At the end of last school year Christopher and I were loaned the first three seasons of Lost and were immediately engrossed in the happenings on “The Island.” Charlie is one of my favorite characters; as we watched I would frequently comment that he is now my favorite hobbit as well (Sorry, Samwise Gamgee). In one scene he is trying to help out the pregnant Claire and all she wants is peanut butter which is difficult to come by on a seemingly uninhabited island. He eventually brings her an empty jar and the two of them imagine themselves eating peanut butter off of their fingers.
This morning I drank my coffee in a similar fashion. I spent several minutes walking around with an imaginary cup while talking to Christopher, pausing every once in a while to take a sip. Fortunately, he knows that I am crazy, so he was not too shocked. I will probably speak more of coffee at a later point. I have a slight addiction. In fact, I actually stopped drinking coffee a week ago just to make sure I would not be cranky the first few days of this experiment. I think that helped me today.
That is not to say this will be easy for me. This morning as we ate our 6 cents worth of oatmeal, I was already pointing out (pleading) to Christopher that if we split only one tablespoon of margarine for our oatmeal it would only cost 3 cents and it would greatly improve the flavor. He resisted the temptation. Grudgingly, I did too knowing that it might mean a larger meal later. We already know who will be the weakest link.
This is beginning to change the way we look at food.
Last week we were trying to eat up all of the food in our house so we could start clean and I got a bit frustrated. We had jelly, but no peanut butter or bread, we had lettuce and a can of refried beans, but no tortillas. We had a couple of cans of soup, but that was all I had for lunch that week ( I think. I may have my lunches mixed up… in any case it was hot and stuffy in our house and soup was not going to work for me). I laughed when Christopher said we could just make tortillas, but he pointed out to me that millions of people make their own tortillas everyday. So we gave it a shot.
That night we had burritos with Spanish rice (I made that!), refried beans, tortillas, the remains of our Sour Supreme, and some lettuce. That was the turning point for me. I could eat burritos for every meal of everyday, so I knew I would survive. Of course by the end of this I may change my mind.
We repeated that meal tonight, minus the Sour Supreme, but we made our refried beans from scratch. Much to my joy we came in far enough under our dollar that we could each have a small amount of lettuce and one serving of taco sauce on our burritos. I made a big batch of refried beans yesterday and we made the rice and tortillas tonight. We have divided these into portions, so we will most likely be having these as components in at least two, but probably three, more meals this week. I guess I will get to test that previous claim.
We were both very aware all day today about when we should be eating meals. When we realized that we only ate 91 cents worth of food today we were able to have desert: one tablespoon of peanut butter on a spoon… no bread, it was too much.
It seems odd to me that we have the luxury of doing this as an experiment when there are millions of families who have to budget their meals like this everyday.
I am nervous for this, but looking forward to see what challenges come up. For the first day, it was not bad. We have already had a generous donation of $100 which will go to the Community Resource Center or the One campaign. Thanks for your support.
Breakfast: 1 cup cooked oatmeal – $0.06
Lunch: PB and J sandwich on homemade bread – $0.36, 2cups popped popcorn with salt – $0.07
Dinner: 2 Bean and Rice Burritos – $0.42 ( Beans – $0.07, Rice -$0.11, Tortillas – $0.05ea., small strips of Lettuce – $0.07, 1 TBSP taco sauce – $0.12)
Dessert: 1TBSP Peanut butter – $0.05