Thursday, June 1, 2017

My 2 Week $25 Food Challenge...

So I got this idea yesterday.  It's either genius and is going to make me extremely happy or it's a form of personal torture that will make me miserable for the next 2 weeks.  I'm doing a food challenge and it starts tomorrow.

This challenge is going to be interesting to say the least.

Why am I doing this?  To prove myself right or wrong once and for all.  Can I eat three meals a day for $12.50 a week?  $1.78 per day or 59 cents per meal?  I'm doing this challenge to go extreme but to go with the healthiest options that I can find for the $25 that I've allowed myself to utilize for TWO weeks.  I think I can do it and I also think this will be an interesting experience.

Now everyone's definition of healthy has it's gray areas and differences in opinion.  My definition is minimal processed food.  Lots of whole, natural foods.  Low in salt and low in all forms of sugar.  High in protein but not protein that always comes from animal sources.  4 ounces of meat per day simply because of vitamin B12.  Minimal dairy products.  No synthetic oils and minimal condiments like ketchup, mayo and salad dressings.  To me, eating healthy is eating real food.  Real food has flavor and doesn't need to be doctored up all the time.  I think the hardest part of this challenge is going to be the produce but I also think it is possibly doable.

If I'm successful at this challenge, I will keep the processed food to a minimum, that's a must do because I can't stand the majority of it.  I'd rater eat the box.  I won't be continuously repeating meals every day like a lot of people end up doing in these types of food challenges.  That's BORING and this is not supposed to be boring.  I might eat the same thing more than once in the two weeks if I really like it.  I will only use what I buy with that $25 with the exception of allowing myself 2 sticks of butter as my fat and a few simple seasonings like salt and pepper for flavor.

Here are the rules that I have set for myself:
  •  $25.00 for the 2 weeks.
  • Even though I really don't eat breakfast, I have to make a breakfast every day because this needs to be for 3 meals per day.  That is going to be hard for me.
  • I have to eat 1, 3 to 4 ounce serving of meat per day.
  • I can only use what I have purchased for the challenge with the $25, except for 1 1/2 dozen eggs (see below about that) and the fat/seasonings mentioned above.
  • I CAN use coupons because I use them on a regular basis anyway.
  • Any cash back offers with Ibotta or Saving Star do NOT count for or against the $25.  It's what I hand the cashier at time of checkout that counts.
  • I will use 1 1/2 dozen eggs from my own chickens but will be deducting the price of that 1 1/2 dozen large  eggs from the $25.  Kroger has that number of eggs on sale this week for 99 cents.  Store bought eggs suck and I refuse to eat them.  
  • I will post "what I ate" videos a couple of times each week of the challenge.  EVERYTHING that I eat will be recorded and posted.
  • The challenge starts on June 2nd and the last day is June 15th.  I'll post a wrap up video on June 16th with my thoughts, any struggles that I experienced and what I ultimately thought of the 2 weeks of food that I ate and my thoughts on how different it is or isn't from the way I normally eat.  I don't normally eat a breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I normally only eat when I'm hungry so for me, that within itself is going to be a challenge.
  • And finally, I am allowed to forage for wild edibles if I choose to.  I've got a funny feeling that I'll be doing that at least once at some point.

Here's what I have for the challenge so far:

2, 12 ounce packages of ground turkey- $2.00
2, 6 ounce packages of turkey bacon- 90 cents
Total= $2.90

2 packages of 8 hamburger buns- 50 cents
10 pounds of russet potatoes- $2.99
1/2 pound swiss cheese- $1.79
1 head of lettuce- 89 cents
1 can sliced beets- 49 cents
1 can black beans- 59 cents
1 can kidney beans- 55 cents
1.85 pounds of bananas- 81 cents
Total=  $8.61 + $2.90= $11.51

18 large eggs- 99 cents
Total= $11.51 + .99= $12.50

I have $12.50 left to spend for this challenge right now.  I'm hoping to get back to the store this evening because there are a few more things I want to get.

Meal planning is probably going to be really helpful with this.  I'm not usually a meal planner either which could be interesting. 

Like I said... it will either be a happy experience or complete and utter torture.  Either way, I'm doing it and you'll get to watch it.  I'm hoping it will at least be fun because it's definitely going to take me out of my element.

Questions?  Comments?  Criticisms?  Opinions on whether or not you think I'll make it or fail?  Leave them in the comment section below.