$3.00/Day Assignment Reflection

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.


5 thoughts on “$3.00/Day Assignment Reflection

  1. Alyson, I think your plan was very smart. I didn’t even think to make three meals, because I just wanted the sheer bulk to try to fill myself. I think it would have been more bearable with those three meals though. And just curious, why was the rooster inedible? Nice work!

    • Well I probably could have still eaten the rooster if I had needed to.. But roosters, like other uncut male animals that we consume have a stink to their muscles that cut males or females do not. Also, I had run him around for almost an hour before I could catch him so when I went to use his muscles they were extremely tough and even my dogs had a really hard time chewing it.

  2. Wow, deciding to kill and cook a rooster was really ambitious! I agree that the planning for this assignment was more than I had expected and I ended up in the same boat as you were I was pretty low on a protein source.

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