1. For the first week-ish of this experiment, I'll be staying at Slant (I have a temp job in town and this is so much easier than commuting from Lake Stevens/east Everett every day, plus I get to hang out with rad people). So I should be able to do pretty well for the first week.
2. I have just discovered that my favorite lunchtime at-work frozen meal (TJ's spinach lasagna, $1.89) is not big enough for lunch on its own, AND that it tends to give me heartburn. Bummer.
3. Not consuming dumpstered juice, bread, or produce will be pretty difficult for me. I understand the value of not taking this way out for the experiment - nevertheless, I love avoiding waste and dumpstering is one of the ways I do that.
In short, my biggest challenge is not the amount of money I have to spend - I have successfully eaten off a food-stamp sized allotment for much of my five years of adult life. It will be avoiding spending the money on things that are not food-stamp approved (like coffee from a coffee shop - I'm working quite a bit next week, and I'm going to require caffeine), and forcing myself to buy things that I would normally dumpster. Also, I am trying to gain a few pounds, and eating much more than I normally do may be difficult on this budget.
Today's food breakdown:
Breakfast: Frosted mini-wheats knockoff, soy milk = estimated 50 cents, coffee from coffee shop = $1.48
Lunch: TJ's spinach lasagna = $1.89, mango Naked Juice = free (valued at $3.29 or so)
Snack: 2 Emer-gen-C packets = estimated 50 cents, rye Triscuits = estimated 50 cents
Dinner at my parents' house: homemade pizza on pre-made crust = my share, estimated $3
Total paid by me: $4.37
Total cost: $7.87
Total value: $11.16
Wow. That was a lot more than I expected. My cocky comments above should be disregarded.