Monday, May 7, 2012

#belowtheline, the preparations

on sunday, tyler and i grabbed a quick lunch from trader joe's. without too much thought, i picked out the southwestern pita wrap, tyler instictively chose the bbq chicken wrap. we grabbed a bag of veggie chips to split and cashed out at $9.56.

not too bad for the two of us. but when you only have $1.50 to spend on food per day, you find yourself being a lot more thoughtful when you walk around the trader joe isles. 1.4 BILLION - that's over 4 times the population of the United States - live every day in extreme poverty. for five days, tyler and i (as well as 12 of my colleagues&family) will live below the poverty line by spending only $7.50 on food. after intently searching at three local stores, here's where we landed for the two of us for the week:

$0.19 /each Bananas (6) from Trader Joe's
$0.38 /each Potatoes (2) from Trader Joe's
$1.29 /32 oz Pasta from Safeway
$2.00 /26 oz Tomato sauce from Safeway
$1.59 /dozen Eggs from Trader Joe's
$1.79 /1/2 gallon Vitamin D milk from Trader Joe's

What we thought we could afford but couldn't:
$0.79 /16 oz Carrots at Trader Joe's
$0.69 /each Sweet Potatoes at Trader Joe's

 in addition to our own shopping, we met with some colleagues to discuss group purchases to save money. mentally, this was the most challenging part for me so far. i began to panic - what if they spend too much of my meager allowance? what if they don't buy enough? what if they buy foods i don't like? ...what if i get hungry?

that's the point isn't it? to experience the attempt of trying to survive on not nearly enough.

as a group, we managed to purchase the following for $2.09/per person:

2.5 cups of rice
1.25 cups lentils
2.5 cups oats
9 tbsp peanut butter
1 head of garlic ($0.20 extra - luxury item)

this means, so far, tyler and i have spent $12.95 out of $15.00 for the two of us. perhaps we could buy a few more bananas. well, 10 more bananas to be exact.

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