Recently I read an article about the Panera Bread CEO Attempting To
Live On $4.50 Per Day. I was intrigued by the challenge, so I vowed I would live on a $4.50/day food budget for one month.
Before I start my daily food log, I should explain that Kroger's is a local supermarket (they also own the Food For Less chain) and that Bodacious BBQ is a little local BBQ place; they
have brisket, ribs, chicken, etc. and they are famous for their potato salad, coleslaw, and red-beans. They have some seriously good BBQ. It's just a little hole in the wall place with 4
tables and a drive-thru, but its full everyday from open to close. There is also a local tamale vendor that comes by the shop I work at who sells cheap tamales.
I should also explain the local Texaco gas station has a special where if you bring in their coffee cup that you bought earlier, they will give you a free refill of coffee.
I have to admit it is interesting trying to figure out how to spend the $4.50 a day and to try to eat something half way healthy. Of course I am just playing it by ear here, and am not
really going off a set menu or list of groceries bought at one time because I am trying to emulate being homeless and thus having no or limited cooking facilities. Having refrigeration and
cooking facilities would be a cakewalk because then you could buy staples, and cook properly. $135/month will buy a lot of food that will go a good way, if you know how to cook.
- DAY 1 - Here we go, 30 days and I can not exceed $135.00 for the months food purchases, or $4.50 a day. Breakfast: Had a sausage biscuit from McDonald's cost $1.08, tap water to drink
cost $0. Lunch: Had 2 Sloppy Joes, 2 dill spears from Bodacious BBQ cost $2.16, a glass of sweet tea is free with sandwiches. Dinner: Will be 2 top-ramen noodles "chicken" for $.25 each and
a small can of mixed veggies for $.85 cents from Kroger's. A nice chicken soup for din-din. 1.08+2.16+0.50+0.85+3.59, 4.50-3.59=0.91 cents left over.
- DAY 2 - Breakfast: 1 cup of coffee large 24 oz $.50, 2 honey-buns $.75 Texaco gas station down the street. Lunch: 1 spicy chicken sandwich from McDonald's $1.08. That and the sausage
biscuit is all I'll eat from there, other than the fries. Free refill on the coffee at Texaco. HA! $.00. Dinner: 3 beef tamales for $1.00 from the tamale vendor that comes by the shop.,
water to drink $.00. 0.50+1.50+1.08+1.00=4.08, $.42 cents left over.
- DAY 3 - Breakfast: 4 kiwi's for $.25 ea from Kroger's, 1 large coffee from Texaco, a free refill cause I had my cup from the day before. Lunch: 6 beef tamales for $2.00, one sweet tea
from Wendy's $1.00. Dinner: 1 apple from Kroger's at $.47. 1.00+2.00+1.00+0.47=4.47. 0.03 cents left over. It's been 3 days now, I have to admit, I'm feeling a little edgy but its probably
from the lack of caffeine more than anything.
- DAY 4 - Breakfast: 2 apples from Kroger's at .47 ea, 1 large coffee free refill from Texaco of course. Mid morning: Went and refilled that large coffee, I'm missing the kick. Lunch: 2
Bodacious BBQ Sloppy Joes and dill spears for $2.17 with the free sweet tea. It's the 4th day now and yeah I'm starting to feel a little nagging bit of hunger between meals. Nothing drastic
though. Dinner: 3 top ramen noodles at $.25 ea. Think I need the carbs and a full belly. 0.94+2.17+0.75=3.86. 0.64 cents left over.
- DAY 5 - Breakfast: 1 sausage biscuit from McDonald's $1.08, Free coffee refill from Texaco $0.00. Mid morning coffee refill free again! Lunch: Big bowl of red beans and ends with
cornbread from Bodacious BBQ $1.08. Nothing like some red-beans with chopped up brisket ends and cornbread, that stuff is goooood! Scored that 32 oz free sweet tea too! Those damn beans
were so good, guess what's for dinner? You are damn right! Dinner: red-beans and ends with cornbread $1.08, 2 extra cornbreads $0.50, free sweet tea $0. Two kiwis from Kroger's for desert
at 0.25 ea. 1.08+1.08+1.08+0.50+0.50=4.24. 0.26 cents left over. Of course I am scoring all the free condiments I can get with this, saving them up as I go. I have a plan.
- DAY 6 - Breakfast: I had a sausage biscuit from McDonald's $1.08, My free refill coffee of course. The girl there at the Texaco asked me why I all the sudden started getting the free
refills when before I just got a new one every morning. So I explained the $4.50 a day challenge to her. She bet me $5 I couldn't do it. I'm going to frame that $5 bill. Lunch: 2 apples at
$.49 ea and a big sweet tea at $1.08. Dinner: a big Sloppy Joe and free tea $1.08. 1.08+1.08+1.08+0.49+0.49=4.22. $.28 left over.