Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Evolution of the 30 Day/$30 Diet Idea

Okay, so I started a blog to diary my 30 days/$30 “experiment,” which basically requires me to eat for 30 straight days for $30 (or $1 a day.) I initially became aware of the concept a few weeks ago while chatting it up with a coworker. She happened to mention a San Diego couple doing what they call the One Dollar Diet Project, ( The two Social Justice teachers set out to make a point about how food economics affects people’s lives by eating for $1 a day for 30 days.

As soon as I got home that day, I read all about them. Despite their Little 5-Points-esque appearance and uber-annoying sense of pretentious self-sacrifice, I was intrigued. This experiment was perfect for me! I’m already poor! What better way is there to endure insolvency than to embrace it, and maybe lose five pounds while you’re at it? Whether it was to share in the spirit of the experiment, or prove that it totally was not that hard, I was determined to get a piece of the action. So I set my mind to Anne’s own thirty day thirty dollar diet.
First step was to choose a day to begin. It was late December and obviously I wasn’t going to miss my mom’s home cooked Christmas dinner. (Cliche, yes, but Yum!) Certainly I couldn’t refrain from the drunken depravity and excess that is New Year’s Eve. And naturally New Years day I would be in recovery, requiring the medicinal remedies of more beer, pizza, and left-over Hannah’s Amazing Black Bean Salad. So the only real choice I had was for the project to take place from Friday, January 2, through Saturday, January 31.* This is, of course the first glaring flaw in an experiment attempting to parallel poverty. Choosing which day I would begin suffering, is hardly an option for those who truly suffer. But I’m not perfect. So there.

The weekend before embarking upon my experiment, I packed myself and the reluctant huz in the hatchback and headed off to the marvelous DeKalb Farmers Market. (Which, by the way, is on the bus line, lending access to those either more eco-conscious than myself, or not fortunate enough to have a sweet set of wheels like my own). A dollar goes significantly further at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market than it does at your average grocery store, but it’s still just a dollar. Accordingly, this land of edible wonders and enchantment lost some of its usual luster for me when my spending was restricted to a paltry $30. I tried to keep my eyes on the high-nutrition-to-value foods, but could not help but gaze wistfully at the bounties of fruit-filled croissants, assorted cheeses and other heavenly delicacies. Stoic and resolute, I went unwaveringly forth with purpose and $30 in hand, leaving with this:

Which came to a grand total of $26.51. See:

Which I guess you might not actually be able to read, because I'm not technologically savvy enough to make the image clearer. (or would more clear be correct? Jeannie?) But trust me, I have $3.49 left to spend. On whatever I want!

But before the 30 days begins, I made sure to take full advantage of my freedom to eat whatever the hell I want. We rang in the New Year surrounded by friends. We had our own ball drop, copious intoxicants, and plenty of calorie-laden goodies. All in all, I'd say it was a success. Let the 30 days begin!

* Incidentally, my first day back to eating normalcy will be Superbowl Sunday, so if I seem unusually pumped about it this year, you’ll understand. Woop! Woop!

1 comment:

  1. Randall and I were talking about trying your experiment (though maybe something more like Seven Days for $7), but A)I am addicted to all things delicious on a very real, very cellular level and B) I'm way too lazy to actually tabulate how much I'm spending for each meal. Though I probably should.