Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stages of the Eat on $30 Challenge

Denial: On Day 1, The Frugal Hostess barely paid attention to what she was eating, figuring she could make it up later (luckily, almost everything she ate was free that day).  $30 would be plenty for her, and she would show those people who flat-out refuse to eat organic because of the prices.  Yep, TFH was certain that her success at eating organic on a budget would be so great that she would light up the night, winning hearts and minds across the land.  Ha!  Pure, straight up denial, Dear Readers.

Anger: About mid-way through Day 2, FruHo started to actually calculate her daily budgets.  She divided the cost of her CSA box over the seven days ($1.43 per day) and realized that she would have to charge herself $1 a day for the convenient but expensive fair trade whole bean coffee purchased from her neighborhood spot.  So, out of a daily budget of $4.28, $2.43 was already consumed by local organic veggies (ordered before she committed to the challenge) and non-negotiable coffee.  The Frugal Hostess quickly realized that, unless Robert Mondavi swept into town to inexplicably woo a third-person blogger with free bottles of wine, she wouldn’t be having so much as a sip of the 3+ cases in The Frugal Homestead for another five days.  WTF, y’all? 

Bargaining: As regular readers know, The Frugals Hostess and Husband are pretty strict about not wasting food.  They practice the ancient art of Fruit Rescue, they make pickles, and they freeze everything.  There were six quail that needed to be eaten, and eaten now.  Meanwhile, at two bucks a bird, just eating one would blow the budget before another bite was taken.  TFH talked it over with the Hubs, and they weighed some options.  Could she pretend it was chicken on the blog?  No, she had already outed the quail on Facebook.  Could she eat two and make it up later in the week?  Sure, if eating wild chives pulled up from her dog-pee watered lawn would count as meals for the rest of the week.  Could she just.  Have.  One.  Freaking.  Glass of Wine?  The stress of all this bargaining was started to take its toll.

Depression: As she calculated the cost of her meals for the rest of the week, a dark swarming cloud of gloom began to circle.  There was no way she could succeed!  Her stomach was about to mount a campaign to eat her spleen!  Just look how yum-tastic those little quails looked!  And seriously, where the hell was Robert Mondavi?! 

Acceptance: The Frugal Hostess slapped herself across the face (metaphorically-speaking).  “FruHo,” she thought, “You signed up for this voluntarily!  It is only day three!  Get a hold of yourself!  What kind of a worthless @#$%^&* are you?”  And thus, TFH ate a giant bowl of rice and beans and one half of one quail.  And it was the most delicious, scrumptious, glorious half a quail she ever tasted.

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  1. Great Post! You are hilarious :) Maybe Bobby Mondavi will stop by next week.

  2. One half of a quail. Oh, how sad. FruHo-I admire your zeal--no, really, I do. But have you ever been tested for masochism?

  3. this post is hilarious. I am glad you could savor half the quail.

  4. That was pretty darn funny. I suggest you write Mr. Mondavi and promise him anything it takes. Good luck with the challenge!

    My only problem is that my current budget for the whole family of five is $50 a week (my spouse just took a 25% cut in pay). Yes, I feed five people for $10 a week each. Needless to say, organic is not going to work for us. CSAs in our Northeastern area are more like $150 a month. Yes, you read that right: $5 a day for the privelege of trying to figure out what to do with all those parsnips they gave you this week.

    It's a lot of scheming, clipping coupons, and general annoyance. I've dusted off a bunch of grandma's meat stretcher recipes, much to my family's disdain, and we're big fans o' the dried legumes.

    So I'd be the very first to admit that getting by on the WIC or food stamp allowance is next to impossible. And that is before you get treated the way that those folks get treated at the grocery store: defines "adding insult to injury."

    Which reminds me: kill your own quail, and you only have to charge yourself for the ammo. ;) I know hubby has to be good for it. And it's quail season! Course, the butter and worchestershire sauce you need to cook them in is pricey. . . .mmmmmmm. But worth it.


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