So Here’s The Deal…

[note: this experiment took place November 2006]

For the month of November, I’m only spending $30 on food. The only exception will be things that are freely available to the average person (salt taken from restaurants, sauce packets from Taco Bell, free coffee from an office). Buying in advance is fine, but at the end of the month, it all has to add up to $30 or less.

NOTE: This blog is organized according to date, which means you’ll see the last day of this thing before the first. It might make more sense if you start from the beginning (click and scroll to bottom).

Day 30 - In Conclusion

Over the past month, I've talked about how my view of food has changed. I talked about the conversations I've had about this project and they way some people opened up to me in a very unique way. I've talked about the excitement a nine-cent hot dog can bring and I've talked a lot about rice. Until today, I've kept politics out of it, mostly because that's not what this was ultimately about. But the truth is, politics, or maybe just people in general, did play a role in it.

On October 11th, 2006, I was reading the paper when an article caught my eye. It was written by Lawrence Cosentino and appeared in the October 11th edition of the Lansing City Pulse. The headline was, "Just Hold It Together." You can find it online if you feel like looking.

The story was about 42 representatives from local businesses, government agencies and non-profits that participated in an hour long workshop designed to simulate the lives of poor people. They were all assigned roles such as "single mother with no job", and then sat around a big table role-playing for an hour, trading fake money back and forth and worrying about how they would feed their kids on minimum wage. The article was interspersed with quotes from the participants like, after this experience, "I will not be the same."

This was, of course, a stupid exercise for anyone to go through. In the end, the participants convinced themselves that this had given them some insight into what it's like to be poor, if only for an hour. But they had not been poor for an hour, they had done a math problem for an hour. They sat around a big table in a nice building (with full stomachs if I had to guess), and essentially 'ran the numbers' on why it's difficult to pay your rent or buy groceries with a minimum wage job. It seems as though these leaders of our community should have been able to do math on their own.

I think that this article is where I first got the idea to eat for a dollar a day. After reading it, I desperately wanted to find something tangible that a normal person could do to actually get some insight on what being poor is all about. It's one thing to say, "Being poor means you can't eat a lot of food," but it's a completely different experience to actually go through.

Of course, my month long experiment didn't come anywhere close to capturing the realities of being poor; I always knew in the back of my head that I could get more food if I needed it, and more importantly, being poor involves a lot more than just not eating much. But this was a start. And it was an honest start. It wasn't just sitting around in a room for an hour.

There were other reasons to do this experiment as well. One, I just wanted to know if it could be done. Two, I wanted to do something unique for no other reason than it was unique. Three, I wanted to do something that would shock my system just to see how I would react. In one way or another, this achieved all of those.

It's pretty difficult to sum up what I've learned this month. The best I could really do is to tell you to go back and read all of the posts. The lessons learned are in how I came to think about food differently, how my body adapted around the challenge, and in the conversations I've had this month.

For those who care, the total amount I spent on food this week was $27.28. That’s about 93 cents a day, although I still have quite a bit of food left over. I also lost about 18 pounds this month.

And oh yeah, some of you may remember that in one post I mentioned that I was doing something special with the money I saved. Well here it is…

I'll admit it's not the most original idea, but it just seemed fitting.


Day 29 - The End Is Near

Tomorrow’s post will be a review of the entire month; a tidy little conclusion to this experiment. So in some ways, today’s post is the last “real update”.

I’ve still got food left over. I could probably stretch what I’ve got another 4-5 days with no trouble at all. Instead of a dollar a day, I think it’s going to end up being more like 90-cents a day.

Tonight I’m going to have rice mixed with mashed potatoes, frozen vegetables and a hot dog. It eats like dog food, but it’s been a staple of this month. It’s not a bad meal and it only runs me about 30-cents. This will be sort of a farewell meal. I’ll certainly be eating on Thursday, but just a snack here and there because I have a rendezvous at Taco Bell planned for 12:01am Friday morning. I’m going to make myself quite sick I think.

There are a few things about this month that I won’t miss:

- Constantly washing dishes. I have a dish washer, but it seems like a waste to run it for 1 pot and 2 bowls, so I mostly just wash everything by hand after I use it.

- Drinking nothing but water. I can’t wait to suck down a giant Coke.

- Relying on salt to flavor everything. There’s a reason it’s the most popular spice in the world, but enough is enough already.

- Having to skip out on lunches with friends and co-workers.

- Not getting Raisinettes at the movies. It’s the only time I ever eat them since they’re disgusting, but a movie just isn’t a movie without them.

- Passing up free food.

All of that aside, there are a lot of things I’ll miss. I’m saving that list for tomorrow, but if you look back over all of these entries, I think you’ll find that there are more positive ones than negative.


Day 28 - Adaptation

I don’t even feel like I’m eating less anymore. In fact, for the past few days I’ve felt like I’m over eating. I pretty much force myself to eat more because I get scared when I do the math on the amount of calories I’ve consumed that day and find them to be dangerously low. I’ve said it before, but it’s amazing to me that in such a short amount of time my body has completely adjusted to this way of life. I’m consuming less than half the amount of food I used to and I don’t even notice it.

Lately I’ve been thinking about anorexia. Not because I’m anorexic by any means, but because this month has shown me how a person could do it. Before, I assumed that anorexia meant constantly being hungry, so hungry that you were in constant pain. I never understood how people said they just sort of, “fell into the disease without realizing it.” But now I understand that like a lot of pain, the human body adapts around it. Like I said, if I wasn’t carefully monitoring my calories, I could easily eat way less than I should be eating and think it perfectly normal. If you were to add to that the psychological pressure to get or stay thin, I could definitely see how it happens. For better or worse, the psychological pressure about weight issues is something I’ll probably never fully understand since there’s way less of it on men than women.

That said, the main thing that I know will have me back to eating “normally” almost immediately is taste. I really do miss taste. I miss crushed red pepper, strong garlic, sweet onions, that tangy vinegary taste of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce… I think that come December, I’ll be eating a lot of strong ethnic foods just to indulge in all the different tastes.


Day 27 - Looking Forward

Today’s update is a little off topic, but important none the less. I would have waited a few more days to post this, but I didn’t want to cloud up my last few updates with this nonsense.

I’ve got a whole new scheme planned for December: web comics. Each day, for 31 days, I’m going to draw a web comic and post it right here (well, not right here, but I’ll link to it from here).

I’m going to need people to bear with me for a little while as I’m no artist. At least not yet. I’m hoping that if I make an honest effort at drawing every day I’ll actually get better, but who knows. As for the humor; I’ve got this distinct feeling that a lot of things that “seem” funny in my head might not actually be that funny on paper, so give me some time to figure it all out.

Also, I’ve actually conned a friend of mine into trying this month’s challenge with me. I’ll be posting links to his comic creations as well, so lucky you can see what two guys who can’t draw and aren’t that funny can come up with.


Day 26 - The End In Sight

I’ve been eating a little more in the past day or two than I have been most of this month. With the end fast approaching, I can see I’ve got a little cushion in the budget.


Day 25 - Less Than A Week Left

Around day five, I was really starting to get worried. By that time, I had pretty much figured out I wouldn’t starve on a $1 a day… which meant I was going to have to go for the whole month. I think I was secretly hoping to discover that it simply wasn’t possible, make some long winded post about my trials and tribulations, and then soak up whatever residual credit I could get for at least giving it a try.

Depending on what you’re talking about, a month can seem like a very short or very long time. Waiting for your investment accounts to mature… a month is nothing. Waiting to find out if it’s malignant… a month might as well be a lifetime. Back on day five, a month seemed like a very long time. That early in the game, you’re still thinking about being hungry all day long. You’re still dreaming about a stop by Taco Bell. You’re still dreading the idea of another bowl of rice.

Everything changed around day ten though. The time between now and then has just flowed by quite smoothly. I suppose it just became a habit or a lifestyle or something. It’s pretty amazing to me that it only took ten days. I wonder what other changes I could make and adapt to in only ten days.

As of tomorrow, I only have five days left. I really hope that I don’t regress back to my old ways too quickly.


Day 24 - More Energy... Sort Of

Like most people, sometimes I get these ideas in my head that aren’t really based on any factual information that I can pinpoint, but for some reason I’m sure it’s right. One of those ideas was this: You’ll have more energy if you eat healthier.

For one reason or another, that seems like a pretty common sense concept, and so I was expecting to have more energy this month (once I got over the initial shock to my system of a decreased calorie diet). And truth be told, something like that sort of happened, but not in the way I was expecting.

So far, I wouldn’t say that I have more energy at any given time than I had before. But I do have less of what I can only think to call, “the slowdown effect.” The slowdown effect comes from eating a big meal. It’s that gorged, ‘I can’t believe I ate that much’ feeling. It makes you want to turn on the TV after eating. It makes you want to take a nap. It’s your body trying to get a head start digesting a gluttonous amount of food.

The diet I’m on digests pretty easily. It’s all rice and noodles, very small amounts of fat, no grease, very little meat… when you compare that to a nice one-pound burger and a heap of fries, you can just sort of infer the differences.

It’s a strange experience now when I eat with other people. I eat fast (since it all tastes like crap), and then I get this real boost of energy (since everything I’m eating converts pretty quickly). Other people tend to mill about their plates, sigh a number of times while eating, and after eating, immediately go do something like sit down some more.

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t just watched this myself, but you can actually see a difference in people as they enter a restaurant and as they leave. Next time you’re out, just watch people scurrying for a table and lumbering for the door.


Da y 23 - Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a strange holiday when you’re not eating. Food is a significant component of most holidays, at least where I’m from, but Thanksgiving has the distinct honor of being the only holiday exclusively about food. There are no presents, no costumes, no holiday games… Please spare me the lecture on how Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving thanks and I’ll do the same for you.

Since I began this experiment, I always thought the Thanksgiving Day post would be a big, revealing post about some grand revelation I uncovered. It only seemed fitting that the one day a year solely centered on the thing I was abstaining from would lead to some wise verse on my part.

Well, I got nothing folks. Nothing that I haven’t said before at least.


Day 22 - The Benefits Of Dining In

Ever since I made my first trip to Manhattan in my freshman year of college, I’ve had a real love/hate affair with the mid-West in general. It was definitely more hate in the beginning, but it’s growing on me more and more every year.

Since that first trip, I’ve had the good fortune to return to NYC several times. One of the small things that you can’t fully appreciate on a single visit is that there really aren’t any mid-West style grocery stores anywhere on the island. There are a ton of these little grocery shops that we would probably liken to a 7-11, but not the giant food emporiums that we’re used to. You can easily find takeout buffets of exotic Asian food or real deep dish pizza that eats more like lasagna than pizza, but it’s much harder to find a place that sells a sack of potatoes or a gallon of milk. In fact, on one trip, I was so excited to find a half gallon of milk for sale in one of those little shops that I bought it on the spot, got a paper cup from a woman behind the counter and proceeded to sit on a curb in the middle of Manhattan and drink the whole thing.

Anyway, eating in NYC usually means going out. It’s a glamorous idea, but a tiring one. Eating out is more than just expensive, it’s time consuming. It means you have to look presentable, get your car (which is a huge ordeal) or get a cab (which is almost as bad), find a restaurant, order your food, wait around for your food… it’s like an hour long prospect at the shortest.

The few people that I know from New York don’t mind it. It’s part of life. They’ve lost sight of the idea that eating could be anything else.

Before this month, I was eating out a lot. It seemed easier at the time. However, this month has reminded me that even though rice takes 20 minutes to cook, it’s still faster than going out for food (and it’s obviously cheaper). Even though Ramen means you’ll have to wash a pot, no one cares what you’re wearing while you cook it. And perhaps most importantly, it reminded me that no matter what the meal tasted like, feeling full is pretty much a universal feeling after the fact, whether you ate a New York strip steak prepared by a 5-star chef or bowl of noodles and vegetables made by yours truly.


Day 21 - "Here's What You've Got To Do..."

I have this friend who, among other things, is a bit of a minimalist. I think it’s just a lifestyle that fits him well, not really a conscious decision. He lives in a big house out in the middle of no where with a dog and a cat. Oh yeah, and two horses, a ten foot snake and a turtle that permanently resides in his bathtub. He’s that guy you call when you want to have a big bon fire because A.) He’s got the room, and B.) He’s always got big things like couches or beds or occasionally a Jeep that you can burn.

Anyway, to this point, this guy is the only person I’ve met that’s thought the whole dollar a day thing sounded easy.

“Here’s what you want to do: Get yourself some Nutty Bars from the gas station. I can give you a list of where they sell them for only a quarter a pack if you want. There’s like 325 calories in each pack. That’s 1300 calories a day for your dollar. Hell, that’s more than you actually need. And I’ve lived like that before, so I’m pretty sure it won’t hurt you.”


Day 20 - Three For A Dollar

I was getting low on a few things, so I stopped into the grocery store after work a day or two ago. I pretty much got more of the same, with a few notable exceptions.

First were the hot dogs which I so gleefully described yesterday. Say what you will about the price, they taste just like any other hot dog I’ve ever had.

My most interesting purchase was three pepperoni pizzas for a dollar. Let that sink in for a second. Now in all fairness, they weren’t full size pizzas. And realistically, they weren’t even pizzas. They were these little three-inch diameter pieces of frozen bread with the bare minimum amount of sauce and cheese on them… and a few little things that at least looked a little like pieces of pepperoni.

I knew it was stupid purchase at the time. I mean, all you had to do was look at these sad little pizza-ettes and you started to feel bad for the guy who probably got fired because he came up with them as an idea. But still, the idea of pizza was just too tempting.

I had one as soon as I got home and I have to say, it wasn’t as horrible as it could have been. Sure, volume for volume, it was a waste of 33-cents. On my normal diet I would have eaten ten of them before feeling full. But it tasted… different. Not really like pizza, but certainly not like rice. And that was a welcome change.

Today’s grand total was $7.21. That brings my monthly total up to $22.79. All things considered, I don’t foresee any trouble staying under $30 for the rest of the month.


Day 19 - Revelations

A few days back, I noted that this experiment was turning out to be a pretty spectacular conversation starter. And that has continued, but recently with a twist.

I’ve now had several conversations where, once I’m done explaining what I’m doing, the person gets a very somber look and their face and says something like, “Yeah, I remember that time in my life.” Then they go on to explain some time in their life when things just weren’t going the way they should and they were forced to live on a dollar a day.

What surprises me about conversations like this is that for the most part, these are people who are quite financially successful now. They own nice homes full of nice things, drive nice cars, wear nice clothes… but somewhere in their past, whether it be just a week or sometimes months, they were forced into the experiment I’ve chosen.

What’s even more surprising is that they would share such a thing about their past. As chance would have it, most of the people in my life were brought up to believe that money is a personal issue. You don’t really talk about how much or how little you have. For these people, saying, “There was this time in my life when I was so dirt poor I ate rice for four months,” is a huge revelation. There’s just something disarming about this experiment, something that resonates very much with people who have been there at one time or another.


Day 18 - Hotdogs

To this point, I’ve been a vegetarian for the entire month of November. That all comes to an end today. While wandering around the grocery store comparing the cost effectiveness of rice versus beans, I came across some hotdogs. They were 88-cents. They were also labeled in Spanish.

I paused for a minute to consider whether I was really ready to eat a 9-cent hotdog. I was.

I’m having a hotdog for dinner tonight and it’s the most exciting thing I’ve done this week.


Day 17 - We Have An Office Kitchen

I was standing in it this morning and it occurred to me how strange that is. It’s not like we have a room with a table and a refrigerator in it; we have a stove and microwave, a full size sink and cupboards full of food. This is a place of business, not a cafeteria. For the most part, no one is eating breakfast or dinner here. No one is cooking huge meals. And despite all of that, when someone built this office building, they were sure to include a full kitchen.

In an earlier post, I commented on how this experiment made me think about food differently, and how it made me see that food is often far less about sustenance and far more about the social and psychological aspect of our day.

The kitchen serves no meaningful business purpose, but it is where you can find people casually milling about and drinking a cup of coffee. It’s where (through sheer force of will) people sing happy birthday when appropriate. It’s where we cook special lunches on big holidays. It’s where you can just sit and read a newspaper without being heckled when you should probably be doing work. It’s the most comfortable room of the office.


Day 16 - Comfort Food

In my first post, I talked about food making people, “feel comfortable and good.” I now understand that more than ever.

This sort of “emotional connection to food” is buried pretty deep inside of us. Think about all the foods you associate with good experiences: cake and ice cream at a party, Champaign at a wedding, popcorn at a movie, hot dogs at the ball park, those deep-fried cake dough and sugar abominations they always sell at carnivals… There’s some sort of universal experience, zeitgeist thing going on with these foods.

Now think about foods you associate with bad times: about all I can come up with is the taste of whiskey, which is probably more of a personal issue than a universal truth.

Whatever your “good and bad foods” list ends up looking like, I’m willing to bet the good is larger than the bad. I guess my point is that food goes pretty far beyond just staying alive. I’m eating plenty of food to just stay alive this month, but I’m not getting any “comfortable and good” vibes from this food, and I miss that.


Day 14 - The Weighting Game

At the beginning of this experiment, I had no idea if I would actually lose weight. Sure, I knew I would be eating less, but I also knew what I was eating would be mostly carbs (which I hear make people fat, although that’s almost exclusively based on weight-loss commercials I see on TV).

Anyway, I did lose weight. Fast. In fact, I lost about seven pounds in ten days. Something has to be off about that measurement since I’m not even sure it’s possible (what with a pound representing 3500 calories), but never-the-less, it’s what the scale said.

My weight has been holding just about constant for the past few days. This is a good sign. I’m not eating any more or less than I did in the first 10… I think my body has just caught up and adjusted my metabolism. I wouldn’t be surprised if I lose 12 or 13 pounds total by the end of this.

By the way, I plan on eating back those 13 pounds by noon on December 1.


Day 13 - Are You Kidding Me?

I saw a commercial for these things last night. I fealt full just looking at it.

I had a bowl of spaghetti for dinner tonight. It was the first time I ate today. I'l probably have some ramen later tonight. No protein, but I figure I can handle a day without.

Once again, food didn't even sound good until about 6pm tonight.


Day 12 - Here's What I've Bought So Far

I meant to get these up earlier.


Day 11- The Dread of Eating

Over the past few days, a completely unexpected feeling has come over me: The desire not to eat. You would think that someone living on a rather modest budget if a $1 per day would jump at the idea of any food, but the opposite is turning out to be true.

For the past few days, I’ve put off eating as much as possible. I have plenty of food, I know what I can afford to eat, and yet I find myself putting it off.

I think the root of the problem is that food makes me feel slow and sluggish now. Any food. If I have small bowl of spaghetti, I feel like taking a nap for an hour. If I eat a hard boiled egg, I feel like I just had a seven course meal. My body seems to have adapted to the point where any food is interpreted as gorging.

Once I eat for the first time in the day, food for the rest of the day seems more appealing, but I’m regularly delaying that first meal of the day until 6pm or 7pm.


Day 10 - Thinking About Food

The experiment is 1/3 over today, and even though it has only been 10 days, I’m already thinking about food in a very different way than I used to.

Because the company I work for hosts a number of awards ceremonies, receptions and other events, I find myself staring at hotel catering menus a lot when I’m trying to price things out. I was talking to my boss about one such event today and she asked if looking at so many gourmet meals made me hungry all day. I thought about it for a second, and the answer is simply, “no.”

I am hungry a lot, but it doesn’t really overwhelm my thoughts. Before this month, when I thought about food, I thought about taste. Did I want cheese on my burger or did I want chili on my fries? Hell yes I did. It tasted better that way. Salt, Tabasco, sugar, grease… it was all delicious and if I didn’t get it, I somehow felt like I was being robbed of the full dining experience.

Living on a dollar a day, taste isn’t an issue. It all tastes the same. Bread, noodles, beans, rice… it’s all pretty much the same thing. And since you know that’s all you’re really going to be eating, you stop thinking about taste.

This month, all food is the same food. All that matters is that you get it, not how it tastes. And since the flavor and intrigue of food is gone, so is the fun in thinking about it. Food becomes mechanical rather than entertaining. So no, I don’t think about food all day long.


Day 9 - Beans

I had Navy beans for dinner tonight. Just a bowl of them. They took like 2 hours to cook. You would think that “bean technology” would have somehow advanced beyond a 2 hour cook time by now.


Day 8 - A Strange Sensation

It hit me around 12:15pm today. I was on a conference call and my stomach started to hurt. It wasn't too bad at first, but over the span of about 15 minutes, the pain turned from some dull rumblings to sharp pains. Sharp enough that it was hard to stand up. My arms started to feel heavy. For the first time, I wondered if my dollar-a-day-diet was simply going to give out on me.

Since I've told too many people about this project to stop now, I fired back and the pain with a cup of coffee, thinking that perhaps a jolt of free sugar would spark something. It sort of seemed to work. The pain subsided and I was left with just the normal feeling of being mildly hungry. In hindsight, coffee, with all the acid and what not, probably isn't the best drink for a guy on an empty stomach. It's hard to argue with results though.

I think it's going to be very important that I do a better job of spacing my food out over the day. I can't continue to skip breafast and lunch and then load up for dinner.


Day 7 - Desperate Times Lead to Innovation

I invented a new meal tonight. Here's what you do:

Boil up some rice in too much water. About 5 minutes before the rice is done, toss in a handful of frozen vegetables. Once it's all done cooking, mix in some dry potato flakes until they suck up all the excess water.

What you're left with is basically Elmers Paste. You could spakle a wall with it. But it's filling. Really filling. And really really cheap.


Day 6 - Conversations

It’s only six days in and I’ve already had about 20 conversation about why I’m doing this. Here’s the most popular questions so far:

Are you trying to lose weight? (No, but if it happens, it happens.)

Is this religious or political or something? (It is something, but I don’t think it’s religious or political.)

Are you poor? (Yes, but not this poor!)

Are you a vegetarian? (Never before, although it seems like it might be a side effect of this particular diet. I’ll be back to my carnivorous ways on December 1.)

Are you going to do something special with all the money you’re saving? (Yes)

Are you going to keep living like this after the month is over? (I suspect I won’t immediately regress into my old eating habits, but I don’t really plan to keep this up beyond November.)

Is this like that 30 Days show with that guy who ate McDonalds for a month? (I guess it's sort of similar but with less cameras. And come to think of it, the last time I saw that guy (Moran Spurlock), he was spending 30 days in jail as part of his project. So I guess he's a little more committed than I.)

Did you see that coupon in that paper? (Probably not.)

Did you know that a pack of Nutter-Butter Wafers is only 99 cents and has 1000 calories in it? (I did not know that.)


Day 5 - I'm Still Eating Rice

I can't seem to make a post about another boring bowl of rice interesting. While I think about it, check this out:

It's kind of cool.


Day 4 - Not All Pots Were Meant To Boil Water


Day 3 - The Slowdown Begins

I think my body finally caught onto my plans for the month; and it’s not pleased. I fealt like I had weights tied around my ankles and did a lot of staring blankly at my desk today. I think my body is just revolting against the drastic drop in calories. Everything I’ve read says it should ajust in a few more days. I didn’t really read a lot of things though.


Day 2 - What Can You Eat For A Buck?

The short answer is starch. Yesterday I made my first trip to the grocery store. Remember, I didn’t do any real research before beginning this, so I wasn’t real sure what to expect.

The first two obvious purchases were rice and ramen. Both are ridiculously cheap. Neither are particularly tasty. I was please to find some off brand peanut butter and jelly for just over $1 each. I figured that if I paired that with a $1 loaf of bread, I could have some cheap sandwiches. All said and done, a PB&J costs about $.35 to make; maybe a little less if you go light on the peanut butter.

I also got some noodles and sauce for spaghetti, which will be a familiar cheap meal.

One of the things that occurred to me when I got home was that I didn’t have anything to mix with the rice. Plain white rice is of course, the most bland meal on the planet with the exception of ice cubes. I’ll have find something that�s cheap and flavorful to mix with it.

Grand total, I spent $8.23 on this trip to the store. I figure that in a pinch, there’s enough food there to live for 2 weeks or so. I’m sure I’ll have to augment it with some spices or something, so I’ll be hitting my $1 a day average almost exactly on the head.


Day 1 - Grab yourself a plate buddy

Food is just one of those things that makes people feel comfortable and good; it’s like Hugh Grant movies or silk boxers. And since it’s a little assuming to hand out silk boxers at most potentially awkward business receptions, they tend to hand out food.

So was the case today, ironically the first day of this little experiement. I knew I would encounter my fair share of free food, but it hadn’t really occurred to me how many “functions” I go to that dole out the chicken wings by the barrel.

Given that I had only been doing this for 12 hours, passing up on the food wasn’t too hard. The bigger problem was ducking all the people that kept trying to give it to me without being a jerk. There’s something locked away deep in recess of the reptilian part of our brains that just instictively tells us to eat when food is presented, as if you don’t know when the next meal will come along. So when you see a bunch of food and some guy with the gall not to eat it, the first thing everyone seems to say is, “Grab yourself a plate buddy.” I would of course respond by that ridiculous grabbing of my stomach and leaning back as if to prentend I had just gorged myself out of sight.

Anyway, sticking to my plan that I’d only take free food that would be readily available to the average person, I had a glass of lemonade. I figure that was in the same category as a free cup of coffee or something the like.

Aside from that, I only ate one meal today. Two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches plus a packet of chicken Ramen. It was OK, although I can tell you I�ll be bored with that meal pretty quick. It came in at a grand total of $.90, which means I can bank roll that dime for a latter date.