As all of you know, this post will be on my experience completing the $3.00 a day assignment for class. Due to not wanting to be hungry and grumpy during a time when I needed to be able to focus on schoolwork, I completed the assignment over spring break. Although I did not have other schoolwork that needed my attention, I was working my manual labor job over the three days when I conducted this assignment and house sitting for a family. It was amazing how much not eating properly affected my work drive and my ability to focus.
On an average school day I will eat somewhere between 1800 to 2000 calories. On days I work outside for over 8 hours, I will normally end up eating around 2400 calories. Due to this assignment however, I was only able to eat an average of 594 calories per day. As I’m sure all of you felt for yourselves, I felt like I was actually STARVING. This assignment did a good job of placing me in the shoes of people who deal with food insecurity and work manual labor jobs, a very challenging combination.
I did not do the best planning before going shopping for this assignment. Originally I had thought I would buy rolled oats to make oatmeal every morning for breakfast (something I normally eat), a head of lettuce and carrots to make salad for lunch, and lentils, spices, and an onion to make lentil soup for dinner. I housesat for a family who owns chickens over spring break and had planned on killing and cooking their unwanted rooster for this project as well.
When I went shopping I bought the oats and head of lettuce at Town and Country for $1.44. I then bought two bulk carrots at Safeway for $0.27 and got the lentils, bulk curry spice, and a baguette at the Co-op for $5.17. This left me with $2.12 left to spend. I planned on saving the remaining money to see if I needed anything after I had started cooking. I did end up killing and preparing the rooster, hoping to make chicken stock and use the meat in my lentil soup. However, after boiling the carcass for an hour and a half I realized he was way too stinky to eat. After I discovered the rooster was not edible, it was my plan to go back to Safeway to buy some discounted chicken thighs I had seen earlier and use them as my stock. However, the house I was staying at was a little ways out of town so I never ended up going back to the store.
Because of my ill planning and my non-motivation to go back to the store, the food was extremely bland. I believe I would be able to live off of $3.00 if I ever had to again. However, if I ever had to again, I would do a lot better job planning before going shopping for food.