It's official – Eat on $30 has started. I need to say, first of all, that I am overwhelmed by the support for this event out there in the blog-sphere. There has been a lot of lively dialogue, re-posts, re-tweets and all around positivity about what we're doing. It's working…and people are talking. THANK YOU!
Day 1 for me was not exactly how I imagined starting this week off. For those who don't know, I am part of an Eat on $60 with my BF, who is also blogging about it on the blog he created for this event.We were in Nashville this weekend spending time with friends. So, Sunday morning was a wash for us after a late-ish evening and not-exactly-an-early-start back to Atlanta. After breakfast was provided for us (which made me crazy guilty), we got on the road. We didn't have any money in our budget for our normal road trip snacks of milkshakes or ICEEs…so 3 1/2 hours later, two grumpy people trudged to the farmers market to buy stuff for the week.
Since we have a $60 budget for two of us, it initially SEEMED like a luxurious amount of money after doing it on $30. Yeah….not so much. Even in the first minutes of the shopping trip, I went right back to the tactics I used when I did this challenge the first time:
– I weighed EVERYTHING. On a normal day at the store or market, things get haphazardly thrown into my cart.
– There is ZERO room for impulse purchases. Even the things I consider staples like coffee quickly become a luxury…and by luxury, I mean…not purchased.
– Sale, sale, sale. I looked for sale stickers. A package of ham filled tortellini was on sale at 20% off – this package which was our dinner tossed with a little butter, green peas, and onions allowed us to eat (with some leftovers for Mike to take for lunch) for about $4.00. Our farmers market marks down their produce as well – the squash I scored for 20% off, as well.
We scored a pretty good first round of groceries: 2 lbs. of chicken thighs, 2 italian turkey sausages, a large bag of frozen peas, a bag of arugula, 2 lemons, a head of garlic, one white onion, 3 gala apples, the tortellini, a large tub of brown lentils, a medium sized spaghetti squash, green onions, 5 zucchini, 5 roma tomatoes, a small container of roasted red peppers, a carton of chicken stock. Our total for that trip was $30.75. There was half of a bottle of cheap white wine in the fridge from when we left – I paid $5.99 on sale for it – so we had that with dinner. Adding $3 to the budget for that, we're now at $33.75! My plan is to go through the weekend paper, get coupons, and supplement what I bought with cheese, eggs, bread, and sandwich meat.
We've had a few more people take on the Eat on #30 Challenge since I posted on Friday. Everyone has been doing a great job of talking about their experience on Day 1. Please read and support the other participants:
So….what about this giveaway!? I was contacted by Macy's (after just seeing an ad for this campaign during Top Chef – all of us there nodded and thought it was a great idea) to help spread the word about a fight-hunger initiative they've started. While I normally champion local charities, which I will do this week as well, this particular event has the potential to change lives on a large scale.
Macy’s has launched COME TOGETHER, an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that aims to feed 10 million people suffering from hunger. COME TOGETHER invites the public to rally around the cause by hosting special dinners in their homes and asking their guests to pledge a donation to Feeding America. In return, Macy’s will match these donations dollar-for-dollar until the total goal of 10 million meals is reached.
To get involved the public may participate in three easy ways: Host, Give and Shop.
· HOST – Friends and families across the country can host dinner parties from casual to formal, send invitations and manage party details including themes and recipes on www.macys.com/cometogether. In lieu of bringing traditional host gifts, guests are suggested to make a donation to Feeding America.
· GIVE – Donate $1 directly at any Macy's register, one dollar provides dinner for seven.
· SHOP– Macy's customers can shop for the cause and get special savings in-store on October 17, when Macy's hosts a national Shop For A Cause day. A portion of the $5 in-store ticket sales will benefit Feeding America.
They have generously given me two $25 Macy's giftcards to give away to
my readers as a way of encouraging dialogue and participation about the
campaign and the issues behind it. To win, leave a comment on this post
telling me your best budget cooking or shopping tip/tactic. Two winners
will be chosen at random on Wednesday, October 14th. The cards will be
mailed to the winners. Goods can only be shipped to US
addresses or used in Macy's stores which are US only. One comment per