Thursday of the Eat on $60 challenge was a BAD day right from the start. I wasn’t doing as well with the money as I hoped to, I was REALLY tired of eating leftovers, and I was fresh out of coffee. That all adds up to one cranky Betty, and I weighed the shame of quitting against the delicious freedom that would come from it. Largely due to the fact that I am a good Jewish girl, the guilt won out in the end. But I’m not going to lie–it was a close call.
I wish I could say that I was a good person that day, and that thoughts of all the poverty-stricken people in the United States helped me to realize that my teensy tiny sacrifice would be worth any short-lived pain I was experiencing. I wish I could say that, but I can’t. I tried every trick in the book to remind myself of how fortunate I am, and to feel grateful for having never personally dealt with hunger. Unfortunately, altruism just wasn’t on my mind. I felt like a miserable failure, but I didn’t particularly care. Like I said, it was a bad day.
It was also a bad day because I walked right out of the house without breakfast, probably due in large part to my lack of caffeination. Right as I got onto the interstate, my stomach started grumbling and I knew what I had done. There was a string of expletives, believe you me. I racked my brain for options, but I knew in my heart that the fast food breakfast was the only thing that would keep me even CLOSE to on-budget. So, with many a grumble, I headed to McDonald’s and got two sausage McMuffins with egg for $2.50. I ate one for breakfast and put the other in the office fridge.
Betty – McMuffin ($1.25). Total – $1.25
Jason – energy bar ($1.08). Total – $1.08
For lunch, Jason got leftover soup while I cleared out a few mix-and-match items that were hanging around from earlier in the week.
Betty – baked potato ($0.20), broccoli ($0.43), chicken salad ($1.13). Total – $1.76
Jason – soup ($0.92), Nutella cake ($0.79). Total – $1.71
For some reason, I wasn’t really snacky. I was super busy at work, so I guess part of it was that I didn’t have time to think about noshing in the afternoon like I usually do. Jason had an apple ($0.41) and Fig Newtons ($0.37), for a snack total of $0.78.
By the time dinner came rolling around, I was all kinds of pissy again. Nothing was appealing to me, and the text that I got from Jason while he was walking the dog didn’t help my motivation (it said something to the effect of “OMFG it smells good at Fritti”). I thought about bagging the whole challenge, getting in the car, and indulging in a lovely Neopolitan style pizza. I even had a $25 Fritti gift certificate, as if to coax me into submission and justify my failure. Just when I was about to give in, I saw some bacon out of the corner of my eye, left over from a pound that I had previously bought on sale. I took a deep breath, regained my perspective, and opted to make grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches for dinner. Between the two slices of bread ($0.14), two slices of cheese ($0.50), and three slices of bacon ($0.90), the sandwiches came out to $1.54 each. We added baked potatoes at $0.20 each, just to make sure we were full so that temptation wouldn’t rear its ugly head in the form of dessert.
So, dinner was $1.74 each, and it was actually quite comforting. My total for the day was $4.75, and Jason’s was $5.31. Our final daily number ended up at $10.06, which is the lowest it had been all week. However, by the end of Day 5, we had spent $54.98 for the week, leaving us with just over $5 for two people for two more days. It wasn’t looking good, but I was determined to stick with it to see just how far over our $60 budget we would go.