Day Twenty One

Yummy Southwestern Tortilla Soup.

Yummy Southwestern Tortilla Soup.

We have ventured into new territory. Soup! One of the challenges we’ve faced is trying to make a variety of meals with limited ingredients. We are eating a good deal of bean, rice, chickpea, and tomato based foods. I am sure there are infinite numbers of meals that we could create, if we had the time to look.

While the meals we have made have been good, it requires more planning in advance than we are used to. On Saturday, I made a loaf of bread, a batch of wheat gluten, a pot of refried beans, and a soup that will feed us for two more meals. Today I made another soup for dinner that will last just as long. This is probably close to enough food for the remaining nine days. It helps to prepare the food in advance so we are not left without something to eat.

I believe that in some ways this will change the way we will make food beyond September. I went to the grocery store the other day to find inexpensive frozen peas and I spent some time wandering down the aisles. It is interesting how many prepackaged and frozen meals there are. Of course, they are fast and easy to make, and I am sure that some of them are quite tasty. Still, it seems sad that this, along with fast food, is the Standard American Diet.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days when we come home from work tired and the idea opening a can of soup or going out seems much more appealing than getting something together from scratch. Many times (before September) we would give in, even if we knew it was not good for us or it was more expensive than eating at home. I am also not saying that we will never eat prepackaged food again. However, I am still excited by the thought of knowing all of the ingredients in what we are eating.

Another benefit is that there is also considerably less packaging with the way we are eating and therefore less waste. We took the trashcans to the curb tonight and we had a full recycle bin (but we had not taken it to the street for two weeks) and our trash can had only 1 bag in it.


P.S. We made smaller tortillas this time and were able to get more out of the batch. That is why the cost has changed.

Daily Totals:

Breakfast: 3 Pancakes- $0.15 (Kerri had only 2), 2 TBSP Maple Syrup – $0.08

Lunch: Spaghetti – $0.30 ( pasta – $0.15, 1/2 cup sauce – $0.15)

Snack: 3 Tortilla Chips w/ Guacamole – FREE (Christopher only – Foraged from grocery store)

Dinner: 1 Bowl of Southwestern Tortilla Soup – $0.18, Salad – $0.15 (1/4 carrot – $0.03, 1/6 heart of romaine – $0.08, TBSP Garbanzo beans-$0.04), 2 TBSP dressing – $0.06, 2 Tortillas – $0.08

Christopher Total: $1.00

Kerri Total: $0.95

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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6 responses to “Day Twenty One

  1. lynda holeva

    Hi Guys,

    The soups from both days look great! Can you post the recipes or tell me where to find them? Especially the broccoli potato soup! Thanks!


  2. Cathy S.

    I totally agree with you on the packaged food…but that is the business end…our obsession with food.

    How come we don’t have Vegan Markets? I really think there is a business opportunity there.

    I’m glad you’ve discovered soup. I was happy to see your posts on that. Grandma always had many frugal recipes and potato soup was one of the best.

    Just a few days ago a post about Colorado farmers were allowing the needy to glean their crops and one gleaner was so grateful for the potatoes and onions. He said he could make a great soup that would last him for several days. He was so thankful.

  3. Mdeezy

    Can I have the recipe for the tortilla soup and homemade tortillas?

  4. Katy M.

    Hey Guys,
    I’m reading this behind the times (just got wind of the experiment this week). Congrats on the one bag of trash. My fiancé and I have been making an effort to fill our recycling bin twice as full as our trash can. I’m happy to report that we have succeeded for almost four months now. We even replaced our raccoon chewed; old trash can (by recycling it of course) with a much smaller metal one that seems indestructible. If we’re nearing a second bag of garbage in one week one of us goes through everything to see if there was something we missed. Usually we find quite a few items. I find myself excited by washing out soup cans and picking up discarded pieces of junk mail from around the house just to put them in our recycling can. I just wanted to let you know that there are other people out there trying to make a difference with one project at a time. Keep up the good work!

  5. Lorraine

    BTW since tomatoes have tons of vitamin C you probably didn’t need the Tang! there is also vitamin C in some beans and in mushrooms, green peppers, onions etc. so getting scurvy would probably not have happened even in 30 days. Congratulations on you experiment!

  6. Christine

    hi guys..

    found your site through a link on i am finding your experiment very very interesting, especially because of the many changes people are having to make today with the even tougher economic times.
    I am curious to know how much weight you two have lost, if any and if you’ve had any health problems – colds, lack of energy, etc. Obviously vitamins are out of your budget… have you noticed any health changes?

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