Day Nineteen

Movie theater popcorn is pricey and unhealthy.

Movie theater popcorn is pricey and unhealthy.

Some days I feel like this is getting easier; we know the routine and we have an idea about how much our meals cost. Other days it feels harder; there is not much variety and I rarely feel full (but thanks to the person who posted the tip about freezing homemade bread, I am enjoying my PB&J again) .

Other than work related events and other obligations, we have not ventured out much during this experiment. We have had no need for grocery shopping; we are not eating out; any where we might go with people is likely to involve food. So we have just been spending time with each other.

Tonight we treated ourselves to a movie. It was $20 for our two tickets. I usually groan about the cost of movie tickets, but I don’t dwell on it. However, this time I thought about the fact that we have spent less money than that on meals in the past 19 days. As I listened to people unwrap candy bars, slurp sodas, and crunch popcorn, I couldn’t help but think about how much everything costs. Not only that, but we pay it without much thought. (As I was writing the sentence about candy bars I just realized that I have not had chocolate for 19 days either…. how has that managed to escape my mind?)

It is about $4.75 for a large popcorn (we could make the same amount at home for about $0.24), a soda is about $3.75 (if I remember correctly from my days working at a movie theater, the syrup and carbonated water cost approximately $0.19 per large). That is pretty expensive. Of course, no one has to go to the movies or buy concessions if they do go. I realize that if we were truly in a situation where we had to eat on only a dollar a day, we probably would have stayed home tonight.

We did get a discount of one dollar. We smiled at each other as Christopher pointed out that this was a full day’s worth of food.


Daily Totals:

Breakfast: Oatmeal – $0.05 (less than a cup cooked)

Lunch: 1/2 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich – $0.16, 1/2 an Orange – $0.09

Snack: 1 peanut butter cookie – $0.06 (Christopher only)

Dinner: Homemade Wheat Gluten Steaks – $0.20, spanish rice – $0.11, Fried potatoes – $0.15 (one potato each – $0.10, Oil to fry them in – $0.04)

Dessert: 2 peanut butter cookie – $0.12

Christopher Total: $0.94

Kerri Total: $0.88

Donation Total: $652


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). We will post evidence of donations at the end.



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3 responses to “Day Nineteen

  1. Susan

    Nine cents for half an orange? Where does one find that?

  2. Em

    Hi Susan,

    If I remember correctly, Kerri and Christopher got a 10 lb bag of oranges for an excellent price, and so the 1 orange used for the 1/2 each portion above was “ammortized” over the whole bag’s sale price.

    Bulk purchases, (on sale, in season, from a co-op or warehouse store), are the least expensive commercial purchase.

    Only growing your own is less expensive, at least for certain items, if you have the space and time to garden (obviously, try to grow the most expensive items, which often don’t require a lot of space) OR grow the items which are most “basically nutritious” OR choose those with the longest growing season and best shelf-life. A food plant that fits all 3 is obviously first choice on the list!

    With all that in mind, make sure that every chance you get, plant a fruit tree! Orchards take decades to mature and you are helping to feed our children and grandchildren. Read about how to plant seeds and trees and even if you do not own land, then ask your city’s arborist to also plant food trees, especially in parks, where people can safely harvest the food.


    Dear Kerri and Christopher,

    I admire your tenacity, and will read all the way to the end. I’ll keep my counsel for the moment, until I get to Day 30, as you have already finished the project, but I certainly want to say that I admire all the thought-provoking commentary along the way.

    Best to all — Em
    “Everyone knows someone who needs this information!” (TM)

  3. Homemade Wheat Gluten Steaks can anyone tell me what this is. it really does not very good. I just found this site and i am very impressed way to go both of you and hope your book will be out very soon

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