Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 4

Finally made it to some stores for tasty food on my list. Some of the stuff was still more than I'm willing to pay, and some of the stuff I want to try and get somewhere else, but I've got quite the little haul now.

I walked, as is starting to seem usual now, and found a whole bunch of stuff in the area I'm willing to walk to that I wasn't expecting, including a small health food/ vitamin store, and a primarily mexican grocer.

I think it's important here to stop for a second and make what might be a silly point.

I am spending more than a dollar a day right now.

I know, silly thing to point out, right? I'm actually doing it on purpose, because with a (somewhat) stocked pantry I don't have to:
  • walk to the store as often,
  • buy smaller batches for more, or
  • figure out what to make with half an onion and some oatmeal.
I don't have everything I want yet, and some of the stuff I bought yesterday I found this afternoon for less- like close to 30% less, but that's learning, right? I know where to buy that item now.

So onto the shopping!
This is from the Mexican grocer. It's for some chili powder and cinnamon. I was also tempted by but didn't get a "box" of adobo sauce.

At the dollar store I used my card and got some other stuff as well, only $3.06 of this comes out of my money for the year. I have to replace $4 I used for something else yesterday when I needed cash. Cinnamon was cheaper here, and if I do lots of breakfasty baking, I'll pick up a 50 cent container here next time. I also got mustard, which I use in several recipes, but mostly in a "cheese" recipe I have.

Save a lot I did in two batches
Veggies- a month's worth of onions and (hopefully) carrots, and a good sized cabbage. That's $1.72 (with tax) for monthly veggies, and $0.72 for weekly ones, though I expect the cabbage to last more than a week.

And the main shopping. Wins (relatively) here include 10# of rice for 50 cents a pound, black beans right @ $1/lb, and pintos and lentils for 79 cents a pound. If only I loved pintos and lentils, I'd be rolling in beans. The flour was close to my goal of 25 cents a pound.

This place also had veggie oil for about $2, or almost 80 cents less than I paid last night. Oops.

But now I can cook!!!

So totals for today-
  • $1.72 for monthly veggies, leaving $3.28 for later
  • $0.72 for veggies for *this* week, leaving $1.78
  • $20.96 for staples/ basic stuff
So far I've spent a total of $34.82. Do I think I have a month's worth of food? Except for veggies, I have easily 2 or three months of food, I hope...

Ohh, today so far I've eaten oatmeal-
I don't have fruit yet, so I don't think it's going to look any better anytime soon.
  • 1/2C quick oats
  • 1C water
  • salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1tsp of silk creamer
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar (needs more)
  • 1tsp EB
Microwaved to perfect paste consistency. Yum. And for dinner, stir fry!

I'm thinking about putting a countdown ticker thingy in the sidebar. Days and dollars, both going down, I think...



  1. I think a countdown of days and money would be great. ;)

  2. I second the idea of a ticker since you are slightly off a calendar year it might help some people visualize. Of course there will be times of more money than days...and times of more days than money. Have you seen the blog about feeding 4 on $800 last two years? You might like... (you have to go back a ways though b/c she stopped doing the strict $800 this year). There are sooo many blogs out there on cooking for less...hopefully lots of resources for you on those uninspired days.

  3. I think you should put the ticker.
    I see that you have adsense ads on here, are you going to use that income (as small as it may be) to supplement your food budget?

  4. I just discovered your blog, and it really is much more interesting than the usual dollar a day social projects. I wish you well in your endeavour.

    As an aside, I wanted to mention that for me (your mileage, of course, may vary), steel cut oats keep me full longer and when purchased in the bulk bin are roughly the same cost. To get around the "they take for f'ing ever to cook" issue, I just do them at night: fry the oats in a touch of oil, add water and salt, bring to a boil then boil for one minute. Then cover and turn off the heat. In the morning when you wake up, you can heat it up w/ any additives you're using.

    If there's a Middle Eastern market nearby you, I've found they are an excellent resource for cheap grains, spices and dried fruits.

  5. New to the blog. If you have a rice cooker, then time shouldn't be a problem when cooking steel cut oats (or rolled oats, quick oats, barley, or any other grain).