Five Bucks for First Friday!

It is the first of the First Fridays for Food Security (FFFS) for me! With just $5.17 based on the thrifty plan of the USDA for 1 female, did I make it work?

Let’s take a look!

Meal Description Cost per Unit Total cost/total servings
Breakfast 1 cup Organic Low- fat Yogurt .72 $2.89/4
2 cups Fair Trade Organic Coffee .35 $7/40
Lunch 1c Organic Greens¼ c Garbanzo beans

¼c cup raisins

2 piece rye bread

½ c homemade sunflower seed butter

1 organic peach

1 c Fair Trade Organic Rooibos tea













Dinner Stuffed Organic PeppersBulgur Wheat and Veggies

Cheddar Cheese





Snack 1 Organic Banana .33 .99/3

Almost! My grand total for the day was: $5.85, $.68 over budget.

There are a couple of things that I realized while doing this exercise

1. Need to Prep: I feel the need to explain my choices. I did commit to doing this, but did not do much prep for having a lower budget. I ate what I normally ate, but next month I expect to plan better to have more food and be able to stretch my money.

2. Doesn’t that seem like a ‘rich’ diet: I am committed to certain organic foods. Especially as a vegetarian, I want to make sure that the food I’m consuming is not laced with things I do not want namely chemicals, pesticides, and hormones that are not naturally found in my food. I carry a copy of EWG’s “Dirty Dozen/ Clean Fifteen” in my wallet for ease- trying to always purchase organic for those on the first list. Especially because I am passionate about sustainable food and the welfare ofpeople, I will not cut this out on Fasting Fridays. In addition, I purchase organic dairy products. I believe that all people should have access to safe and nutritious food, hence my commitment to this project.

3. Not Inclusive of All Costs: For example, water costs for my coffee, tea, and water drinking throughout the day. In future months, I’d like to estimate this, even though I don’t drink bottle water, there is a cost. Water costs and water rights are social justice issues, too.

4.Cheaper than you think: I was shocked myself at how close I came, given that I didn’t change my normal diet, and my desire for organic food. I think this is a decent demonstration in saying that healthy or organic food does not necessarily have to break your budget. I know there are many more variables here (access to healthy food, access to transportation to reach food, access to jobs, banks, and capital to afford food), but for some of my friends who say this is too expensive, I say try it! It doesn’t have to be.

5. Nutritious, but not enough:Lastly, despite coming close to the monetary limits, I clearly did not take in enough calories today. I’m not a calorie counter, but just by quickly glancing at this chart, we know that I need more. My stomach was telling me so all afternoon. Thankfully, I did well on fat, fiber, and protein.

Lessons for Trial 1: Good, safe, nutritious food can be affordable, but on this budget, it did not solve the immediate need of hunger.

Result: I will be more mindful of those who go without tonight. This was only a small foray into some of the struggles within our current system. I remain committed to seeing a world devoid of hunger, and full of sustainable food choices.


For more on teaching your kids or friends about this issue, check out this resource.

7 responses

    • Thanks! I am so happy you enjoyed it. Yes, it sure was a tiny budget, but still not impossible to eat well. It certainly inspired me.
      Elizabeth, thanks for posting, through that I was able to discover your fantastic blog. Enjoy your remaining time in DC!

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