The $35 Challenge: Days 1-2

by Emma on October 18, 2011

in News,Organisation & Productivity

Well here we are at the end of Day 2 of The $35 Challenge and I’ve spent less than $8 and I haven’t been hungry… in fact I feel like I’m eating and drinking what I normally would (minus the wine).

It is amazing how controlling your portion sizes and/or weighing every single thing you eat makes you more accountable and conscious of what you’re putting in your mouth. I haven’t been disciplined with my eating for a while so it’s a great test to see what I can handle again.

At this point I should make some clarifications…

The Rules

Am I spending $5 each day, on the food for that day?
No, that is the most inefficient and most expensive way to shop. I was going to spend my $35 at the beginning of the 7 days and then eat only what I had bought then throughout the week. But then, there would be food wastage from the fresh produce in my fridge already. So, for the purposes of this challenge, I went out and purchased some staple items and have itemised them into a unit price, as I have done with things I’m using that are already in my pantry and fridge. That way, I’m eating only $5 worth of food daily and using things I already have.

Am I counting everything I’m consuming?
Yes, that’s the point right? Everything from tea that I drink at morning tea, to the butter on my toast, is all counted. Once you work out a unit cost you can work out how much anything costs to consume, and once you read my menu you will realise which foods give you the best bang for buck!

Are there any exceptions at all?
A couple. Salt & pepper and the herbs that grow in my garden. Sprinkles of ground spices are a negligible weight so are very hard to count. There’s also the odd squeeze of a lemon in there as they are straight from a friend’s tree. But that’s about it.

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So let’s get down to it…

What have I eaten the past two days?

Day 1
BREAKFAST 1 slice rye sourdough toast (12.5c), 2 eggs (45c), cup of green tea (7c)
LUNCH Salad of 1/2 425g tin tuna ($1.01), 1 carrot (12c), 1/2 cucumber (22.5c), 1 tomato (17c)
AFTERNOON REFRESHMENT  Cup of green tea (7c)
DINNER 150g roast chicken (47c) with a side of 1 tomato (17c) & 1/2 zucchini (38.7c)
DESSERT  Baked toffee pear with dipping cream; 1 pear (28c), 1 tbsp butter (6c), 1 tbsp brown sugar (6c), 1 tbsp thickened cream
BEFORE BED  Cup of green tea (7c)
Total Day 1 = $3.81

Day 2
BREAKFAST  1 slice rye sourdough toast (12.5c), 2 eggs (45c), rocket (16c)
MORNING REFRESHMENT  Cup of black tea (7c)
LUNCH  Salad of roast chicken (40c), lettuce (53c), tomato (18c), snow peas (52c), cucumber (22c), squeeze of lemon juice
AFTERNOON SNACK  Carrot (12c), cup of black tea (7c)
DINNER  Warm salad of chicken (44c), char-grilled capsicum (20c), rice (28c), green peas (29c), 1/2 avocado (33c), 1 tbsp soy sauce (10c), squeeze of lemon juice
AFTER DINNER TREAT  Small slice of rye sourdough toast (10c) with butter (3c) and honey (5c), cup of green tea (7c)
Total Day 2 = $4.74

Stay tuned for Days 3 and 4.

Em  x

If you’re keen to see how I got all my groceries so cheaply, I’ll reveal my shopping tactics at the end of the week. You will be surprised how cheaply you can buy things if you really want to (And who wouldn’t want to save a few pennies!)

Write down what you eat for a day, itemise it’s cost and see how much you spend daily on food. It’s a great exercise for anyone to go through.

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