Your Money: Eat for $1 a day

May 7, 2009 4:54:35 AM PDT
Eat for just one dollar a day. Does it sound impossible? It is without using coupons.

Rebecca Currie read about others trying it and wanted to see if she could do it, and not just for one day but for 30.

Currie says she's always been frugal when it comes to her grocery budget. She typically spends about $80 to $90 a month.

So when she read about the dollar a day challenge, she was up for it. She says, "There are a lot of affordable, really healthy foods."

She started with nothing -- no staples or spices, just one dollar to spend each day. Her plan was to stay simple and just buy what she needed for each day.

She adds, "So I went to bulk bins and got split peas, sunflower seeds, wheat berries, and some salt, corn meal." She didn't buy large amounts of these items, just what $1 would buy and just enough to get her through a day.

Because of her lifestyle, Currie only eats two meals each day and continued that through this challenge.

Breakfast would be anything from cornmeal mush, to steel-cut oats with toasted sunflower seeds and a tangerine. Dinner would be a little more hearty, she says, "Beans and rice, and corn meal mush again and then had a cabbage." She also made lots of different creations with jiffy mix. Eggs, pasta, potato, even chicken were part of her meals. So how did her first week go? Currie says, "First week was rough, if I would have felt like that the whole time I would have adjusted it."

On her blog, she shows each day's receipt and what her two meals consisted of. Rebecca was not partial to any particular store.

She shopped for bargains between several stores, but says she found some of the best deals at the local Spanish store.

Throughout the 30 days, hunger didn't really weigh on her mind. She says, "Even though it was low calorie it's all really filling, it's all high fiber and very large volume." So when the 30 days was up, how much did she spend? Currie says, "I actually spent $28.60."

There are a few other notes to this experiment. While she did go to the store 24 out of the 30 days, she says don't panic, she didn't waste money on gas, as she walked or rode her bike most of the days.

Did she lose weight? Yes, she lost about 8 pounds and was happy about that.

Is this something she would continue? No, she said it's more practical to spend about $3 a day, but the key to that is keeping your pantry and freezer stocked with staples and just buy what you need to compliment those items.

She also said you can save by buying frozen veggies. Never throw leftovers away instead freeze them and use them with other recipes.

To read more about Currie's challenge, just go to http://lessisenough.wordpress.com.

Rebecca's not encouraging others to try this. She said if you look at the calories for each of the 30 days, she admits to not getting enough. However, she said she felt fine. She just wanted to see if she could do it and then use what she learned to continue eating frugal. She suggests if someone does want to try it, adapt it to what works for you.

To learn about more money saving tips and freebies, check out Troubleshooter Diane Wilson's blog.


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