I'm not dead (and not for sale.) I was hungry occasionally on the challenge, but that was my own damn fault for not having thought farther in advance.
I got reinforcements on Sunday:
For $6.63, which brought my total to $32.09, only .59 cents over the limit, which ain't too bad. (Although if we must count the beer, like Andrea insists, I totally failed by uh, day 1.) However, I still have half a jar of peanut butter, 3/4 of a canister of oatmeal, most of that bag of spinach, two bananas, most of the broccoli, and a serving of collard salad and chickpeas left. SO I calculate each meal to have come in under $1.50 each, it's just that we have to put money down up front.
For more accurate results, the challenge should probably be a month long with about $126 per person. That is a lot to ask of people to do voluntarily, though, but it would drive home the fact that there are a lot of people who do that out of necessity. One problem I had with the challenge was that the rules asked that you not accept food that was offered at functions, or by friends. If I were on food stamps and I were hungry, I'd eat as much as I could for free! I'd be sneaking crackers and expired candy into my pockets constantly.
Point is, it's tough. I certainly cut back a lot on how much I ate, was a lot more vigilant, and mindful of each chew. In this way, it was funny - like a diet or a cleanse, I had to think about every bite. But on a diet, that's a choice to eat a certain way. People who may run out of food at the end of the month if they aren't careful NEED to consider that. It's really sad. Not to mention that now that schools are almost out for the summer, kids who get free lunches won't be able to for 2 1/2 months!
Also, I didn't do daily updates for you guys because I basically ate the same thing every day: banana, peanut butter, raw collard salad, carrots, chickpeas.
I tried not to deviate much from my normal meals, but I definitely feel like my vegetable intake went way down. I also typically buy almond butter rather than peanut but that shit is like 6 dollars for a cheap jar. I didn't feel deprived, really, but the monotony got to me.
But yo, chickpeas > tofu. Or any dried legume, really. ALSO, raw > cooked. Cooking food makes it such a smaller yield! I could eat this raw collard salad for five meals, or cook it and eat it all in two days.
I don't know what to do at a grocery store now. Do I go wild and buy cherries and Gardein? Do I torch all my money and live under a rock nibbling on carrots? Guys, I have no middle ground to run to here. Thank goodness I still have my no-Whole Foods plan to keep me on the straight and narrow.