Friday, May 2, 2014

LBTL 2014: Day 5

Fried potatoes with onions
Final breakfast
Challenge complete.

Today was easy. I lose my appetite when the whether gets hot, and it was hot in Los Angeles today. I started the morning with a fried potato and 1/2 onion: $0.18.

For lunch, I finished left over mashed potatoes from the night before ($0.20) and made the same salad of cabbage, onion, and tomato, but with the rest of the navy beans in place of the garbanzos ($0.60). I finished my lunch for dinner.

Total for the day: $0.98.

I very nearly ate some chocolate covered pretzels tonight, but my partner shook his head at me when I reached for them.

So that's the end. Pretty anti-climactic. I've got a fair amount of food left - enough to take me for another day or two. This year was a far cry from last year. Last year it took all my strength and will power to make it through. I was hungry and weak and tired. Amazing what a difference those extra calories made.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my challenge. If you haven't yet, it would be great to have your support. Contributions are accepted through May 31, 2014. Every dollar goes toward helping those in extreme poverty receive health care, through a highly effective organization called Possible.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

LBTL 2014: Day 4

Garbanzo and cabbage salad
More garbanzo and cabbage salad, no complaints
My partner had a gig last night so I was up late, forgot to set an alarm, and had to rush out the door to work. No time for breakfast, but I some how managed to pack up a lunch: the same garbanzo/cabbage salad as the day before, and the last of the soup I had for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Not bad. All that food came to $0.86.
Navy bean, cabbage, and potato soup
The last of the soup - finally!

Mashed potatoes, navy beans, and fried tomatoes
Dinner. I had seconds.
For dinner, I made mashed potatoes and navy beans and tomato. The potatoes weren't half bad. While boiling the potatoes, I sauteed some diced onions in two tablespoons of oil to mix in. I had also saved the water I cooked the garbanzo beans in, and mixed some of that in too. The mashed potatoes were fluffy and mildly flavorful. I warmed up the beans and fried up the tomatoes. $0.27 for the mashed potatoes, $0.13 for the tomato, and $0.15 for the beans brought dinner to $0.55.

Today's total: $1.41

I took stock of the food I have left for tomorrow, and I have more than enough: 6 potatoes, 4 onions, 1/4 of the cabbage, 1 tomato, a serving of navy beans, and 2 servings of garbanzos. The only reason I've made it this far without going hungry was that lucky buy of 5lbs of potatoes for $1.00. I've eaten about 1lb of potatoes each day during the challenge. What if those potatoes hadn't been there? What if I had been shopping a week earlier, when the largest bag of potatoes for $1.00 was 2lbs? Instead of 25 potatoes, I would have had only 10. And they would have cost me $0.10 a piece, instead of $0.04. This was nearly a miserable week. But fortune smiled upon me.

There's some weird irony in eating this way. My diet this week has been vegan (well, it's always vegan), gluten-free, with no refined sugar. Isn't this the diet celebrities pay tons of money to go on? I've been on it for four days, and it's only cost me $5.37. They must be doing something wrong.

I'm looking forward to saturday morning breakfast. I'll have a nice cup of earl grey with soy milk, a grapefruit, maybe a piece of toast. Begin the count down.

LBTL 2014: Day 3

Small onion, potato, and tomato next to a quarter for scale
Small foods from the dollar store
I've finally passed the halfway point in the challenge. Thank goodness! It's meant so much to me to have the support of my friends, family, and co-workers. It's kept me going strong. I'm more than 1/3 of the way to my fundraising goal of $1,500, and my team made it into the top 10 LBTL fundraisers today.

Breakfast was pretty much the same as Monday and Tuesday. Two fried potatoes, but with half an onion instead of tomato. I'm down to my final three tomatoes, and I wanted to stretch them. Breakfast came to $0.23.

Roasted potatoes on a plate with a fork
Roasted potatoes for dinner
Lunch was a repeat of Monday night's dinner, but a bit larger: a bed of cabbage with tomato, garbanzo beans, and onion on top. I kept up the same system of eating my lunch in small portions throughout the day. Lunch cost $0.60.

Dinner was five roasted potatoes and a roasted onion. Ok, it wasn't very balanced, but I was tired and didn't want to think of something clever to make out of the same six ingredients I've been eating the last three days. Not to mention, I'm running low on beans, but I've got lots of potatoes left.

Five potatoes may sound like a lot to eat at one meal, but these dollar store potatoes are quite small for russets (the label says B size). In fact, the onions and tomatoes are quite small too. This has made my calculations much simpler. I was able to count the number of items in each package and assign a standard price per item, without having to measure and divide up portions.

5lb bag of potatoes contained 25 potatoes = $0.04 per potato
2lb bag of onions contained 10 onions = $0.10 per onion
1lb package of tomatoes contained 8 tomatoes = $0.13 per tomato

Tea cup with orange and blue flower, filled with warm water.
My tea cup of warm water
Anyway, dinner of five potatoes ($0.20), one onion ($0.10), two tablespoons of oil ($0.10), salt to taste ($0.01) came to $0.41.

Total for the day: $1.24.

Man, I could have had a cup of tea, but I never know until the end of the day! It's just not worth the risk. Besides, the warm water in my tea cup has become pretty good (I might be losing it). I planned to make something for lunch tomorrow, but I didn't have time. I suppose I'll make the same salad I had today. And I still have a serving of the navy bean and cabbage soup left.