Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 33- Crazyness Ensues.

Sorry- Fell asleep before posting- oops... @10:34am

Can I start by just saying WOW!!!! I've been up about 28 hours straight now, so forgive me if this makes a bit less sense than usual. Right. So. Did you ever have something happen that was so totally unexpected that you couldn't quite believe it? That was yesterday. It's today too.

srs bsns

This was (is?) a blog mainly for me. That's kinda an important point here. I read a lot of people (on other sites- everyone here has been hugely supportive and sooo nice) who think I'm doing things wrong, or crazy, or illogically. But this is for me, first. I'll be happy if someone else is helped by this crazy thing I'm doing. Really though, if everyone went away tomorrow, I'd still be doing my thing here. Which is why they're my rules, I guess. So I totally welcome everyone here for entertainment, or education, or even just a chance to watch me crash and fail. But I won't change the way I'm doing things because of what other people think. I'm kinda stubborn like that.

So there have been a couple things that have come up in comments, and I will get to answering more of them later. Like why I'm blogging if I don't have a job, why I have internet, and why I'm not on food stamps. I'll answer those here, because they seem to be popular, and any others that come up a lot.

Why am I blogging? I wanted to do this year long food budget anyway, I have to eat even if I don't write about it, and it gives me a daily goal I can always meet. There might not be three new jobs to apply for, or seven new places to send a resume, but unless the power's out, I can get *something* up on here between 7 & 9 am, every day.

Why do I have internet if I'm so broke? Because it comes with the rent- sorta. I live with two other people, and the internet is split between the three of us. Even if I said I wanted to cancel it I'd still be out-voted. No cable in this house, so it's the household entertainment expense. *With* internet my rent, utilities and internet comes to $370 a month. I'm comfortable with that.

Why am I not on food stamps? I'm not broke because I'm out of a job. I was broke with a job too. I'll still be broke after I have a job, and there will be no food stamps then. Until I pay off a (rather embarrassing) collection of student loans and credit cards I'll be broke. I'd rather eat less expensive food than have to send someone else a check for what amounts to a decent mortgage payment a month forever. Chronicling it here just keeps me accountable- to myself.

While I'm sure I *could* put the 4 to 8 dollars a month I spend on lotto tickets into food instead, it would more likely go to gas for my car. I get more enjoyment out of the "what-if" game then I would utility out of 2 gallons of gas. Every budget has to have some squish. This is some of mine.

And I cheat because I'm getting used to living with a real food budget. Sometimes it's tougher than I expect to say no to something I would have said yes to so wildly two months ago. I was also spending more than $200 a month on food just for me two months ago. This isn't just a one month thing. It's tough to change habits. I'm working on it. I'm not perfect. Neither is anyone else. I'd rather I record it as it happens, then lie about it more.

Ok, now that business is over- I'm glad you all found me, even if I really wasn't expecting it.


Would you believe me if I said yesterdays breakfast of oatmeal was the easiest thing to eat all day? People started showing up in scary numbers after that, and freaking out had an effect on my appetite.

But by lunch time it was very time to eat. So I made what turned into goofy fried rice.

Sorta Fried Rice
  • 2C leftover rice
  • 2T water
  • 1C cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 C or less onion, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Oil for frying
  • salt to taste
  • splash or two soy sauce
heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. add veggies and salt to pan, flipping or stirring to cook them evenly without burning them. Turn the stove temperature down if you have to. Cook until the cabbage is wilted and any other veggies or other items are done cooking.

break left over rice into a bowl or plate. mix in water. Microwave until warmed through. pour veggies onto rice, mix in. Add soy sauce, mix more, eat.

makes 2+ c food.

Optional extras-
  • Meat or tofu- add chunks to pan before vegetables.
  • egg- make scrambled with no milk. Mix in when veggies and rice a mixed.
  • Any other veggie you can get your hands on.
I have a photo of the veggies cooking, but I'm crashing fast. I'll try to get it up by noon.

I ate as much as I could manage, between going "squee" and hitting refresh. I'll be eating it for breakfast as well, since I still hadn't finished it before I went out for the night.

Where I stole three fries off a friend of a friend's plate, and had two sips of a hard cider. Did you know that eating cabbage all day makes cider taste like puke? Tasted fine to everyone else.

I'll get those receipts up, really. Soon. It's just really boring to take pics of them, and a pain to get them clear and readable.

And to family and friends out there- I really do have plenty of food. Really.


  1. Grr. I had my comment written and it told me I needed to sign in to preview/post. Grr.

    I hope I didn't scare you. I'm not very scary. Really. Heh.

    You're doing an awesome job. I was in the same boat in the mid-'80s. I know, a much different time and place, but it's really amazing to me how it's no longer necessary to suffer alone. You can tell the world! And people will read, like, and encourage you! Wow.

    Don't worry about the anonymous lurkers who don't have anything better to do with their time than poke you with sharp written sticks. They can even be entertaining sometimes, too.


  2. I agree, every budget has to have some kind of splurge and if yours is soda and lottery tickets then so be it!

  3. Seeing as how we are all guests to your blog, I don't think you need to justify yourself to anyone for anything!

    Who cares if you buy lotto tickets? Who cares if you have internet? Why would anyone in the right frame of mind suggest you go on government assistance unless you were disabled and/or starving to death??

    The folks that are commenting on lottery tix, and luxuries such as internet (thats a joke btw) would pitch a fit if you were on gov't assistance with these things. Most of the time I am *broke* too. Only because all my bills are paid, everything is in savings, and Im out of extra spending money budgeted for that time frame. It doesn't mean Im living in squalor eating scraps out of the garbage, and still using the internet.

    *rolls eyes* Just keep doing your thing, girl, and dont mind the critics.

  4. I found your blog through MSN also and I just love it. I read all your posts yesterday and will be following your blog daily. I will be rooting for you and will also be trying some of your recipes(the sweet potato gnocchi) even though i'm not a vegan. You have inspired me to incorporate more vegatarian dishes into my diet. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. I was one of the people who made a comment about the lotto thing... but I did not intend for it to be critical/judgemental. I have nothing but respect for what you are doing and I very much enjoy reading this blog. Personally I think it is great that you are holding yourself accountable for your spending/debt (and on such a HUGE level). Do your thang!

  6. Lol. Thank you for that. Show me not to follow backlinks on my tracker... At least i know now why famous people don't google themselves. It'll drive you batty!

    @Julie- I promise I'm not easily scared. I've been known to go for long walks in Manhattan late at night by myself. Sometimes even North of the park. (or maybe that's crazy....) I remember what it was like in the '80's, even if only though the eyes of a little kid. The interwebs makes it much easier, much more connected.

    @Eileen and Shellie- at least it's budgeted splurge, right? I'm not sure if it's tougher dealing with the "spend less, why are you spending anything on that at all" crowd, or the "why bother, just get what you want" bunch...

    @Kaitlin- yay, you finded me! the gnocchi is sooo tasty, and so full of vitamins and minerals (or at least, until i nuked the potato it was... ) Let me know what you think of it, and any tweaks you come up with for it!

  7. Great blog! Such an interesting read during my boring days! Thanks! :D

  8. I obsessively read all of your posts yesterday, in between re-reading some feminist theory (awesome stuff) for my thesis. I'm really rooting for you...! I hope that I'll be inspired to live even half as frugally, as I'll be a poor med student pretty soon.

  9. I really commend you for the will power you have to eat for only $1 per day. I found your blog through MSN yesterday and just finished reading all of your posts. Right now we are at ~$400 per month budget although there are 3 of us. You are really inspiring me to re-think what I buy. In fact, I think I'm going to try your stir fry tonight!

  10. Hey there-

    Your blog was pimped in a post in the poor_skills LiveJournal community, so, I wandered over here from there.

    You mentioned sauerkraut a couple of entries ago. Have you thought about making your own? I've made kim chi a bunch of times, and sauerkraut seems to be about the same process. There are a ton of tutorials online.

    Anyway, I'm enjoying what you are doing. I'll definitely be checking back.

  11. @Tender- Don't worry. Mainly I'm trying to clear up any misconceptions people might have. No one out there knows me, so you don't know if I'm a 20 ticket a week madwoman, or an "only when the jackpot's over 200 million" kinda girl.

    @jliew- I'm sure you'll do great at being however frugal you want/ need to be as a med student. And you'll have built in co-sufferers, so it'll be easier to set up social eating on the cheap. I hope I can help you find ideas that work for you.

    @The Peters Family- $400 for 3 people isn't bad. I went through a coconut milk based Ice Cream buying/ eating phase a while ago that probably ran close to that.
    Let me know how it turns out, if you do try the stir fry, and remember, it's more a jumping off point than a recipe. Just use what you have, and that you know will taste good together. And don't be afraid to pull a little into a side pan for trying out more exotic combos. "Failed experiment dinner" makes no one happy. Except maybe the dog.

    @Lara- I'm afraid that, much like cancelling the interwebs, making sauerkraut in my house will have me sleeping in my car pretty fast. I might just have to pass up asparagus and buy it. Choices choices.

  12. Oh Good! I was hoping you would not change the way you are doing things due to more readers/comments etc. Your "cheats" are part of the fun and interest in reading this.

    Like the reader above I also decided to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my family's diet. Just by eating a meal of beans and rice once a week a family could save 25-40 dollars a month (depending on what is being replaced, of course!).

    This is a fun blog/experiment and I hope you get a book deal afterwards! That would rock.

  13. This really is so cool! And congrats already on taking the initiative! I wish you the best of luck. Granted, I know you aren't going through a cookbook, stuffing a duck or making aspics, but I can't help by associate "Julie" from Julie and Julia with you. Must just be the food thing. Lol.
    Anyway. So, I am an avid meat eater...don't know what I'd do without it. Haha, probably be vegan, I guess. But I do like and appreciate vegan food and have been trying since we married to convince my husband that tofu is not the devil. So, will definitely try your tricks of trade and fix some at home (never have, because like you said, I too was scared of the lump of stuff). But, looking forward to trying it! Would love to learn how to make agedashi tofu.
    So, I have a suggestion! Do you like sushi? Or veggie sushi rather? Since you have access to the Asian Market, you could pick up some seaweed/kelp wraps (don't think they are too pricey), but roll your own sushi with cucumber, avocado, asparagus, even some tofu, with rice. And if you could get your hands on a little panko, you could make your own "crunchy rolls". Could be tasty!
    Best of luck to you! Looking forward to future posts!

  14. J. - Huge applause; better yet, standing ovation. As most people have already said, "blah blah MSN Money" - I commend your hard work, spirit, and brutal honesty. If I were in your situation I would not set up a blog to push myself and share my experience with others - Ok I would set up a blog to share my experience , better yet "bitching" -- I would share my bitching with others. I started from the beginning and now here I am all up to date and intrigued (I don't think I am even close to spelling that right). I would like to send some green your way - no, not the kind you smoke green, or the kind you eat green (although I hear you can eat the kind you smoke....whoda thunk?) - if you are OK with the kind of green that provides a history lesson of the dead presidents, please email me - - Yes, I did just provide my ACTUAL email; I know, I can't believe it either.... Cheers J.

  15. Totally agree with shelliemonster and like Kaitlin I'm inspired by the sweet potato gnocchi. Thank you for the reality check btw. I am totally ashamed of how much I throw away.

  16. Oh yeah, the whole "upsetting people you live with with unpleasant smells" thing. Among the reasons that it's probably for the best that I only live with people I'm sleeping with or gave birth to.