Could you Eat on One Dollar a Day?

by Kay Lynn


A local couple made national headlines in 2008 with their blog account of spending no more than $1 per day on food each.  They were interested in cutting their food budget and challenged by the small amount millions of people in the world have to live on. 

I found them when the local news featured them due to the February release of  their book titled On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America.  Their story intrigued me for a couple of reasons.  

The cause I’m passionate about is poverty (it’s why I was a John Edwards fan once upon a time).  Hunger and the lack of access to nutricious food is a large part of  being poor.  Learning something about potentially cutting my own food budget was the second attraction.

The Diet

In order to meet the limit of $1 a day they had to make nearly everything from scratch.  I do make some things from uncooked ingredients but convenience is often worth paying more.    Meat is an expensive part of the typical western style diet.  As vegans, this couple didn’t miss that but  did sacrifice on eating fresh fruits and some vegetables as this would make them over budget.


We can save money on food but have to balance it out with the cost of time.  If I use canned beans it’s a greater cost per ounce but I can save hours of preparation time.  

Having one meatless night a week is better for the environment (carbon footprint), our budget and probably our health.  Maybe I’ll start easing these into the menu rotation.  


Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard became better known than I think either of them could have imagined.  Their experiment has resulted in attention and donations.  Additionally, they did learn how to prepare more foods and save money. 

Do you think you could eat on one dollar a day?  What about eating one meatless dinner a week? 


Content © Bucksomeboomer  2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.

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Random Thoughts of a Jersey Mom March 1, 2010 at 10:20 am

Thanks for the info. I’m interested in checking out their book & blog now.
.-= Random Thoughts of a Jersey Mom´s last blog ..165 Pounds to 120 Pounds =-.

Bucksome March 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Hi Jersey Mom,

I’m glad someone else found the story interesting. I’m not willing to try it though!

Charlotte Prescott March 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

I’ve visited this blog, and appreciate any efforts we make to improve our dietary habits. When I took a look at what they actually ate, I was impressed at the willingness to forgo fresh produce in order to meet their goal.

When I fill an expensive prescription, I often think of people in other countries who make less money in a year (or month, when it’s a less pricey medication), who not only don’t have access to these meds, but don’t even have clean water to wash down the pills.
.-= Charlotte Prescott´s last blog ..Lost Drinking Game =-.

Bucksome March 1, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Charlotte, that’s a good point about access to medication. Not only is that a problem in some other countries but also ours for some people. I know members of my own family haven’t taken all their prescribed medications in the past to save money.

Lynda March 17, 2010 at 6:48 am

I’m a bit late commenting on this one, came to you today via Festival of Frugality.
One of my colleagues has just returned from Uganda and, apart from the shortage of meds in the first place is the problem of the meds containing… well, what it says on the box, actually being medicine and not a copy with any old rubbish in the pill to make up the weight. Always something to watch out for if you “shop around” for prescriptions.

Mys Lyke Meeh March 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm

A dollar a day? Would it be too hard? Well, if people need to save, I guess this is possible.

Bucksome March 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I don’t think it’s a good way to save money; but it was effective for them to raise hunger awareness.

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