Day Three

Kerri contemplates the cost of toothpaste

Kerri contemplates the cost of toothpaste

For the past three days I have been thinking about my toothpaste. I use Tom’s of Maine and it costs between $3.99-$4.99 depending on where we buy it. In fact, we buy it at the place that is slightly more expensive because they carry the one we like best.

When we decided to see what it was like to eat on only a dollar a day, I did not realize that it would make me examine other parts of my life and what I have. So often in my head I have a fantastic rendition of the song “Ain’t Got No” from the musical Hair. Of course it sounds amazing because like all other musicals and performances that take place in my imagination, I am the lead. The song is a list of all the things that the characters in the play do not have, for example one ain’t got no underwear, one ain’t got no schooling, and one ain’t got no man. I happen to have all of those things and more.

I don’t feel like Christopher and I live extravagantly by any means. I often stress out about money; it is hard not to. I worry about getting the things we need just to live. Gas is expensive, food is expensive, taking care of our three companion animals is expensive. I took our dog, Horatio, to the vet this summer and walked out $200 lighter.

I also have things I want, and that is when the “Ain’t got no” song really comes up. I would like to travel more. I have always wanted to go to the pyramids in Egypt. I want to be able to fly home to see my family in Northern California without going broke. I would like to have a fence for my garden so the dogs will stop eating my plants (they ate everything except the tomatoes… they have just now started on those). I would like to replace our tile and carpet.

That brings me to the point I have been rambling away from. I often don’t stop to think about what I do have. A fantastic family, Christopher and our “kids”, our house which we bought last year, we have great jobs, we each have a car, gym memberships, we are healthy, and that is just scratching the surface. The other thing that amazes me is that I also (usually) have the privilege of being able to eat fresh organic fruit everyday. It made me sad (and also frustrated, why is produce a luxury?) when I realized that was a privilege.

I just finished eating a delicious dinner of Chana Masala which was too spicy and a very small portion. I am going to go brush my teeth with my $5 toothpaste.

Looking forward to tonight’s peanut butter on a spoon desert,


Daily Totals:

Breakfast: Oatmeal – $0.06, 1 TBSP Peanut Butter on 1/2 piece of bread – $0.10 (Christopher only), 1/3 TBSP of margarine – $0.02 (Kerri only)

Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (homemade bread, 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Jelly) – $0.36, 2 Cups popped popcorn – $0.07 (Kerri only)

Dinner: Chana Masala – $0.25, Rice – $0.11

Desert: 1 TBSP Peanut Butter – $0.05

Kerri Total: $0.94

Christopher Total: $0.88

Donation Total: $135

NOTE: If you think what we’re doing is interesting, inspiring, or just plain nutty, consider SPONSORING our efforts. Simply enter in an amount, click “update total” and follow the prompting. If you don’t have PayPal, it will let you use a credit card. At the end of the of the month all proceeds will go to the Community Resource Center (here in Encinitas, CA) and/or the ONE campaign. We will post evidence of donations at the end.



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6 responses to “Day Three

  1. Scott

    Next time, try brushing with plain old baking soda. I’ve been using it for the past 12 years. It’s cheap, and it works.
    Just avoid the famous Arm&Hammer brand, since Procter & Gamble tortures animals.

  2. Is this causing you to feel hungry and/or to loose weight? Claudia

  3. SoulScorp

    I really appreciate that you are discussing being happy with what you have. Appreciation, thankfulness and acknowledging our privilege is will help change our spending and eating habits.

    Amazing project

  4. Tara

    It really is sad that produce is a luxury, considering the fact you can buy the seeds for say organic cauliflower 100 for $2.95 even if only half germinate that’s only about 6 cents per a head. The reason it is so expensive in grocery stores is because of shipping mostly.

    If you redo this experiment in the summer you might try growing some plants in a window box, it would add freshness to your diet and make it less restrictive.

  5. nancy of napoli

    any gimmick is a good gimmick if it provides you any of the various kinds of profits you are seeking to derive from it. There is an urgent need for the majority of the U.S. populace to abandon all the ubiquitous excessiveness of consumerism and dishonest behavior. Perhaps the present crisis is a jolt and a reminder to bring us back to real values.
    A good and timely epiphany .

  6. mandie nace

    I just realized how much of a luxury fresh produce was when i started working at a community center. I deal mostly w/troubled children and teens. We get sponsored by the pennsylvania food bank and they are awesome enough to supply us with all kinds of soups, grains, etc. But one day as i was putting together our weekly bags of food we send home w/the kids, there was nothing fresh, nothing whole. It was all highly processed foods. Fresh produce really is a luxury and it shouldn’t be.

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