This post contains a lot of great information and I encourage you to read through it at your leisure ... however, if you are short on time, you might find the following quick links helpful:
Last week we tried to live on $1.50 per person per day for food. What an "eye-opener". I somehow thought that processed options were cheaper ... time and time again I've heard people comment on high-priced whole foods, saying that a box of "helper" fed more people for less than a meal of lean meats and fresh vegetables. That bothered me because I believed manufacturers were sabotaging consumer health by making "junk" more affordable than nutrition. It turns out that if we look at just one meal, then convenience foods may cost less. But whole foods tend to stretch further and, when factored over several meals, become the better choice. As expected, eating away from home derailed the budget ... as did waste. I learned a lot and finished the week feeling confident that whole foods, even organic varieties, fit into a frugal lifestyle.
The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments.
In Change the World Wednesday – 1st May Argentum Vulgaris talks about areas where hunger and poverty are the "norm". He also shares how traveling could raise our awareness to living conditions faced by many people of the world.
Alicia accepted the challenge and shared this, "There are three of us so that would add up to $4.50 per day. I had made our own pasta sauce from tomatoes and herbs from our garden and I bought a bag of organic penne pasta from Trader Joes for $1.50. I can get a bag of mixed salad greens for $2.00 and I have everything I need to make a loaf of homemade bread. That is a total of $3.50 Yea!! We always make such an effort to use our leftovers as well.We are blessed to be able to fill our freezer each year with veggies from our garden. Many days it is like getting to go shopping right out of our freezer. I buy a lot of fruit, seeds and nuts which are kind of pricy though. So it seems I would actually be going over the $4.50 a day most days. This is really a good thought provoking challenge. Thanks!
Scarlet says, "Wow. What a challenge! I really don't think so. At least not till my garden kicks in!"
Elisa (EC) dropped by ... nice to see you, EC!
I sensed hesitation from Lisa. :-) In her words, "Whoa! How do you do that? Eat Beefaroni everyday? Sheesh. HUM? Hard. Hum?"
Welcome to Marjorie who joined us this week. She shares, "I'm reading this book on the Great Famine in Ireland, my take away so far is that you could live on basically nothing but potatoes and be pretty healthy."
Clare struggled this week ... "Aaargh, I'm really battling with this challenge! I plan my menu at the weekend for the week ahead, make a list and get everything in, so cooking a home-made meal each night is organised and there's no waste. My meal choices are made with carbon footprint in mind - but not money. I'll plan this weekend to minimise cost - lentil meals for example, which will be good in all sorts of ways. I've got a fair bit of organic fruit fresh in my garden or already frozen, so that will help, and a small amount of veggies. But on this little island a lot of stuff has to be imported because there's not much space to grow things, so some things are surprisingly expensive. Eeek, I spend way more than $1.50 just on additional fresh fruit and veggies for me, let alone main meals! Oh this is going to be a very interesting week! Thanks for a most challenging challenge!"
Later in the week Clare dropped by with an update: "... even my famous lentil curry, which is SO cheap to make and so yummy, comes in at more than $1.50 pp for one meal - perhaps food is relatively expensive here where I live, judging by what I see in other comments. I am astonished at the prices I see - Alicia with a bag of pasta at $1.50 (and organic too) while I pay double that for a much smaller bag! Even supplementing from my own garden I can't make this work, but I've certainly made an interesting menu plan for this week! And I'm a lot more mindful of costs now - so even though theoretically it's a "fail" it's a 'win' for awareness. Thanks for a great challenge!"
CelloMom opted out this week. She says, "Alas! much as I like to participate, I can't for this week. We're nearly vegetarian, so that would make it easier to get closer to The Line, but our gluten-free deal makes it much harder. And what actually does it, is that we've been on an in-house campaign to reduce sugar intake for our children. They have a slight addiction (our eldest still denies the addiction, a sure sign) and we've been leaning pretty hard to achieve a re-set. It may be months (oh sigh). If I switched to lentils, kale and cabbage exclusively now I may have an insurrection on my hands. Perhaps being mindful is what this challenge is about. In that way, it has certainly worked for me. I'm ready to try Small Footprint's potato soup recipe today!"
CelloMom also shared a fascinating article where families, from around the world, were photographed with a week's worth of groceries, ranging from £3.20 to £320. She found the article via Leigh at Green4u Blog. You can read it here: The great global food gap. I think you'll find it surprising!
By the way, CelloMom has been nominated as one of the Top 25 Eco-Friendly Moms at Circle of Moms. WhooHoo and Congratulations! Let's show her a little voting "love" ... cast your ballet HERE. You can also vote for other moms on the list.
Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:
- Ahem... A properly balanced diet that includes fiber will help to reduce the amount of toilet paper you need. Awkward subject but true
- Which is greener: Toilet paper or a bidet? | MNN - Mother Nature Network ow.ly/kAJsQ
- Life After Money: Use less toilet paper ow.ly/kAJI9
- [HD] How to fold and use toilet paper correctly - YouTube ow.ly/kAJS6
- What are you doing to build your community? ow.ly/i/1YlZZ
- wow what a challenge! Really makes you think. It's going to be hard but I'm going to try!
- Developing a sense of universal responsibility helps us to become sensitive to all others, not just those closest to us.
- the #CTWW chalenge #LiveBelowThePovertyLine is indeed difficult - I'm battling to stick to it. But I'm trying!
- Really tough challenge on #CTWW this week - eat for $1,50 per person per day. Yikes! Re-think of week's menu in progress!
The #CTWW Gang are those folks who tweet our challenges using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I highly recommend following them ... they share great things. Let's meet them:
My Final Thoughts:
I find it difficult to summarize this challenge. On one hand, I live above the line ... and I'm grateful. On the other hand, I feel equipped to manage if my circumstances change. I believe that earth-friendly, plant-based whole foods can help alleviate world hunger. It requires cooperation, compassion and education. I also believe that global political engines can eliminate poverty ... but again, it requires cooperation, compassion and education. It begins with us ... becoming aware ... becoming educated ... and making choices which benefit ourselves, each other and the planet.
Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share features located below this post.
This Week's Challenge:
I think we deserve an easy challenge this week. Did you know that your shoes are responsible for bringing pollutants into your home? Further, that those pollutants (E.g. pesticides and lead) can contaminate your indoor air? So let's resolve that. Here you go ...
This week, remove your shoes at the door. Simple!
Will you join me in letting our toes run free?
As always ...
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!