The end of the month is quickly approaching and I need to make a decision again whether to end this challenge or shoot for 100 days (100 days on $1 a day just seems to have a nice ring to it). I’m pretty sure that I could do it (although there would undoubtedly be more disasters along the way) and hopefully continue to improve my cooking a bit more. The problem is that this challenge is taking a lot of time (not the couponing part, but the creating the meals and writing the blog posts) which normally wouldn’t be an issue, but it has meant that I have had to take time away from Penny Experiment and getting food to local food banks. While these two challenges are complimentary, I could do a lot more for the local food banks if I could spend the time I have been spending on the Eating Well On $1 A Day challenge and direct it exclusively toward Penny Experiment.

So I started to think about if there was a solution to this issue (well, assuming that anyone would like me to continue). I would be willing to continue (and even put more effort into it) if in return, those following and learning from it are willing to begin take one (or more) free food item that they get grocery shopping (and that they don’t need themselves) to their local food bank.

Even if only a small number of people are willing to do this along with me, I’m sure that the impact would be far greater than me doing it alone which would make it a win-win situation for all. You will learn how to cut your grocery bill while getting more food for yourself, local food banks will get more food and Penny Experiment will get closer to the goal of donating $1 million worth of food banks that much more quickly.

So I need you to leave your opinion in the comments on where you would like things to go from here:

[poll id=”5″]

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  1. Definately do it! But do it for yourself, not your sister. I don’t care much for her.

    Why not give the $$ you would have spent on food to the food bank, as a substitute for the food you would have gotten with the extra time you’d have.

  2. Even though I voted for you to continue, I think that your needs should also be taken into consideration. I am amazed at your dedication to this project. It is in essence a spending diet. I know that after a month of actual dieting, I am tired of the process and ready for a splurge. You have demonstrated that the concept can be done. I say continue trying to keep your food bill low but allow yourself a spurge now and then, like buying some additional spices or pantry staples, or buying an occasional restaurant meal when you have one of those airport type days.
    On another note I ran across this web site where a women blogs about free samples and product recalls. I thought your readers might be interested. Here is the URL:

  3. I hope you continue the challenge.

    I love looking at the pictures of your food and the proof of your savings on the receipts!

    I also like hearing about the conflicts with the wildlife.

    I am also very much looking forward to the guide you’re doing on how you put together such amazing deals. (I totally have coupon envy!)

  4. I will keep reading and am very encouraged to contribute to the food banks here — thanks for the kick in the pants. And I second Denise’s wise suggestion to consider your own needs, too — perhaps stocking up on some staples and treats. Good luck!

  5. No matter what you decide, you are a hero! You must be a wonderful person and I want you to know I appreciate your kindness and have so enjoyed reading each post.

    You are helping others in everything you do. You are giving food to the banks and also no doubt you are helping countless others in writing this blog. Getting people to think about their food sources in a greater way.

    Thank you so much!

  6. I’d love to see this continue since you’re learning to cook *and* helping people at the same time. And when I finally make it to the store once I’ve finished phase one of my own eating/shopping/saving/cooking challenge, I’ll definitely give that couponing thing a whirl and donate what I get to some food banks around town.

  7. If you can stand to continue, I would so appreciate being able to continue to learn and be inspired by your blog entries.

    And I also think you should end the agreement with your sister (I think you have proved your point by now!)

    I’m not going to badmouth your sister…I’m sure she is a good person at heart. Maybe a little too competitive? Sibling rivalry?

  8. If you’re getting tired of it, I think you’ve done it long enough.

    I do hope there are more posts about couponing in general, though. I’d pretty much disregarded the idea of coupons because I mainly buy stuff that never seems to have coupons, but I’m intrigued by the idea that I could reduce my spending by using some of your ideas. And it had never occurred to me that I could use them to get stuff to take to food banks.

  9. My first trip out and I scored an average of more than 80% savings, and got more than enough product to start donating to a local food bank here. Keep up the good work, I’m learning as you’re posting!

  10. Please continue with your amazing saga! That is, I do think you should take a day where you ACTUALLY GO OUT TO EAT. I think it’s long overdue for you to gobble down that $5 airport yogurt or treat yourself to REAL Mexican food.

    You have no idea how much your blog has changed my entire outlook on grocery shopping and meal preparation. I am a college student with an EXTREMELY limited budget (I make about $400 a month at my part-time job, minus $300 for rent and bills, so I’m essentially living on $100 dollars a month for my ALL expenses). Before, I would only buy store-brand, frozen/processed items and in extremely limited amounts; your site has enlightened me to a much more favorable method for shopping AND living. I really can’t tell you how much this site has affected me…if I met you in real life, I would give you a MASSIVE hug.

    That being said, all of my friends make fun of me now for being the “couponing chick.” But they always ask me for advice, too! 🙂

  11. As I commented (yesterday, I think), I really think you should consider continuing this challenge. I also mentioned (I know you’re busy so you probably didn’t read it) that perhaps you should expand the possibilities to, say, $2 per day. As I mentioned in my other comment, alot of people on fixed, low incomes receive a certain amount in food stamps & it’s difficult for them to get ideas on how to survive (especially with children) on low incomes. I mean, unhealthy & processed foods cost alot less than healthy foods, for some reason.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading the daily posts and never miss a day (though I don’t always comment unless there’s something I feel needs to be said).

    Also, is there any way that you or the other readers know of that we can get the word out about your posts so that there is more opportunity for the other low income people to get a chance to read all this????? I feel this challenge holds immensely important tips for them if they’ll only read it.

    Keep up the good work, Jeffrey!! And PLEASE CONTINUE WITH THE CHALLENGE!!!

  12. @Alicia

    I always read every comment (although time doesn’t always allow me to respond to every one of them) 🙂

  13. I have thoroughly been enjoying your posts and the challange and would love to see it continue. You have inspired me to start using coupons to donate food to the local food bank. I made my first trip to the store today and spent $0.42 on $11 worth of food that I will donate. It’s a small first step, but I’m excited to continue. I even stopped at the local coffee shop today and picked up some extra Sunday coupon inserts. Thanks for your inspiration and willingness to share it with others!

  14. You could diminish the # of posts you write for this project, but 1) this has given you an impetus to learn to cook, and in the long run, that’s good for you and 2) you are helping other people be able to donate, which can have a bigger impact of feeding the hungry than even what you can do with the Penny Experiment.
    I’ve been hard-core couponing since February. I’ve allotted $15 of my own money toward charity. What I’ve been able to get each month ranges from $200-$280 for between $12-$15.
    This month, I’m going to hit $300 and spend less than $8 for charity.

  15. I appreciate the enormous amount of time you take to write all this up…and I always look forward to the pics. I would selfishly love for you to continue; because, I still need the inspiration part of the equation as I grapple with doing it myself. You are sooooo disciplined, and I am soooo not!

    I will totally take things to the food banks. I’ve been meaning to check out your Penny Experiment so I’m glad you put up the link again.

  16. That Penny Experiment is Amazing. That one guy gave $10,000 in groceries!

    And I LOVE the penny art gallery.

    When I was child, my grandmother taught me to always pick up pennies…she had a rhyme:

    See a penny
    Pick it up,
    All day long,
    You’ll have good luck. 🙂

    Well, you’ve taken that luck to a whole other level!

  17. I hope you decide to continue. This has fast become one of my favorite blogs that I must check every day! I think you are doing something unique that more and more people are going to become interested in. I think you will be very successful if you continue. Best of luck!

  18. “… creating the meals and writing the blog posts [cost the most time]…”

    How didi you eat / prepare meals before you started this? Do you have a partner/roommate who can cook?

  19. I just hope you continue to post about what deals you have figured out with the coupons. It has helped me a lot.

  20. @Onti

    I travel most of the time so I ate most meals out and since I was visiting people, would often eat with them. If I did have to make myself something, it would be very basic and easy.

  21. I’m all for it continuing *IF* you’re up to continuing it. You and your experiment have inspired me to challenge myself with my family’s food budget. I thought I was a good couponer before, but what you can do with $1 a day is amazing. Due to our location, circumstance, and family size, I am allotting $2 per day per person, or $14 per day to feed 7. That’s probably $200 or more a month less than my spending in the first half of the year. As I learn more from you and other sites maybe I’ll be able to drop it even further. Thanks for your efforts and information and willingness to involve us, your readers, in your project. Great work, and good luck.

  22. As others have said, I would love to see you continue, but go forward making up your own rules.

    Not because your sister is a spoilsport, while that’s certainly true, but because the proving-something-to-the-sister part of this experiment is over and now it’s time for the doing-more-good part.

    So I’d say eat at cookouts, use other people’s oil, and all that nonsense, and concentrate your efforts instead on how deep your savings can get without artificial limits. If they get too deep, donate to the food pantry!

    Seeing how low you can go (in dollars) would be really exciting and inspiring.

  23. Chris said “You could diminish the # of posts you write for this project”

    Agreed… perhaps if it saves you time and keeps you inspired you could show us fewer photos of your morning smoothies and more creative ideas on saving money instead. I know taking and uploading photos can be time-consuming.

  24. I already started donating alot of the free things i have been getting with coupon’s . so joining you in donating to food banks im already with you , since you are the one who gave me the idea via your blog lol .I agree with other posters consider your needs first get food staples first spice’s etc..and even poeple who are broke eat out ever once in a while and in your case the airport you should have gotten something to eat .I don’t know if you have a dent and save store around where you are at but we have one here they do accept coupon’s , you can get say a big container of season all for 69 cent’s or a can of veggies for 25 cents just a suggestion . and blog less you don’t have the time i love to see what you saved and everything and i do get a giggle from your post but think of yourself and your needs first and then continue how you see fit.

  25. I provided a link to this amazing site of yours on both Facebook and the MSN money boards, hoping to spread the good word about your good works. What you’re doing is truly wonderful, whether you continue to do the $1 a day challenge or not. But even if you weren’t to able to keep up the challange, the blog would be a good way of keeping people interested and informed.

  26. I would love to see you continue the challenge! I’ve noticed that I have more cereal than I can eat, so extra boxes will go to the food bank. When I settle into my new place, hopefully I’ll have more opportunities to use coupons and to donate.

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