Thursday, March 19, 2009

Might try the dollar a day thing again

I have found two more blogs on the subject, plus there were a couple of idiot guys on YouTube who might have ended their friendship over a few items from Taco Bell.

I would say that it started with the One Dollar Diet Project, but I suppose that they weren't really the first to try the experiment, and even the idiot guys on YouTube were about a year earlier. But for me and a lot of other people, the couple in California were the first that I heard about. Just see if you could buy food and only eat the small amount that would add up to a dollar a day. They bought a lot of stuff in bulk, used packages of condiments from fast food restaurants, and figured out that they could eat on a dollar a day, but not very well and they had to give up most of the vegetables and fruits that they liked. They're vegans, so they were already giving up meat, eggs, and diary. During the experiment they ate a lot of beans and rice and peanut butter sandwiches.

Two non-vegans from Michigan also did the 1 dollar a day thing at their blog Hope Heals. Their blog started out very similar to the first one, only they also ate eggs and cheap hotdogs. They then moved on to trying to be Freegans for a month, and are now doing this sort of random kindness thing. I was going to say that I didn't like the changes in their blog, but I've decided it isn't so bad. I was disappointed with their lack of posting in February, but it's their blog and they can write (or skip) whatever they want to. And I was at first disappointed with their March project, but I've looked at it again and they never really said that they were going to go out and help the needy. They just said that they would be doing little things for people when they thought they could help. They might accidentally help out someone who really doesn't need it or doesn't deserve it, but finding the most needy people to help for a month and then going away was not the point of the project. Just doing little things to make a person smile was the point, and maybe the point was to have fun doing it, which seems to be working.

Now I've found someone else in Michigan who decided to try this dollar a day thing in November of 2006. And he did it, though for the first few days he only had one meal a day. He figured that he saved just over two hundred dollars, which he donated to a local food bank. He called his experiment Hungry for a Month.

I found that blog from another blog called Less is Enough, which I found after checking back with the One Dollar Diet Project. The lady writing Less is Enough decided that she could also eat on a dollar a day, without being a vegan, and without stealing condiments from restaurants, and with more fresh veggies and fruit. And, for the most part, she did. The really interesting thing about this blog is that instead of trying to figure out how much the individual meals cost so that it added up to a dollar a day, she just went out everyday and spent about a dollar. If she had money leftover, she spent it the next day. If she wasn't going out on a certain day, she spent the dollar either the day before or the day after. She started with no food (not even salt) and thirty dollars, and at the end of the month she still hadn't spent her last $1.40, and she had just a little bit of beans, salt, and cornmeal leftover. So while she can't say for sure what her daily totals were, they averaged out to less than a dollar per day. For her next project, she's going to see how much it really costs to eat everything you are supposed to (three meals a day, fresh veggies and fruit, and all the food groups in healthy portions) if you are trying to stay on a budget. So I look forward to that.

Anyway, I'm thinking of doing it again maybe next week. It is easier to do when I'm by myself, and when I don't have any social obligations. I never know too much a head of time when I'll be by myself, but I don't think that I have any social commitments between this coming Sunday and the middle of next month. So that would be a good time to do something if I wanted to.


Ananda girl said...

That is an interesting idea. I have a friend who gives me a 50lb. sack of beans and a 25lb. sack of rice every year for Christmas. It lasts us most of the year and is a huge help on my budget. I think it may be the most thoughtful gift I've gotten.

We have no fast food places at all in our town. No dollar menu. This might be fun to try out and see how I fare at the market.

laughingattheslut said...

I can't remember being anywhere that didn't have some fast food places. I remember being someplace that was limited to a Subway and a Sonic. You have to be really small to not even have a McDonalds.

dmarks said...

I saw a Sonic downstate in Michigan a couple of weeks ago, and was surprised.

Leelanau County in Michigan used to have one McDonalds, but it died. There is one Subway in the county, and no BK, Wendy's, Hardees, Arby's, or any other fast-food chain.

Benzie County has one McDonalds, and it remains unchallenged by any other fast food places. There is an A&W in the county, but it is a sit-down restaurant (not fast food). I think there is more than one Subway in the county. But not much there, either.

Ananda girl said...

We used to have a mom and pop burger joint drive-thru that was famous for huge frosty style cones. If anyone had heard of us, they would say... yeah, the place with those huge ice cream cones! People would get pissed off when they had to wait, expecting McD style speed. The wait was about 20 minutes. We locals would laugh. But it went out of biz a few months back. Not laughing so much now.

dmarks said...

There is a count a ways south of us where many of the business have hand-painted crude signs like garage-sale signs.

One place was called "Mac's Fast Food Shack". The "M" in the sign was in the style of Golden Arches McDonalds logo. Not far away was a lodging place called the "Pines Hiltinn". Obviously not part of the Hilton chain either.

Ananda girl said...

Here I go dating myself again... back when Pong and microwaves were new, there was a tiny shack like the coffee shacks that have popped up all over, that sold microwaved food items. A microwaved burger... yuck. But it was a real novelty for a time and we did all go there. A sad truth. It was called Mircowave Heaven.

KARLA and AMY said...

Hey....thanks for following us and sticking with us, despite the changes in our projects!

We're happy to see that you stuck it out a little with our current project, Helping Hands; paying it forward each day with a random act of kindness.

I think you'll find that the majority of our work has gone to benefit those in need - it's been a great and humbling experience for us.

I encourage you to stay connected with us, especially for our April project.

The only hint I can give right now is that it IS food-related.

We'll be revealing it in our blog on the 28th of this month.

Best of luck to you!

Karla n' Amy

Hope Heals
Grand Rapids, Michigan