Flakes with half an apple on top:

day 28 breakfast


By the time I made my lunch, I was pretty hungry. I ended up making an egg salad sandwich (I had boiled a couple of eggs last night) on whole what bread, adding half a tomato and some of the salad bag lettuce with a bit of Miracle Whip to the hard boiled eggs:

day 28 lunch

I then had a bit of the chicken and apple pasta salad on the side and a glass of white grape / peach juice (half juice, half water):

day 28 lunch plated

I had quite a bit of the egg salad left over, but ended up eating that as well and the search for food satisfaction started for the rest of the afternoon.


For dinner, I simply made myself a chicken breast sandwich and then boiled up the corn I had purchased. It was kind of a strange combination, but the corn was quite sweet and didn't need the butter on it that I thought it might (I just added a bit of salt):

day 28 dinner

day 28 dinner corn

The corn was sweet enough that I only ate half as I wanted to save the other half in case I was craving something sweet the next day.

This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $24.33
Money left to spend: 6.67 ($2 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $565.29

1 ear of corn
1 package of chicken breast deli style (1 lb)
5 packages hardwood smoked turkey franks
1 package of veggie spiral pasta
1 salt and pepper shaker combo
1 bag of salad
1 package of macaroni and cheese
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
6 tomatoes
2 broccoli crowns
2 loaves of bread
2 jars of Classico pasta sauce
2 Safeway brand pasta (spaghetti and rotini)
1 celery stalk
2 bags tortilla chips
5 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
3 half gallons of milk
36 boxes of cereal
3 dozen eggs
2 avocados
20 bananas
2 boxes of Quaker Instant oatmeal
55 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
1 package of Knudsen Light sour cream
20 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

4 packages hardwood smoked turkey franks
2 Gillette body wash
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 29: Should I Continue?


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  1. At the end of this, I hope you will say whether you think you have eaten WELL for $1 a day. You are still alive, but it is that the same as having eaten WELL? I ate more when I was a 10 year old girl, I think. What is WELL anyway? Sufficient calories? Sufficient nutrients? Sufficient filled feeling? Sufficient sense of enjoying one’s meals?

  2. I have been really admiring your sticking to your budget. I noticed you talked about the Wacky Mac macaroni. I have a coupon for Wacky Mac that I was going to use, but my store doesn’t have Wacky Mac and I don’t want the coupon to go to waste. Would you like to have it? I can mail it to you right away. Just email me at

  3. @Joan I think that the photos give a deceiving view of how much I am eating. It may not look like a lot, but except on the days when I have felt tired, I have always felt full or had the snacks available to make me feel full. What I haven’t done is overstuffed myself which I now realize I had been doing before (eating to finish a meal even if I was already full). I have been maintaining my weight (except for that first week when I had the intestinal problems). If I were to do this again, I think I would move to 5 meals a day with another small one like my early morning one in late afternoon.

    Well is definitely subjective. If I had more money, I could certainly eat better than I have been. Then again, I think that my meals have been better than a lot of people in the US eat. I have certainly reduced my own sugar/junk food intake while doing this. I would like to have had more fruits and vegetables, but I have gotten in more than I thought I would. I do miss nuts and granola bars.

    @crazyliblady — thank you for the offer, but that would be against the rules of the challenge and the challenge would be over by the time it arrived. Keep a lookout at your stores for it — it is surprisingly good.

  4. Joan I think we are the kind that gets enjoyment out of a variety of taste & smell and maybe that is why we are saying Well and making do are two different things. Maybe we have 2 different food personalities going on here.

    It sounds like that there has been a very big need for some cooking skills here and maybe this is a start. Now that you can broil you have opened up an array of new foods that you can add to your menu-with a little olive oil, salt & pepper onto your vegetable and put under the broiler you will totally change a vegetable flavor.

  5. The list is impressive, but when are you going to tell us what the mystery purchase is? I’m dying of curiosity.

  6. While what you have been eating isn’t what I would want to eat, I do think that most likely you are eating a more nutritiuos diet than many people in our world that exist on pop and chips and junk food and don’t even know how to cook a meal as simple as yours.

    I have been inspired by your deals though and decided to wait to go out using my Catalinas from threee stores until my main grocery store switches over its specials tonight otherwise I would be stocking up on MORE ice cream–great price but not something we really need at our local Giant Eagle.

  7. I just noticed that you are not using a reusable bag and/or are not getting a 5¢ credit per reusable bag at Lucky… Safeway used to give a 3¢ credit/reusable bag, but alas, no longer.

  8. Kroger takes 3cents off your purchase for every reusable bag of your own that you use.

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