Tuesday, February 24, 2009

$30/week Challenge - Day 1

The first day seemed pretty daunting. Eating on less than $5 a day hardly seemed possible. I was nervous.

I wasn't the only one who was skeptical. One person in a meeting told me flat out, "You won't last a day." Thanks for the vote of confidence, guy!

Nevertheless, I wasn't off to a bad start.

Instead of getting ready and then grabbing a latte on the way to work, coffee was brewed at home for about 20 cents a cup.

mmm...home brewed!

It was actually quite nice to drink coffee at home. It made me feel like that time in the morning where I sit in bed and hit refresh on Facebook for 10 minutes straight ("Hello?? Where is everybody?!") wasn't wasted.

For breakfast, I ate some of the corn flakes I bought for only $2.70 for a 1 pound box! In fact, it was sooo good, I had it for lunch. (Either that or I didn't get my shit together to pack a lunch the night before.)

seriously - this box is HUGE!

When I went for seconds during lunch, I began to gaze longingly at the sliced nectarines in the picture on the corn flake box. Man, I really wanted one. (I kind of still do, actually.)

By the time the end of the day rolled around, I was so hungry. I probably need to plan better, as corn flakes don't really stave off hunger.

For dinner that night, Extraface and I cooked up some beans and rice. I was so hungry at this point, I was hovering over the stove, stealing beans from the hot pan and burning my mouth.

don't worry - I didn't let that dog get any of MY dinner!

By the time I ate the beans and rice, it felt close to the best meal I'd ever had. I was that hungry. (I'd like to point out that my hungry probably had more to do with poor food choices on my part than the amount of money spent. In fact, I'm sure Tami - who made a mushroom and spinach burrito for dinner on her Day 1 - did not experience the hunger pangs that I had. I didn't get too creative with my food.)

mmm...gotta love the beans!

Day 1 Totals

Breakfast: Coffee & corn flakes at $1.30

Lunch: Corn flakes and diet cokes at $1.32

Dinner: Beans & rice at $1.03

TOTAL: $3.65

Full disclosure: I did have some Starbursts from a coworkers candy stash and a homemade cookie for dessert that was given to me as a gift. I feel that these shouldn't count towards the total but feel free to debate within the comment section!


Roxy said...

I **ALWAYS** have free candy at my desk you can HAVE for free.

Also, I like that you're doing this. I've cut back EXTREMELY on eating out and I should really consider how much money I'm saving. I eat leftovers for lunch A LOT and we cook dinner at home every night (Su-Th). So I count lunch as "free".

Also, great place for recipes: allrecipes.com

Anonymous said...

Now just add some crunchy green, red and orange to your brown and beige staples and you will be as savvy nutritionally as you are financially. There's no place like the DFM for cheap produce! Don't forget: sweet potatoes and cabbage are superfoods -- and oh so cheap!:-)

Seth said...

Keep up the good work, Molly.

Anonymous said...

You need some recipes. Check out the Minimalist on NY Times for things even you could probably cook them. Babby!

Lauren said...

I agree - get some vegetables in there! Bananas and apples (esp in bulk) are pretty cheap and well worth it in nutritional weight.

Try frozen veggies. Or oatmeal for breakfast (not from the packet, the real thing in the canister is cheap).

I think the key is to cook and not buy prepared stuff. And beans of course unless you can find chicken on sale.

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

An essential trick in keeping food expenditures low is to accept gifts. That may be easy or difficult, depending whether you are just doing it as a cool challenge, or have financial problems and getting pitiful looks from neighbors and family: "Here, take this - I know you can use it well, in your situation..."

Kyle said...

Eating on $5 a day is relatively easy if you aren't a meat-eater. Black beans, pears, and bananas are all extremely inexpensive relative to their nutritional content and whole wheat is surprisingly-high in protein. I usually soak my own black beans and can get 5 or 6 entire meals out of it for around $2, easily. You might also want to try whey protein supplement, which usually runs something like $0.30 per serving and will get you a long way towards your daily serving of a bunch of different vitamins and minerals. Mixed nuts are also delicious, nutritious, and cheap.

James M said...

Not bad, but dry cereal doesn't sound good. Make room in your budget for a little milk!