1. I’m new to the site, how do I read through the entries from the beginning to see how your experiment unfolded? All you need to do is click here and go through day by day.
2. Are you still eating on one dollar a day? No.
3. Will you share your month long menu with me so that I can do this too? No. Everything we ate was posted on the blog at the end of each day in September. We don’t recommend that you replicate this experiment. It isn’t healthy, and could be dangerous.
4. Can I get on your mailing list? We don’t have one. You can subscribe by clicking on “RSS.”
5. I am a publisher/agent/journalist/company/nutritionist that would like to get in touch with you. How do I do that? Email: Greenslate@gmail.com and if you’d like to speak with our publicist: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Why is the media paying so much attention to you? Because the economics of food is relevant to people’s daily lives, especially now, and we have provided a way for millions of people to access the conversation.
7. Why didn’t my comment get approved? We approve nearly all comments, including ones we don’t agree with. However, if your comment attacks us personally, or another person who has commented, we will not approve it. We approach it like a classroom discussion: everyone has a chance to raise their hand and be heard, but if you’re disrespectful we move on to someone who is adding value to the conversation.
8. Why didn’t you: plant a garden, go to the farmer’s market, eat sprouts, eat eggs, use bones to make broth, buy apples, scavenge in your neighborhood, etc? We did the best we could given our particular situation. Chances are, our lives, and the specifics of our situation are different than yours are. We would have loved to do many of the things you have suggested, many of which we did try, but didn’t post about. We encourage you to share your insights with others, including how you would have done things differently; we’d love to learn from you.
9. What exactly is a “Social Justice” teacher? That depends on who the teacher is, and the context in which he or she is teaching. For us, it means that we each teach an elective course titled “Social Justice” at our respective public high school sites. The course was developed by Christopher four years ago in response to student interest in taking an active role in response to human rights, animal protection, and environmental issues. The course pedagogy is inquiry based and relies on student investigation and dialogue about a whole host of inter-related issues. For more info click here. Christopher has a M.ED. specializing in Humane Education from the Institute for Humane Education.
10. Are you writing a book? Yes. In an attempt to answer some of the questions left after eating on a dollar a day, we tried some new experiments in early 2009. All of which will be recounted in the forthcoming book. It will be published by Hyperion in January of 2010. You can pre-order it by visiting one of the following sites: Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound.
72 responses to “FAQ”
Hello i would love yo be on your mailing list and recieve your web postings, thankyou
Very interested in this. One of the things I like about living where I do (Morocco) is that the economy is still very strongly agricultural. This imprints the culture (people are happy when it rains, rather than talking about ‘bad’ weather, for example, and there’s a pervasive connection to the land that, while weakening, persists). It also means that fresh and seasonal veggies are cheap and within most people’s reach. Organic, I don’t know about. Neither the concept nor the practice get much play here. Cheap and poor quality, imported white flour is subsidized by the state, as are sugar and processed oil, and this takes its toll on what’s otherwise a fairly healthful (not to mention tasty) cuisine. Red meat – and animal protein in all its forms – is prohibitively expensive for the poor. When they eat it, they do so in portions that are ridiculously small by North American standards (except at weddings and after the main religious festival, when that’s all people eat for a couple weeks, usually mutton). Certain kinds of fish are affordable for the working poor, especially sardines, anchovies (fresh, usually served deep fried, with the lightest coatings of white flour), mackerel…Fruit’s expensive, except for melons, oranges, tangerines in season…Anyway…sorry if this is a bore to you. It’s something I think about and I love your concept.
Good for you guys! Not sure if I would have the willpower to do this, but I’m proud of my two fellow San Diegans for doing it.
I’ll take another pass at your food log and maybe I’ll try it. Take care of yourselves and good luck.
Very interesting. One thing you might consider is growing some fresh fruits/vegetables. Seeds are very cheap and some of these items can be grown in pots. Also, if you would like to contribute to one of my husband’s blogs (I am thinking, the Healing Zone would be a good one for this subject matter) that would be great. We can also do some link exchange to your blog as well. My husband is a chemistry lab instructor at ASU and will be starting a PHD in sustainability next fall. Hence you blog interests us very much. Also, I might suggest another web site http://www.cheapskatemonthly.com/ this has tons of tips.
Good luck with your new research projects.
wow! this is really something. imagine if you guys grew your own food and only spent money on the essentials!…not gonna lie TOTALLY idea casting right here. lol
I love this idea. I just went to the store today for sandwich food ($18.59) and 3 gallons of milk ($10.32) and the cost was staggering. 1 tomato was $1.99!!! It will only last a couple of days.
We could all take a page from your book.
Wow! $1 a day is amazing, though you couldn’t get a lot of the more nutricious items it’s still a great tip to see what you can build from. Beans are what I keep going to cut costs
Hello from Saskatchewan, Canada,
What a wonderful project! You have inspired me to take a look at my own practices and once again rethink how I am teaching Social Studies to my grade 5-6 students.
I am a French teacher in a community school (low SES families) where peanuts and nuts are banned due to life-threatening allergies. Peanut butter is a cheap source of protein that does not require any preparation, including cooking. I think it is very important to have this policy in place, but once again, it is another hurdle to add to that list.
Our families out here are also not able to buy in bulk due to the upfront cost. Furthermore, they cannot walk to a grocery store in -40C bone-chilling weather to access reasonable prices even for non-bulk quantities. Thankfully we have some bussing programs and community resources to help, but it sure is not easy.
We also have a not-for-profit community organisation that distributes local produce fruit and vegetable boxes for 30-50% of the average grocery store cost. Any Regina resident can access this, regardless of income.
PS — Do you have anymore bean recipes to share?
hey this is so interesting and so amazing… i just saw u vid and it was so kewl how u guyz lived on a dollar a day…!… its totally amazing dont kno how i wood survive tho… !!
Some of you might be interested to know that one of the few things that have been scientifically proven to increase lifespan is actually a starvation diet. Not that we all should do that, but there are specific genes that are turned on when our caloric intake is dropped for example by 50%. Another is taking in high levels of resveratrol found in red grape skins and in an asian plant root.
Finally, someone has the guts to do something that gets the media’s attention on the issue of food prices and the effects on not only budget but health. I don’t think it’s necessary to have Thanksgiving size meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for our bodies to function energetically ~ if say, we are in cubicles all day. Our bodies can survive on very few calories.
to your health and wallet!
hello good for you guys! this is how my mother fed us all of our lives, maybe not on $1 a day but the concept was the same… i remember oatmeal, alot of chicken soup with veggies in it.., tortillas, rice,beans,seasonal fruit, and yes sometimes steak! My family of 6 is far from starving and they are healthy, rosey cheeked kids… it is possible… we as Americans have a tendency to over spend, and over eat.. oh yah, alot of people commented on the idea of growing your own fruits and veggies… a totally good idea!my friend says that her parents have grown all of their own produce…. never had to go shopping for that stuff… I thought that was awesome!!
I just learned about your experiment and am fascinated by your experience. I am a habitual over-eater and have always struggled to lose weight. I have always observed that eating poorly is much less expensive then eating proper more balanced foods and the results are obvious when one looks at our country’s overall health. Your project has inspired me to take a close look at my food budget and choices and to really examine the return on investment that various food options offer from both a health and financial perspective. I have dined around the world and from street vendors to fancy restaurants and one thing is common, the body’s relationship with food is temporary and its impact can vary depending on the specifics of what is being digested and the person health who is eating. Great work you guys, and thank you for sharing your experience.
My husband and I are also both high school teachers in Jacksonville, Florida. Your project inspired me to consider the impact that food has on our family as well as our culture. Wow! I am a literature teacher, and my husband is a history teacher. It would be neat to interface with you, as you explore this issue–sort of like an interdisciplinary approach. What do you both teach?
This has really gotten me thinking here. If they couldn’t afford fruits and veggies on $1 a day, imagine what could be done on $2 – $3 a day. You’d have more nutrients and still be on an extremely inexpensive grocery budget! I admire your hard work and diligence, you two!
I just saw the video clip that was featured on Yahoo. I’m amazed and interested in giving it a try to see if I can do it. That being said, this is your food log page but I don’t see a food log. I just see the comments. Where can I what you at for each meal and the exact portions? If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this right. If you or anyone on here could let me know about the food “menu”, that would be great.
I can see where you learned more than just how to eat on $1 a day, so much more than how much it costs to eat a healthy meal in America — “a lot” is an understatement! The effects on your body, how other children feel in your classrooms who cannot eat 3 meals a day…the list goes on. After watching one of your interviews, my mind was immediately flooded with a thousand questions like, “What about me? Could I do something like that? What about the kids in the high school where I live? Do they experience hunger pains? Do they go without? If so, which ones? Who can I help? What can I do?” As I stated before, the list goes one. The focus for your experiment is endless…the medical aspect, the financial aspect, the “American selfish feed me now I want it super-sized” aspect. Your experiment was pretty incredible. I have numerous new perspectives regarding several issues. Thank you for opening this educator’s eyes! I’m eager to read about your next endeavor — but whatever you guys do, let Kerri have her donuts! lol 🙂
You guys are tough cookies!!! Man I wish there was a meal plan available!!!
Wow, That is amazing. I wish I could try it, but hubby is dead set on three course meals loaded with calories and fat. Maybe if I get him to see this, he’ll at least reconsider our grocery budget. Kudos.
Think you guys are real troopers, to eat, on $1.00 a day. What a challenge.
hello I saw your appearance on yahoo’s frontpage and I was pleasing surprised. My husband was recently laid off, so we are on a really tight budget. Although before my husband was downsized we still lived on a small budget.
I spend between 75.00-110.00 on groceries and sundries a month. We have 4 in our family. I do alot of comparison shopping. I also clip alot of coupons. I get my coupons from a local store. The owner gives me the sunday papers left over. So I don’t have to pay 1.25 each. I shop at Kroger, Meijer, and our favorite is Aldi’s. Kroger and Meijer both coupon match. So 0.55 cents quickly turns into $1.00. I use alot of coupons but I usually buy store brand. We have to eat a diet of what is on sale. I recently found that Kroger is making their whole grain+ omega 3 pasta’s. We eat alot of pasta and red sauce with ground turkey. You can usually find ground turkey for $1.oo. I love frozen vegetables. I get coupons for name brand frozen vegetables, but store brand at Sav-a-lot is about 0.89 cents.
As far as fruit and veggies…bag carrots and loose spinach are always on sale for about $1.00. Meijers has a section right by the veggie area for fruits and veggies that are just about to expire. I go every other day and find fresh everything from beans to pineapple. You have to be creative but dinner can be fresh, heatlhy, and fun.
The coupons I can’t get out of the paper I print online. I use the library for printing (.03 cents a page), and I find tons of internet friendly coupons. I also get a ton of freebies online (shampoo, bodywash, razors, etc!).
My favorite tip is…manufacturer coupons. If your write a company (P&G, Unilever, etc.) about how much love a product they will send you free coupons.
I am member of several sites.
Those are just a couple. This is alot of information I know. I wanted emphasize the point that you can survive on a little and still have fun. My kids don’t have the latest toys but we go crazy at Goodwill with $10.00. I think America has lost touch with family, and resourcefullness. Times are hard, but I try to remember there are those with so much less then us. We have a roof over a head. We are healthy, and we have love.
Thank you for helping to highlight the poverty in our country. God Bless you.
Double it and get some fresh fruit!!!
wow, this is interesting. I just came to this site after watching the webvideo on yahoo. To live off 1 dollar a day. I think i might try it…since im in the military, every now and then i used to save my MRE’s since they last me a good few days for one bag…Also the idea of growing fresh vegetables will also add in to the savings and health benefits. This is also is good for the concept of budgeting. Thanks for site.
Your project was as ambitious as it was nutritionally risky. I learned something from it, though. It took creativity and dedication to survive on $1 a day worth of food. Food is a very controllable cost, but there are limits. Personally, I want my 45g of protein and 26g of fiber daily. You’ve made me take a second look at what goes into my shopping cart. So now I’m asking myself, “What’s the least expensive way to get all my nutritional needs?” Maybe I won’t be able to do it on $1 per day, but perhaps $2 is possible.
Thank you for your eye-opening account.
Wow. You two have inspired me to try this with my own family. We have two adults, three teens and one baby, and we spend almost $200 every week. We buy a lot of fresh foods, but a lot of bread and other things that we should make ourselves. For my daughter’s science fair project, she is going to try and grow her own strawberries in a hydroponic garden. If it works, we will plan to build a greenhouse and grow many of the fruits and vegetables that we would have gotten at the store for a lot less. Anyone who wants to know exactly where their food comes from should experiment with growing it themselves too. We’re hoping that if we do this, we will save money on groceries. Thanks for the inspiration!
ok so wtf r u guys eating per day cause idk wut there is available to buy that u can 3 times per day for a dollar do u guys like buy a bag of dorritoes per day or sumthin???
You guys are inspirations to the economy…..I am so proud of what you are doing and will incorporate it to my fami;ies diet….rock on…A day a Day keeps the Bills Away!!!!!!!!!
I worked odd and long hours for so long, eating out became 95% of my meals. Somewhere along the line I came to the conclusion that the cost to feed myself (at an average of $20 – $25 dollars a day) was no more than grocery shopping. Well now I’m laid off and have no choice but to find a better way. I realize how out of touch I must be being it that families are eating for less. It seems when I go to the supermarket I spend a lot of money and still come out with 2 or 3 meals. With all that said, I’d like to say thanks for this reference/ forum of common wisdom and practicality.
Very interesting project. Fresh fruit and veggies are outrageously expensive. That being said, have you read/considered Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live” ‘diet’. If you do this again (with a higher budget), please consider his healthy alternatives. Dr. Fuhrman ROCKS!… 🙂
On the FOOD LOG section. See all the blogs, but can’t find the log.
Thanks for the help
wow…this is so cool! 😀
I saw a video about you guys on Yahoo, and then I went to your website and read all of the blogs. It was so interesting and you guys are amazing. I was most interested in the blog about body image and the ironic fact that as obesity becomes more of a problem so do other eating problems like anorexia. Thank you for all the enlightenment!
I just saw the interview on Yahoo and I thought this experiment was pretty cool. Being a teacher myself I know it is hard to make ends meet sometimes. What came to mind for me was “Can you grow some of your veggies?” and “Do you use coupons?”.
About 2 years ago I stumbled upon this great website http://www.hotcouponworld.com and discovered that you can get a lot of groceries for free or nearly free using coupons. It takes work and a lot of deal hunting but it has been worth it for me. We have a few grocery stores that triple coupons on occasion so I have done very well lately ($4 for 2 full cloth grocery bags). I am in NC by the way.
i just want to say that what you guys did was great.
This is great..gives me new ideas on how
I can feed a family of 6. Right now,
I try to only spend $20 a day(5 days a week)
and it’s not even easy doing that.
Truly fresh produce is NOT expensive. The bananas from Costa Rica and organic tomatoes from Chile (in January) are expensive, but not fresh. Fresh produce is grown locally, not shipped thousands of miles, and harvested seasonally. If you are eating a strawberry or cucumber right now, you are eating FRESH produce. Organic doesn’t mean fresh nor does it mean more nutritious. Produce is cheaper and chock-full of nutrients when harvested in season and not shipped thousands of miles. Try growing your own or go to a farmers market. That is fresh produce. Never found a carrot, pepper, or tomato in a supermarket that was fresh. You’re better off with frozen fruit and veggies from the supermarket since they are most often picked at their peak and frozen before significant nutrient loss occurs. If you want a tomato in February from the supermarket fine…just don’t count it as one of your 9 a day veggies…it doesn’t have enough nutrients to count!!!
Sorry, I meant if you are eating a strawberry or cucumber right now you are NOT eating fresh produce…
I like that you put yourselves into the shoes of the many poor in our country, but I cannot believe this is very healthy. Have you gone and had some blood work done recently to see how vitamin deprived your body might be. This is not something we should be sharing with our children if we can afford not too.
What I have learned from your story is that we do spend too money on unnecessary food and for that I thank you.
Have a great holiday season and stay healthy
wow this reminds me of when i was growing up we lived on beans and rice oatmeal and peanut butter and jelly for like 4 years. But we had a family of 15 so we could not afford more lol.
Well I seen the video on yahoo and thought that was pretty cool. I normally spend about about five dollars or less on food a day. but i drink nothing but juice or water. what other kinds of projects are ya going to do now?
good thing this was just an experiment, otherwise i would have criticized you both for using an iphone.
You guys are awesome. I admire all of your hard work and determination.
This is a cool experiment. I’m in college, I only spent about $20 a month on food but i work at subway so i get food when i work 🙂
…except that i did not fully read your guys blog (shame on me). You guys are awesome for what you guys are doing.
please add me to any mailing lists (of yours) that you may have….. this project is amazing… and now that our family of 5 finds itself in deep money troubles cutting down our food bill has to happen.
take care and thank you for your courage,
make soup, you want frugal? make soup. grow some veggies and make soup already. pfft. buy a soup bone.
I love that you did this, and that you’re vegan! It’s great.
I think that this is a great project especially with prices of food getting more and more expensive. It seems like it would be hard eating like this but stepping back and thinking about it, how many other millions of people in world also have to eat like this. I think we sometimes take food for granted and it shows the correlation between the amount of obesity across America. I am sure that you two can take what you have learned and teach it to your high school classes. Since they are the next generation, they too need to learn better eating habits.
Thank you for doing this and showing the people in the U.S. that it can be done. But what I mostly want to thank you for is eating vegan, it is the only way to feed the world and create the environmental change that must be made.
In a world where there are websites that extol the virtues of bacon wrapped sausage and candied martinis, I applaud your efforts to bring a little reality back to us. Thanks for doing this.
Did you figure out your average savings while you were trying this project??
My hat off to you! I could not have done what you have accomplished. It is very sad that fruits and vegetables are so expensive here (U.S.) and that is cheaper to buy junk food than produce. I hope your project opens somebody’s eyes and something gets done in this country to improve our eating habits, reduce our food waste and make produce more affordable as not everybody can grow their own fruits/vegetables.
pls put me on your mailing list
this is very interesting for everybody who really are into cost cutting issue and diet @ one time..this will really help too many people who are on a budget wise
i wanted more of your sandwich recipes
I totally agree with all the comments on growing your own veggies (plus herbs as a treat) and shopping at local farm markets. Plus, if you have kids, garden with them and they’re more likely to eat their veggies:)
Another tip which I’ve seen mentioned is baking. I would try and make a meal plan and stick to a list to keep our budget down (which was no where near $1 a day) but I found myself returning to the store repeatedly for items like bread, granola bars and fruit bars. So I got myself a bread machine (from someone who wasn’t using it) and found some granola bar recipes and started baking healthy muffins instead of fruit bars. So many less trips to the store and less money and the time it takes is really less then I expected.
I heard about the challenge you guys stepped up to through both my sister-in-law and on yahoo. I thought it was fascinating. As Americans, I think we definitly take for granted the amount of money we spend on food, while many other people around the world have to face each day knowing they may have to do without.
I give you both a lot of credit for sticking through it for the entire month! You definitely have inspired me to step up to the challenge as well. I think that it is going to be a good life lesson in the making. It is one thing to think about the way other people must live, and to feel compasion for them from a distance, but I think that actually attempting to step into their shoes (for at least one aspect of their lives anyway) will be a different experience entirely. I hope that the proccess will give me a new perspective, as it did with you.(Since I happen to be a college student, it will benefit me both intellectually and financially, for sure. I believe that it will certainly be worth it…)
There were several comments on growing your own veggies. Some people don’t have the luxury of a yard or balcony for soil. Growing sprouts, such as alpha, bean, and broccoli, can be done anywhere, all year, in a jar and can be done for pennies a day. Seeds can be purchase for about 5.00 per 1bl bag. Only a Tbls or two is used for a batch. A 2 Tbls batch is about equivalent to 3 – 4 of those square containers found in supermarkets (which sell for 3-4 dollars each). Depending on the size of the family, 2-3 pounds of seeds will yeild about a year of crop. That is about .04 cents a day, and it is full of nutreints. I learned about this in a college class. I think your website would benefit with posting links/websites that would assist others in this process. It’s cheap, its easy and its fun!
Nothing comes up on the Food Log – has that information been removed?
Where’s the food log?
where is the ‘detailed log’???
Your project is very important, and I honor you for having the discipline and ambition to pursue it.
I just finished reading “What to Eat” by esteemed nutritionist Marion Nestle, and I highly recommended it. You might know about this already, but in her chapter on “Produce,” she conducts a “shopping experiment” to see if eating fresh produce is really as expensive as people make it out to be. In brief, her results show that, in general, it’s not. I think you’d find the chapter an interesting read (the book should be at the Encinitas library — I just returned it!)
Good info here! Love the site!
I just came across your site. Wow! Very interesting topic. I have researched freeganism on the web and it strikes me that there are similarities between what you are trying to achieve here and what the freegans are trying to achieve i.e. low cost living.
Unfortunately for the vast majority of people living in the western world – the cost of good quality food is prohibitively expensive. But not only is the food expensive – nutritional education has a lot to do with it – in a lot of cases the people who need nutritional education the most are the very people who cannot afford to buy the good quality food.
Keep up the good work.
Hey guys –
Back on November 2, 2008 (To the future, and beyond!) you said you’d be “embarking on a quest to discover the answer to this question…What does it cost to eat healthy in America?”
What have you discovered since then? I wish your site had a search function!
Here’s the URL for the Calorie Restriction Society:
(Save money by eating less and dramatically improve your health and longevity at the same time! Sounds like a winner, don’t you think?) I’d like to see you guys factor calorie restriction into your “ideal cheap & healthy diet”.
Really hope to hear from you guys when you get a chance!
One more thing…
I read recently that sugar is as addictive as heroin, and I believe it!
I don’t think we’re supposed to be eating simple sugars and processed grains (flour, corn meal, etc.). And yet, we’re all addicted to that junk. The resulting chronic high blood sugar seems to be the root cause of most of our health problems, from tooth decay to inflammation and obesity (it starts small, yet once you’ve put on a few extra pounds of fat in the abdominal area – it seems almost impossible to get rid of it all!) to premature aging, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia. It’s also why we’re so prone to getting sick with cold, flu and everything else.
Apparently even ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, memory problems, depression and suicide are all related to high blood sugar. The incidence of all these problems has been rising, exactly as the consumption of grains and sugars has been rising.
We see the same thing with cattle. They evolved eating grass. A grass-fed cow is healthy and produces healthy, lean meat. What little fat there is in the meat (and milk) is largely omega-3 (healthy fat). But when we started feeding cows corn, in order to fatten them up faster so we could have more “efficient” and profitable farms, the cows started getting sick all the time, having diarrhea, etc. This is why we now have to pump them full of antibiotics. If corn fattens up cows and makes them prone to infections what do you think corn meal, tortillas and corn syrup do to us?
I’m pretty sure human beings evolved eating just vegetables, fruits, lean meat, roots, nuts and seeds…. and that’s about it. So that’s what we should be eating today – nothing more. Legumes and beans are probably good too, but not grains, even if “whole”, and especially not if ground into flour or meal.
Humans only started consuming grains in great quantity with the dawn of agriculture…. anywhere from a few thousand years ago to a few decades ago, depending on which human culture you’re talking about. (Native Americans, Eskimos and Pacific islanders only switched from a traditional, healthy diet to a grain & sugar based diet in the last 50 – 100 years, and we’ve seen how quickly it destroyed their health.)
And sugar? We only really started consuming that about 150 years ago, and each generation since then has been ingesting more and more of it – hence, each generation gets fatter and fatter, at a younger and younger age. Today many babies are already fat when they’re born, which is why more and more mothers have to have C-sections! It’s unbelievable; just tragic and disgusting.
So… how do we break our addiction to grains and sugars? This seems to be the key to health and longevity. If anyone has done it, PLEASE tell me how!
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How would this project have been different if rather than being limited to eating $1/day, the grocery budget had been $1/day? Part of what made this possible was the ability to afford a full container of oatmeal, a bag of flour, etc. Being able to purchase groceries in itself is a luxury for some. Your project has really made me think about my own habits, and my community. Thank you.
Well, this is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!
Do you mind if I quote you on my blog if I link back to this page?