Day two: breakfast and an upset stomach…

So I awoke this morning to this less than pleasant stomach pains and gurgles.

Pain, pain, go away...

I know it was the Mr. Noodles. Apparently, my soon-to-be 30 year old body (although I continually tell myself it’s a trick and I’m really only 20) cannot handle that kind of food anymore.

Which leads me to ask, when the hell did I get old? Before you know it, I’ll be eating all-bran cereal and bitching about “them thar whippersnappers” with their inability to spell properly when texting.

Damn kids!

That’s right, I’ll be that person.

This is probably the point where everyone reading this, who is older than me, will want to smack me for calling thirty old.

Zip! Zap! Biff!

To which I say: “Bring it, geezers”.

Grama's got game.

Needless to say (although I’m saying it anyway), I will not be eating Mr. Noodles anymore this week. I’ll just have to find something else.

Also, I found out that my co-worker actually bought a new can of Melitta coffee, so it wasn’t the sale one. She wasn’t sure of the exact price so I guesstimated higher than it probably is ($12.99 for 1kg). Which means each cup is 18 cents (not 14) but I’m still okay for yesterday as I had a 12 cent buffer.

This correction, however, means that I was within 8 cents of my daily budget yesterday, and all I ate was very cheap (and kinda crappy) food. WTF?

Things cost money, yo

How does anyone survive in this kind of poverty? What do they eat? Do they feel sick all the time? I just can’t fathom living this kind of life with no end in sight.

It must get depressing when you can’t see a way out and there’s no one to turn too.

Contrary to what people believe, once you’re in that situation and living in extreme poverty it’s not just a matter of getting a job, and getting out. It’s just not that easy.

For instance, you need an address in order to get a job but to get an address, you need a job so you can pay rent. You also need a job to pay for a phone so employers can reach you, but you can’t get a phone without a credit check, which might reveal that you don’t have a job or an address.

Imagine if this was your home...

Then there’s the social stigma of living in extreme poverty. How many times are people turned away from jobs because they’re unshaven (maybe they can’t afford a razor) or their suit is wrinkled (maybe they’re living out of their car)…and how many people are judged for begging on the street (maybe that’s their only resort)?

Sorry for ranting so early in the day, but doing this challenge has really opened my eyes and got me thinking.


Do you like my subtle segways?

Today for breakfast, I had a cup of coffee at work, which I’ve now established is 18 cents a cup (eep!), plus 1 tsp of sugar. So my “meal” cost me 19 cents, leaving me with $1.31 for the day.

I'm practically rich!

This is going to be a difficult week, budget-wise, now that I know coffee costs more.

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Day one: dinner

I need to start this post by saying that my mouth tastes weird. It feels like I’ve had WAY too much sodium. My tongue almost feels numb. It’s not painful or nauseating – it’s just odd.

I’m almost certain its from that god-awful Mr. Noodles today. Tomorrow, I gotta eat something else.


For most people dinnertime is a time for family and conversation, but for me?

It’s all about the hot dogs baby. At least tonight it was. But boiled hot dogs are dull, so I sauteed them instead.

First, I added 1 tsp of grapeseed oil so they didn’t burn.

Sautee time!

Then I chopped and added 2 hot dogs. I don’t have a picture of them cooking so you’ll just have to trust me that it was the epitome of excitement.

But I also needed something with more substance so I decided to cook half the package of Primo Grain Wise pasta I bought.

Once it was cooked, I divided it and stored half of it in a tupperware container for another time.

But I can’t eat plain noodles so I “splurged” and added a 1/4 tsp of curry spices and 1/4 tsp of Loney’s low sodium chicken bouillon.

Precious flavour...

In the end, this is what I got.

The supper of champions.

It was okay. The pasta was quite good (and has 8g of fiber so that’s a bonus). But the hot dogs were just so-so. I should have sauteed them longer so they were crispier.

So my total cost for supper was:

2 hot dogs (17 cents total)
1 tsp grapeseed oil (4 cents)
1 tsp olive oil in pasta (5 cents)
1/4 package of pasta (22 cents)
1/4 tsp of curry spices (2 cents)
1/4 tsp of chicken bouillon (2 cents)

DINNER TOTAL: 52 cents.

This makes my total overall: $1.05

Leaving me with just 45 cents, which (thank god) is a little bit more than the cost of one of the bananas I bought Friday (they were about 33 cents each). So excuse me whilst I go eat that banana.

Man, that was a good banana.

Okay, so my NEW overall total (when you account for the delicious banana) is $1.38, leaving me with a staggering 12 cents.

God, that’s insanity. How do people do it?

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Day one: lunch…

Before I delve head first into the grossness that was my lunch, I wanted to mention this.

Last night as I was munching on some Reese Minis, I thought, “I’m bored, let’s do some math bitches!” and I did some calculations about my snack. I realized that just six of these delicious mini peanut butter bits would be my entire daily budget.


$1.50 for 6 of these? For reals?!


First, I arrive home for lunch and grab me a BEEF Mr. Noodles. As I take the photo my partner’s cat looks away in disgust because she knows. I don’t know how…but she knows.

Who knew a cat that big could be particular?

I proceed to crush the noodles because, I’m weird like that.

It's satisfying to hear it crunch under your fist.

Time for some spices! 1/4 tsp of curry powder mix.

Flavour of the Gods

Now HALF a packet of flavour. There’s far too much sodium in the entire package so, in a vein attempt to be healthy, I only used half the flavouring that came with it.

How many salt mines had to die to make this?

Boil my pretty, boil…

I used a gots a problem with dat?

Whoopsie daisy!

My bad.

And there ya go, BEEF Mr. Noodles (yes, the “beef” requires all caps in this case) with curry spices.


Looks kinda gross, don’t it? But maybe it’ll taste better than it looks?

You already know how this ends but for the sake of suspense, pretend you don’t.

I'm cautiously optimistic...

I ate it all. I had too, it’s all I can afford for lunch.

All gone!

So how was it?

Yeeeah…I kinda forgot how absolutely gross Mr. Noodles are.

I can’t believe I used to eat them 2 at a time when I was a kid. How was I not 400lbs? Seriously.

Now for the cost! The Mr. Noodles cost 21 cents and the 1/4 tsp of spices was 2 cents…my lunch cost 23 cents, which means I’ve eaten 38 cents worth of my $1.50 food and drink budget. Pretty good, really, but at what cost? I can still taste the fake BEEF flavour. Ick.

At least for supper I’m left with a massive $1.12…

Honestly, I don’t know how people do it. To go through your days always wondering if you’ll have enough money and/or food for the next meal…

Plus, if you don’t have the money to buy more food (or ANY food for that matter)…there’s no wiggle room…you’re going to go hungry. End of story.

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Day one: breakfast…

Well, it’s day one, morning one. And so far, so good.

Except for the hunger pains this morning, which had nothing to do with this challenge. I just didn’t eat enough last night.

See, I made the mistake of having a really big supper so I wound up not having an evening snack as I wasn’t hungry.

Most of you are probably thinking, “So what? It’s healthier NOT to eat before bedtime, fool.” Or, at the very least, you’re aware of this belief because you’ve seen it repeated time and again on Oprah.

But young grasshopper, you forget one important detail…

Wisdom, have you not.

I don’t eat breakfast. I never have.

My mother has always struggled to get me to eat in the morning…”It’s good for you!”, “You’ll feel more alert!”, “You won’t be so grouchy!”, and my personal favourite: “Just eat your damn breakfast!”

NOT my mother, but a reasonable fascimile

I just don’t like breakfast. It feels wrong and it doesn’t sit right. But if I don’t have a bedtime snack, I get “starvation pangs” the next morning.

They start off with an intense hunger…as if your gut is so desperate for nourishment it’s trying to eat itself (it’s not, don’t worry). Now you may be thinking, “Just eat something when you feel that hungry!”, but by the time you feel “the hunger”, it’s too late. Almost instantly afterward comes a wave of nausea and this strange empty feeling like you just don’t have a stomach at all anymore and a black hole has opened up in the emptiness where your stomach once resided.

The void that is my morning stomach.

Bottom line: the last thing you want to do when you feel that way is eat. Which seems odd from a survival point of view.

Anyways, it always goes away after a few minutes so I just waited it out. Now I’m hunky dory. Well, as hunky dory as one can be on $1.50 a day.


Please let it be known that I did NOT use my Keurig this morning.

Instead, I made coffee at work…which turned out to be cheaper than I thought it’d be. I had forgotten that the coffee at work is a brand called Melitta (from Sobey’s) and I bought it on sale over a month ago. At 1kg for $9.99, it’s 14 cents a cup.

Please note: In absolutely no way, while I drank this coffee, did I ever feel like I was at a cafe in Paris with a violinist playing behind me. Melita is not that tasty. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to my mild flavoured coffees with milk. All I know is, my tongue feels fuzzy and my mouth tastes like sweaty coffee soaked feet. Which is a completely inappropriate way for a tongue to feel and a mouth to taste.

But back to the story at hand!

So to make sure my pricing was accurate, I carefully measured out 4 tbsp of grinds with a proper measuring spoon and made enough for 2 cups of coffee (1 for me, 1 for someone else in the office)….

Back to the ole "grind"

And I poured myself exactly 1 cup (250ml) of coffee.

It's all about portions...

Then I added 1 tsp of sugar I brought from home. Amazingly, the sugar cubes I left at the office are almost 2 cents more than my loose sugar from home. Pffft, forget that! Who am I, J. Lo? I can’t afford that kind of luxury.

Sugar time!

In total, my “breakfast” (i.e. my coffee) was 15 cents. That leaves me with $1.35 for the rest of today.

Heyyyyy big spender….

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Goal reached!

I reached my $500 goal! In 5 days no less!

Celebration time!

That’s so amazing!

Thank you all so much! It means a lot to me to have so many generous people in my life.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve taken the liberty of raising my fundraising goal to $1,000.

That’s right…$1,000!

I may not get anywhere close to this but I have to try. Just imagine how many women CARE could help with $1,000!

To sponsor me, please visit my official fundraising page, or click “sponsor me” at the top of this page.

Again, thank you all so much. I couldn’t have done this without every single one of you helping me out.

A million times over!

Once again, to make a donation, just visit my official fundraising page and follow the directions, or click “sponsor me” at the top of this page and follow the links that way.

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Price list…

Friday, I stopped in the Atlantic Superstore after work to take note of the price of things I already have in my cupboards in case I use them in a meal next week.

The overall price will help me calculate what portions I can afford to use, if any.

My home away from home...

Cupboard Price List (based on Superstore prices):

Becel Vegan Margarine – $3.49 for 454g (or 95.34 tsp)
1 tsp would cost me $0.04

Celeb Margarine – $2.69 for 454g
1 tsp would cost me $0.03

NN Bulk Coffee – $12.99 for 930g (65.1 tbsp)
1 cup (2 tbsp) would cost me $0.20

Lantic Sugar – $3.39 for 2kg (423.38 tsp)
1 tsp would cost me $0.01

PC Grapeseed Oil – $5.99 for 750ml (150 tsp)
1 tsp would cost me $0.04

Gallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $9.99 for 1L (200 tsp)
1 tsp would cost me $0.05

PC No Salt Added Chick Peas – $0.89 for 540ml (2.16 cups)
1/2 cup would cost me $0.20

NN Flaked Tuna – $0.78 for 120g
1/3 of the can would cost me $0.26

PC Thai Jasmine Rice – $2.79 for 907g (4 cups)
1/2 cup would cost me $0.35

Catelli Smart Pasta – $2.69 for 454g (2 cups)
1/2 a cup would cost me $0.67

Curry spices – $8.50 for 453g (95.13 tsp)
1 tsp would cost me $0.09

Mini Reeses Pieces – $3.49 for 210g
1 piece (15g) would cost me $0.25 per piece

Wonder+ white bread – $2.99 for 22 slices
1 slice would cost me $0.14

Apple Juice – $1.25 for 1L (4 cups) *ON SALE*
1/2 cup would cost me $0.16

Hopefully my math is accurate. It was never my strong point in school. I was that smart ass kid who knowingly declared, “This will not help me in life! I’m never going to use this stuff, so why bother learning it?”

Now I’d like to go back to my younger self and say, “See? That’s how it’ll help you in life. Right there baby. Right. There.”

Also, on another (slightly related) note, THIS is what my boyfriend purchased when we went to the grocery store.

And this is half of what he normally gets

I endearingly call it the mother load.

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Dinner of the Gods…

So last night I went out to dinner with my family to a Mexican restaurant. In an effort to be more financially responsible, which seems to be a side effect of this $1.50 a day challenge, I only ordered an appetizer and a small dessert. No drink, and no main course. When I got the bill, even though it was the smallest bill I’d had in months, it really stuck with me that this…


…is almost 6 days worth of food for someone living in extreme poverty. One small bowl of guacamole with corn chips on the side ($6.49) and two tiny brownies in butterscotch sauce ($0.99) cost more than what I’m going to live off of for all of next week.

It’s interesting to think that there are people out there who may never get the chance to “splurge” on a meal that I consider cheap.

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