Many of you will remember that my family and I survived on only $100 plus our freezer and pantry items back in July. $100 for the entire month, including all of our meals out. It wasn’t easy, and it really opened my eyes to the way we had been overspending at the grocery store and wasting money on uneaten leftovers and unneccesary meals at restaurants. Since then, instead of 3-4 weekly jaunts to the grocery store, I go maybe once every 10 days. Huge difference. I haven’t been tracking each and every dime, but I know I have made a significant difference in our wallets.
I have been wanting to address the challenge again, but a month is really difficult for me to commit to at this time of year. Birthdays, holidays – it’s just tough all around. But when I read about Running With Tweezers one WEEK challenge, I knew I had to give it a go. The challenge will be, well, challenging, as we must account for every single item we consume, other than salt, pepper, and butter. EVERY ITEM. Spices, flour, eggs. You name it, we account for it.
The goal is to survive (and eat WELL, in our case, not just crap food) for one week on $30 per person. For my family, that’s $90. In theory, to me, that seems pretty easy. In Theory. I don’t spend that much money each week. Does that mean I am one of the struggling Americans who has had to cut back on foodstuffs? No. My family is not hungry. We have never gone hungry…and thanks to my parents and Jon’s parents and our grandparents, I feel pretty secure in knowing they wouldn’t ever let us go hungry.
But we are LUCKY. We are by no stretch of the imagination rich. There are bills we have a hard time paying. I had to save for several months in order to buy the French Oven I wanted (and it wasn’t the Le Creuset, either). I don’t go out and buy clothes just to buy them anymore. I hit yard sales to buy Seven’s toys and clothes. But we have a great house (with a big mortgage), a garden, 2 nice vehicles, we can go on vacation, we have cable, and phones, and the internet. We are comfortable, even when our ends don’t exactly meet. But there are folks out there who really struggle. According to RWT:
- At some point during the year, 1 in 5 Americans receives food assistance from 1 or more of the 15 programs providing help.
- In 2009, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will help feed 31 million people per month. The average monthly benefit? $101.
- Between March 2007 and March 2008, the global price of food rose 43%. 1 billion people – 1/6th of the world’s population – live on $1 per day.
So, $30 per person this week. We are starting today, which is a day behind some of the group. We’ll go through Sunday. It may be tough on us, as my Hub will be working out of town a few of those days. He’d be on a per diem, though, so I may have to play around with that a bit. We are allowed to eat with friends, but not be moochers; we’re allowed to eat dinner at the Samples Counter at Costco. Really, it’s up to us. How we live on our $30 is up to US. Isn’t it always? Couldn’t we all be more responsible? Maybe if we were, a billion people in the world would have a little more to eat. Maybe.
I intend to do my part, at least this week. Let’s get the word out. People are hungry.
Please support others that are participating in this challenge by visiting their sites…I am only one of many…
- Betty Joan is an Atlantan who blogs at Trouble With Toast . She’s actually been doing it last week but will be posting about her experience while we’re all doing the challenge. You can find her on Twitter @bettyjoan.
- Carrie Neal - also from Atlanta – is blogging at carrienealland and tweets under @carrienealland
- Paula of the gorgeous blog bell’alimento is taking part! Follow her on twitter @bellalimento
- The Broke Socialite of the eponymously named blog can be followed @brokesocialite
- Atlanta food blogger Jimmy of Eat It Atlanta will be taking part in a crash course week before a wedding he has to be in. Follow him @EatItAtlanta.
- Robert – @rdyson on Twitter – is also taking part from Atlanta. Check out his blog here.
- The amazing and fabulous Jen – who blogs from Colorado at Use Real Butter – can be followed @userealbutter
- Mike – who took part last time and made a blog especially for the challenge – will be doing it again. You can also follow him @boutte.
- Zach is kicking off a new blog with this challenge – Mise en Face. Follow him @drzachary.
- Kristina will be taking place from Tennessee via her blog TNLocavore.com and @TNlocavore
- Tami of Running With Tweezers, the mastermind behind this challenge…great gal! She tweets at @runwithtweezers
- Another Susan, this time of Frugal Hostess, tweets @frugalhostess
- Diana of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa is on Twitter @dianabauman
- Hailey of Hail’s Kitchen blogs and tweets from Utah - @hailskitchen