Friday, September 30, 2016

Two people. One September. One store. $6.66 a day. And no animals were harmed.

The Last 99 Cent Supper
Well, that went really well. Cheaper than expected. Way cheaper. Painless, absolutely painless. And since we didn't explode into a mushroom cloud of bean gas, I think it was amazingly healthy too.

We both ate for the whole month, minus the ten days I was gone to visit family, from the 99 Cent Store. Vegan, all vegan food. Hardly anything processed. And we had some pretty good meals. Tasty stuff. Simple, yet tasty. We got real familiar with the Legume Family, they were frequent guests at lunch and dinner. 

The 99 Cent Store is certainly not Whole Foods where one walks around saying, "Hmm, lets see, where are they keeping the locally-grown rutabagas these days? Hey look! The cage-free organic endive is looking just divine!" No, shopping at a dollar store for produce is more like "They have THAT?!?!" It's simply amazing the variety of produce, even without the endive and rutabagas. It gives one hope.

The best deal by far was the three loves of Dave's Killer Bread* that Ernst picked up early in the month. We froze two, so he had healthy and great tasting whole-grain bread for all of September. For one dollar a loaf. It's normally four dollars a loaf, so he enjoyed every single slice with a side of smirky satisfaction. 

*The Best Bread in the Universe
(Or so say people who can enjoy bread.)

So, what was the grand total for our month of purchasing food in one dollar increments?


Now comes the fast talker at the end that takes away all the fun. Factoring in that I was gone for ten days, we are rounding it up to 


And that comes out to 

$6.66 a day 

for two people who hardly ever eat out, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner from food we prepare at home in our kitchen. 

What have I learned from this? That a person can walk out of Whole Foods with an empty wallet and a full grocery cart, but not benefit one bit if that food isn't healthy, or if that food sits and sits and then goes bad and gets thrown out. 

But a person can walk out of a dollar store (which of course lacks the ambience and free olive tasting station of a Whole Foods) with several bags of tried and true food staples. With some effort and a bit of chopping, a rice cooker, a crockpot, and some basic spices, the second shopper can be better off than the WF shopper. It's not about the food we buy, it's about the food we eat. And the 99 Cent Store has some amazing food, and when I say that, I'm not just full of beans. Not completely full anyway.

We have another adventure planned for October. Check back in soon!

We factored in the vast amount of dried beans we were left with.