The $30 Project: Day One – Hungry Like The Wolf February 24, 2009

Monday was the first day of the $30 Project, which I blogged about
yesterday. When I capriciously decided to start this yesterday –
although I had been talking about it for some time – I didn't really
have a solid plan of attack.

For a good number of us foodies,
especially the ones that live by themselves, the notion of going to the
store and buying food for more than one meal (or an entire week!) is
kind of foreign. My food cravings and my schedule dictate what I eat
and whether I cook at home or not. So…to fit a planned trip to store
and shop in a thoughtful way was a bit more difficult than I realized.

was also a challenge for me because I spent yesterday prepping for a
photo shoot so I was driving all over town and running errands. I don't
have a job where packing a lunch and eating at my desk happens very
often. My first food of the day happened around noon when I buckled out
of hunger and drive through Wendy's for a sour cream and chive baked
potato. I couldn't afford the Diet Coke I normally would have gotten so
I stuck to the water I carry around.

By the time I got to the Dekalb Farmers Market, I was so ravenously hungry
it was hard to think straight. I knew I was there to look for fresh
ingredients and kept my eyes peeled for sale tags on items. I bought
some potatoes, prosciutto deparma, and muenster cheese – all 50% off. I
also got a can of cherry tomatoes in puree, a can of lentils, italian
parsley (so much cheaper at the farmers market than the grocery store!)
and some fresh frozen peas. In a supplemental trip to the Publix across
the street from my house, I scored a sweet deal on pasta: BOGO for
$1.29. I bought spaghetti and rigatoni. I also added 1/2 dozen eggs, a
loaf of bread, and tortillas on sale for $1.25 a package. The mushrooms
came from my friends Martin and Susy, who bought me a 2.5lb bag of
fresh mushrooms from a farm in Tennessee – $4 for the entire bag!

total, I spent $19.79 yesterday on the mushrooms, my baked potato at
lunch, and my groceries. I figure that gives me some money to add more
groceries on Thursday or so to change the menu up a bit and add some
more veggies and have them be fresh.

Consumed yesterday:

* coffee in the AM: free – the bag was given to me by Scott at Ashley
& Cooper
and I have been drinking it for weeks. Good stuff!
    * Lunch at Wendy's: sour cream and chive baked potato – $1.39 total
* Groceries for the beginning of the week – $8.09 spent at YDFM and
$9.50 spent at Publix (my main total included cat treats but I'm a food
stylist and not a mathematician and included them in my total like an
idiot so I'm subtracting $.80 for the two cans)

For my dinner
last night, I did a quick saute of about 1/5 of the mushrooms in a bit
of butter with a pinch of chili powder. At the end I threw in a small
sandwich sized bag of spinach I had in the fridge from a $1.99 cello
bag I got at the market during Soup Week. I used one of my tortillas
($.25 for one) and made a delicious burrito. I have about 4 tbsp of
sour cream left in a container. The container cost me $3.69 at the
farmers market (so ridiculously expensive in hindsight) and it has 16
servings. A serving is 2 tbsp so I spent $.23 on that sour cream. I am
allowing $.80 for the mushrooms and another $.80 for the leftover
spinach from that bag and the tbsp. of butter and a pinch of seasoning.
Total, my dinner cost me around $2.08 for a delicious (and filling, thank goodness!!) spinach and mushroom burrito.

Make sure you check out the other bloggers and friends that are taking part in the $30 Project, as well:

  • Molly aka GrabMol, the author of the awesome blog Disposable Income (oh the irony!)
  • Dave of the super funny blog Extraface
  • Paul has created a blog inspired by this challenge at The Seven Day Project
  • Mike who invites you to follow his Twitter feed and his Flickr posts about the challenge. He has also started a blog especially to document this challenge, which you can see here.
  • Alain, who doesn't blog but you can see his healthy Yelping here and you can email him directly about the challenge.
  • Tessa, who has a faaaabulous music/socializing/everything awesome about Atlanta blog called Drive A Faster Car, was one of the first to show interest and is taking part, as well!



Shannon Mar 2, 2009 10:03 am

What a great experiment! So smart to shop the Farmer’s Market on Monday instead of Saturday. The shepherd’s pie and the mushroom gratin look outstanding…will try to replicate chez moi.
PS – Thanks for the coffee shout out! :)