Yuck, the thought of eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast was enough for me to say no when Jeff asked me if I wanted to do The Working Poor Diet again. But when I thought of the $3,000 we raised for our local food bank last year, I couldn’t say no.
Just like last year, the first day was off to a rough start. I forgot about all the planning that’s involved in trying to make $80 stretch for the entire month. You can’t wing it, which I tried to do this morning. I forgot to wake up early to give myself enough time to make my oatmeal breakfast so I ended up skipping my first meal of the day. You can't just say, "Oh I didn't have time to make my luncn today. I'll buy a sandwich." You simply must go without.
Lunch wasn’t really any better. A slice of whole wheat bread and two apples got me through the workday, but I was starving by about three. For dinner I had one cup of rice and one cup of chili. I think I spend more time thinking about what I’m going to eat than actually eating. As I write this post, my stomach is growling because I forgot to buy something food to snack on. Tomorrow, I'll have to remember to buy a bag of popcorn, but I'm not sure where I'll find the time to get to the grocery store.
I wonder if the planning gets easier when you have to live on a fixed income for a longer period of time than a month. I doubt it. What meals can you make when you open up your fridge and there’s only a head of lettuce, a bag of carrots and a litre of milk?