Day Fourteen

Salad and Polenta

Salad and Polenta

It was the cookies.

Perhaps having the start of this project coincide with the beginning of school was not good planning. Not that people get to decide the most convenient time to not be able to afford food. We both have a lot going on at the start of the year, more than usual this year. I feel this change in our lives has had an impact on my patience.

Everything at work is fine, I love my students and being in the classroom. The difference is that I seem to save any frustrations from the day so that I can share them with Christopher in the evening (read: take them out on him). Yesterday we had a battle about cookies.

In the past two days, I had two different groups of students bake cookies for me. I did not get to eat them. The second plate of cookies came while I was at a debate tournament that I was running, hosting, and had 15 students competing in. These competitions are always a bit stressful. The tournament went very well and the only major malfunction was me.

When I got the cookies, I called Christopher to discuss my plan to eat one, maybe just a half. They were being sold at our concession stand so I felt it was fair for me eat half a cookie as long as I charged myself in my daily total. A very tense discussion followed and when we hung up, we were both pretty angry. I called later to apologize and when he brought me dinner, as he had both nights of the tournament, he had made cookies.

I think we were hasty on our rules. We did not consider too many “what if” scenarios; there is gray area and we are always stressing over what is fair. If someone was eating on a dollar a day and there was free food available, I am sure they would take it. Today we went to Costco for a non food item, and had to renew our membership. The cost of a membership is $50. We weren’t sure if it was fair for us to buy food there or not.

In the end we did, but we did not take any samples because you must have a membership card to enter. Our parents will be happy to know that we now have vegetables in our home. We were able to find broccoli for just two cents an ounce more than the Dollar store, carrots, and romaine lettuce. We also bought Tang which is full of sugar, but has vitamin C and several others. On our way home we stopped at a small farmers market and found oranges for $5 for 10 pounds.

Smiling with a tummy full of salad and polenta,


P.S. We have started on our food cost index and I will begin posting a few recipes this evening.

Daily Totals:

Breakfast: 1 waffle – $0.20, McDonald’s syrup (free), half a peanut butter cookie – $0.03

Lunch: No lunch.

Appetizer: 8 oz of Tang – $0.07

Dinner: Salad – $0.19 (1/4 carrot – $0.03, cherry tomatoes from garden – $0.04, 1/4 heart of romaine – $0.12), 1tbsp dressing – $0.18, Polenta – $0.09, Marinara Sauce – $0 .13

Desert:1 peanut butter cookie – $0.07, 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter – $0.03 (Christopher only)

Christopher Total: $0.99

Kerri Total: $0.96

Donation Total: $515


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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9 responses to “Day Fourteen

  1. 😀 that debate comp was fun, I wish I could have debated (I’m a novice). O well, I could always attempt to start a debate with Mr.Greenslate, during 😛

    After Friday and Saturday, I now know Mr. Greenslate delivers.

    Anyways, all jokes aside good job!


  2. whoaps*

    I meant to say:

    I could always attempt to start a debate with Mr.Greenslate, during class. 😛

  3. I severely admire you two. This is exceptional – fantastic idea…and you’re actually doing it!

    You rock.

  4. gunner

    two questions. Have you thought of posting your caloric intake also. That might be eye opening to some.

    The polenta sounds good.

    Also. As a kid I loved wild onions plucked from my own front yard and cooked with chopped potatoes. They are ‘strong’ flavored, but can spice up a lot of food….heck. I need to go and get some now.

  5. Joanna Tang

    Hm, so that’s why I kept seeing Mr. Greenslate at SDA, haha. :]

    I followed the link from the LCC school website to here, and wow. This is an amazing idea, and it’s amazing to me how you two are able to stick to it. If it were me, I’d cheat and immediately have some justification to ease my guilt. ;-;

    I’m only just now starting to realize how much food impacts our lives. It’s weird, because we take it for granted so much.

    Well, either way, keep up the good work!!

  6. So glad you got some veggies in!

  7. Rhonda

    I’m in tears at your absolute goodness. As a vegetarian, my heart has been breaking the last few weeks over the pain and suffering that animal endure. I’ve been so frustrated by the evil of humans that I had just about given up hope. Thanks so much for bringing that back to me — I needed it today.

  8. Cathy S.

    Well I must try and locate your post on your rules because I think you could have had a cookie.
    The membership at Costco to get the food at discount….ooh. I think that might have twisted it a bit. Should then all of your food that was purchased at Costco then be subjected to your rules?

    It is rather unfortunate for Californians, that live in the most plentiful and productive agricultural state in the US, to be subjected to extremely high food prices and having to resort to Big Box membership stores in order to save on buying in bulk. The land is so full of abundance where you live!

    I have always found this truth to be extremely frustrating! I once went to a farmers market in Santa Fe and politely refused to pay $3.00 for the ear of corn.

    In Illinois/Indiana (where I live now) I just couldn’t do it, not when I knew I could get 10 ears for a buck.

    So far I’m still reading… but it just seems like you all have subjected yourselves to some rules that are making this very difficult on you. The big one is trying to do this Vegan. I’d hoped that I would have read by now that the frugal farmer’s wife once could take a chicken and make several meals out of it…
    Stew the chicken…make a gallon of broth for soups, use the breast meat for chicken salad, the back and legs for an enchilada casserole and the remainder for the chicken noodle soup…and still have plenty of broth leftover for a cucumber soup. The cucumber of course taken from the garden from a plant that would produce 25-30 cucumbers…pennies…not even pennies.

    I’m thinking “I wonder if they will be canning anything…no…probably not…this experiment must probably be about being a homeless vegan…keep reading”.

    The chicken would only have cost you $2-$3.00 and have produced many meals. Not sure if seitan can give you the same. Your lightheadedness would probably have gone away.

    (Of course my comments are in real time as I read this)…I’m still reading…

  9. Robbie

    The cheapest chicken currently in CA at Safeway is whole chicken at $1.29 per pound (and this, of course, includes bones.) One pound of chicken (not including bones) = 1075 calories. You can get a pound of pinto beans in bulk at Safeway for $1. A pound of pinto beans = 1223 calories.

    Meat is a luxury.

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