frugal meals, $1 challenge, cheap meals

While I was planning not to buy anything else until after the weekend, I figured out a deal that made sense to get. One of the things that have been difficult with this challenge is that all I have been drinking this first week is water (this may not be a totally bad thing). I used to drink quite a bit of tea and juice, but there just haven’t been any reasonable deals (at least when the budget is $1 a day) for these this first week. Then I was able to put together the following deal:

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

Safeway is currently running a mix and match deal where when 5 items are purchased, you get $5 off which includes some fruit juices and V8 vegetable juices. This is the deal I put together:

day 8 purchase
Buy One Welch’s Grape Juice: $1.99 each

Use a $1 off 1 Welch’s Grape Juice coupon at
Go to and load a $1 off 1 Welch’s Grape Juice coupon onto your Safeway card.

Safeway allows you to use eCoupons and physical coupons together. Using both of these, the Welch’s Grape Juice is free.

Buy Two V8 Fusion Juices: $1.99 each

Use two $1 off 1 V8 Fusion Juice coupon at Campbell’s Kitchen (you should be able to print it twice – if not, you can also print one at tryV8)

This makes each of these $0.99 or $1.98 for the two.

Buy Two Capri Sun Sunrise: $1.49 each

Use two $1 of 1 Capri Sun Sunrise coupon found in 4/25 SmartSource Sunday newspaper insert (the challenge rules say I can use 2 inserts from each week)

This makes each of these $0.49 cents or $0.98 for the two. Adding all five of these together puts the price at $2.96. Two bring down this total, I also purchased 2 moneymakers (you can do this without the moneymakers which get a bit complicated and pay just $3 for all that).

The first was the Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner and refill which I had already done one on the first day. The Scrubbing Bubbles Extend A Cleaner bathroom cleaner was on sale for $6.99 and there was a $5.00 off 1 coupon for Scrubbing Bubbles Power Sprayer Starter from 4/11 SmartSource Sunday newspaper insert. I also used a Free Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-clean refill, when you buy starter coupon (go to the bottom of the page and the deal will scroll by) which made the refill free. This meant that I paid $1.99 + tax for the two, but I received a $3.00 Catalina (the coupons that come out with your receipt) and a $1.00 Catalina (I used $4 in Catalinas I had already which made things come out even – used $4 in Catalinas and got $4 back in Catalinas)

I did a similar money maker with Windex Multi-Surface cleaner. They are on sale for $1.99 each when you buy 3 or more at Safeway. There were $1 off 1 Windex Multi-Surface cleaner coupons in the 4/11 SmartSource newspaper insert (there is also one in today’s (5/9) SmartSource newspaper insert). You can also print the $1 off 1 Windex Multi-Surface cleaner from Then I loaded this coupon onto my Safeway card as well at So when I paid for the 4 Windex Multi-Surface cleaners, I used 4 coupons bringing the price down to $0.99 each. This product has a Catalina coupon printing for $2 off when you buy two. This makes them free, but the eCoupon on the Safeway card means that I get an extra dollar off so that it is a slight money maker after tax. (Again, I used $4 in Catalinas I had already which made things come out even – used $4 in Catalinas and got $4 back in Catalinas)

When all was said an done, I had purchased all of this for $0.71

day 8 receipt
Since I won’t be eating the Scrubbing Bubbles or the Windex, those will go to a local food bank that also gives out cleaning supplies like that. This is what I ended up with in drinks for my $0.71:

day 8 keep
The CapriSun Sunrise juice is not very healthy since it has a lot of sugar (only 10% fruit juice), so I’m not sure if I will use those or not at this point (any good ideas out there?). I will use the others and already used the V8 Spicy into last night’s dinner. These are the meals that I had:


Breakfast was the usual. I had a bag of oatmeal in the morning to take with my antibiotics and then a bowl of Corn Flakes a couple of hours later topped with half an apple:

day 8 breakfast

I also had my usual peanut butter and banana wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla for lunch. I added some of the steamed carrots that I had from the night before on the side. I also took a serving of the cream cheese minis and mixed it with a spoonful of salsa as a dip for the Wheat Thins (it actually tasted pretty good):

day 8 lunch

Since I had used up all my rice, I went ahead and cooked another cup of it. This time, instead of just cooking it in water, I cooked it in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of the spicy V8 juice I had purchased. This made it kind of like Spanish rice and brought some needed flavor to the rice (at least for me). When done, I place it with some of the black beans I still had, a spoonful of salsa and sour cream into a whole wheat tortilla. I also ate the rest of the steam carrots I had:

day 8 dinner
All and all, still doing well and keeping my fingers crossed that this next week brings with it some more great deals.

This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $10.42
Money left to spend: 20.58
Retail Value of everything bought: $310.88

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
1 half gallon of milk
4 boxes of Corn Flakes
1 dozen eggs
2 avocados
5 bananas
2 boxes of Quaker Instant oatmeal
14 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
1 package of Knudsen Light sour cream
10 apples
2 lbs of carrots
4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
1 jar 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 counts each)

Donated Food to Food Bank that was purchased with my $1 a day

4 bottles Windex multi-surface cleaner
1 can of Pork & Beans
5 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 9: Eating Breakdown


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  1. You’re amazing!! I’m in awe! I wish there was a Safeway here! I live in Fresno and we have Vons not Safeway. My mom lives up in Washington and she said there are always a ton of sales at Safeway!

  2. You could always amp up the capri sun nutrition value by mixing 1/2 & 1/2 fruit juice juice in a cup or you could use it as a flavoring and cook some w/ an apple. The Spanish rice idea was a good one.

  3. I just stumbled on your blog and am impressed! I read a blog with a similar concept awhile ago:

    Might be worth reading to see how she did it – not with coupons!

    Isn’t Vons the same as Safeway?

  4. Pingback: Eating Well On $1 A Day - Grocery Coupon Guide
  5. I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to kick the soda habit. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. But, I am way addicted to soda. Here’s something that helps me and makes thrifty use of a bottle of fruit juice:

    In a cup (or, better yet if you are feeling the need to spoil yourself), a glass that you’ve put in the freezer for a couple of minutes to chill, put in a lot of ice cubes – all the way to the top. Fill it with water almost to the top. Add a small, quick splash of fruit juice. It puts some zing into the water, but it is cheap and very low calorie.

    Maybe you could even try this with one of your Capri Sun pouches. If anything, you could cut it 50/50 with water that way.

    The key is in the ice cold.

  6. This is a bit late in the game to be at all helpful, (like, not at all, since you’re done) but… the Capri-Suns might have enough sugar in them to boil down to make a sauce or glaze for your carrots, possibly even a thin jelly to go with your peanut butter. Simmer it on low heat until it cooks down.

    Awesome job, btw!

  7. The closest Safeway to me is 5 hours away…not going to be shopping there. I don’t understand what you mean by loading a coupon onto your safeway card either.

  8. @roxie

    The concepts work for all major grocery store chains – not just Safeway. That just happens to be the closest grocery store for me. As for the loading a coupon (which won’t matter to you since you won’t shop at Safeway, but may be of interest to others), if you go to the Safeway website, you can load coupons directly onto your Safeway card.

  9. You can load coupons to any grocery membership card in the same way as the Safeway card – Dillons/Kroger etc. Any place that has a card that you need to carry and scan in order to get the sale price. Just go to their website or places like or or p&g Esaver.

    Obviously, there is no way to do this if your grocery store has no membership card, and it might be meaningless to you if you’ve never been to such a store.

    With many, there is also an added advantage to ensuring your card has an accurate address for you – many of these stores will send you coupons in the mail based on what you buy. Even if you never want to look at clipping or printing coupons, those kinds of coupons are a no-brainer because they are almost always for things you’d regularly purchase.

  10. A rice and bean meal (complete protein) costs about 26 cents without any funny finagling with coupons. Peanut butter and whole wheat are also complete protein and fairly inexpensive. There are other complete protein combinations that are very inexpensive.

  11. I load e-coupons on my Kroger card but Kroger has changed their policy so that you can use either the e-coupon or the paper coupon on a single item but not both. They only allowed both for a couple of weeks until they figured out that shoppers were using both on one item. Bummer.

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