Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Living off of $1.00 a day...

If you read the title of this post, you will realize which item we are currently attempting to cross off of our bucket list. We are living off of $1.00 a day this week! Because the majority of the world lives off of less than $2.00 a day, Jeff and I decided to give it a try for a week. Sad thing is, it is nearly impossible to completely live off of $1.00 a day here. If we truly wanted to see what it is like to live like the majority of human beings in the world, we would have to turn off our heat, water, cable, internet, etc. So for now, Jeff and I are simply eating off of a dollar a day.

We headed to the grocery store on Sunday night with $14.00 in our pockets (1 dollar a day for each of us for 7 days). We probably could have researched coupons and sales more, but we wanted to see what we could actually get with simply $14.00. We instantly found ourselves in the pasta aisle and nowhere near the produce section of the grocery store. Don't understand? I'll help you understand our craziness...

1. What did you buy? Peanut butter, bread, jelly, eggs, oatmeal, carrots, pasta, 1 mini pizza (for Jeff one day as a splurge) and also bananas that are not pictured because they were all green in the first store we stopped at.

2.) Did you really only spend $14.00? I'll let you see for yourself. We spent $12.47 then bought 6 bananas at another grocery store bringing the grand total to $14.00.

3.) What does a day of eating look like?

Caitlin: Banana and peanut butter for breakfast, pb & j sandwich for lunch, 2 eggs and toast for dinner.

Jeff: Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana for breakfast, pb & j and carrots for lunch, pasta with salt for dinner. Funny thing is, Jeff was super excited for plain pasta. Before we were married, he lived on his own and ate plain pasta at least 4 times a week for dinner. Good thing I came along to help the guy out...

4.) Do you get hungry? Not really. Last night we tried to hold off on dinner until 7 pm since we can only eat a small amount and can't snack later, and by 6:30 our stomachs were telling us they were hungry! Overall, we are eating enough to sustain us. Is it the healthiest diet? No, which brings me to the next question...

5.) What have you learned from this experience? Well, it is still only day 2 of living off of $1.00 a day and I plan to write another post at the end of the week on our experience. However I did learn one thing immediately- the difficulty of eating healthy for those who have little money. The cheapest vegetable I could find were carrots and even those I considered a treat since they cost about $2.00. I remember watching a scene in Food Inc. (one of my favorite movies) where a family with little money had no other choice but to feed their children McDonald's because it was so much cheaper than buying fresh produce. It was important for their children to feel full, and McDonald's did that for them. I guess overall, I have learned how incredibly "messed up" our food system is in the United States.

So it is day 2 of this challenge and we are going strong! It is kind of nice to not have to think about cooking, and of course we are saving money this week by doing this ;) More importantly though, we are learning how the majority of the world lives and how truly blessed we are. Sometimes I complain to Jeff about being "poor" since we are living off of only my salary for two years, but in actuality we are incredibly rich. Anyone reading this blog right now is incredibly rich. So now we must ask ourselves, what are we doing with our wealth? Are we keeping it all to ourselves, or helping those in need? Something to think about today...


brandi said... Best Blogger Tips

this is so interesting! great experiment to try out.

Amber R. Timlin said... Best Blogger Tips

You might have been able to get even more from the store if you had bought the generic brands instead of those big names. The generic ones cost almost 50% less sometimes and taste the same. Also a way to get some veggies in there on such a small budget are frozen peas and vegetable medleys.

I know all this from living off an actual budget like that in college.

freeflying_soul said... Best Blogger Tips

I think it's admirable what your doing but I have one question. I don't mean to pry but Jeff had oatmeal which is pictured but not listed in what you bought. Pardon my OCD coming out but is this just something you forgot to mention you bought?

Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two said... Best Blogger Tips

Amber-The only thing we didn't buy generic was peanut butter because the difference was only a few cents and the jelly. The bread and pasta were on sale for cheaper than the generic brand :)

Freeflying- Yes, I just forgot to list the oatmeal!

Beth said... Best Blogger Tips

What a terrific post. You're right -- we all have so much, and it's great to step back and be grateful for what we have.

Danielle (elleinadspir) said... Best Blogger Tips

When I first found your blog a few weeks ago I saw this in your list and thought it was a great thing to do. My son is only 4 now, bit I'd love to do this with him when he's older. I think it would be a great lesson. I think by the end of the week you willbe craving fruit. It's a shame how expensive fruits and veggies can get, but they are. Good luck to you both! Can't wait to read more.

Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great idea to try it with your son! I would love to try this with my kids one day-I am sure they wouldn't be too thrilled with it, but would learn so much from the experience. Oh and I am craving fruit and veggies SO much more than sweets now. Thanks for stopping by :)

Lisa S said... Best Blogger Tips

I think this is an amazing thing! I wish more people had mindsets like you both!

Muriel Miller said... Best Blogger Tips

This is honestly one of the coolest things I have ever heard of! Great way to MAJORLY be reminded of how lucky and blessed we are here in the U.S. I seriously want to try this out! Thanks for the inspiration and can't wait to read how the rest of your week turns out! Good Luck!

Rachel said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, I love this idea. A book came out last year, where a couple attempted to live off the food stamp allowance amount for a year, but it's definitely higher than $1 a day. Can't wait to hear how it goes at the end!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

It's an interesting idea. I'd probably go for more beans and canned foods, which could be easily done at the 99Cents Only store, which also has a great produce department.
I once calculated how much we spend per meal and since I cook from scratch, it's about $2.25.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Did you have a follow up post? I cant seem to find it.

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