One Month Challenge Mash-Up

by Andy Hough on January 31, 2007

I have been lazy and lacking self-discipline lately and I have decided that it is time to change. I have set several goals or challenges for myself to accomplish in February. The resulting challenge takes some of Steve Pavlina’s 30 days to success, The Simple Dollar’s One Month Challenge, Maggie Wang’s Cheapass Challenge, and the idea of Hungry For a Month and mashes them up.

For the Simple Dollar‘s One Month Challenge I need to keep track of everything I spend in February and ask myself whether it was neccessary or not. This shouldn’t be a problem for me because I already keep track of all my expenses. To make it more challenging I am going to try to keep my expense total as small as possible.

The idea of Hungry For a Month is to spend only $30 on food for an entire month. I have already purchased some items but they will be coming off my $30 total. Ketchup, mustard, salt, etc. will not count against the total because they are freely available to most persons. There is an opportunity to get free pizza or other meals at my school fairly often but I won’t be eating them because I don’t think the average person has these free meals available.

From Maggie Wang‘s Cheapass Challenge I will be doing the exercises from Body-For-Life. I can’t incorporate the food portion of the challenge due to my $30 limit. I am going to try to eat as healthy as possible within that limit. There will be at least one serving each of fruit and vegetables in my daily diet. That might not sound like much but it is better than I eat now.

The idea of Steve Pavlina’s 30 days to success is that you can establish a new habit in 30 days. While I don’t want to make eating on $30 a month a habit I can make eating less a habit. Exercising regularly is another habit I want to establish.

That is the basics of my one month challenge mash-up. I’d like to hear any ideas people have on how to meet this challenge. Any ideas on how to eat healthy and cheap would be especially appreciated.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maggie January 31, 2007 at 10:54 am

Good luck on your February challenge on all fronts! I can tell you now that spending only $30 on food for the whole month while doing all the workouts from BFL will DEFINITELY make you drop some pounds if that is your goal.

Cheapest healthy foods in my experience are:

– Whole chicken (as low as $0.39-0.69 / lb on sale) Roast or nuke one and you’ve got lunch and dinner protein for a week if you don’t mind smaller portions.
– Eggs (They range from $1-$2 for 18 in my area. 1 whole egg + 3 egg whites = one protein serving, so you can get about 4.5 servings of protein for just a dollar or two)

Protein/Carb combo:
– Dried beans
– Frozen peas

– 5 – 10 lb bags of potatoes (baked, nuked, mashed, cut into wedges and seasoned with cheap Creole salted seasoning to make baked “fries”, hash browns)
– rice (steamed, stir-fried with veggies and egg or chicken)
– oatmeal (the big tubes, not the individual flavored packets. Scavenge Splenda packets from restaurants for flavoring and cook with nuked apple pieces. Can also be used instead of rice in savory recipes or blended with eggs and banana to make a fake pancake.)

– Apples (5 lb bag for under $4 usually)
– Bananas ($0.39-0.49 / lb on average)

– iceberg lettuce (not the best in terms of nutrition, but cheap)
– Romaine lettuce (slightly better)
– Frozen mixes like the $0.98 Asian veggie mixes at Wal-Mart (I get Peking or Mandarin)–each bag is around 4-5 servings
– Check farmer’s markets and Asian markets for good deals on unusal veggies. Basically, if it is cheap, leafy and green and not a lettuce, you can stir fry it.
– Carrots
– Celery

Misc. Useful Stuff:
– 1 can of non-stick cooking spray (Wal-mart store brand is only $1)
– 1 can multipurpose Creole seasoning (Tony Lachere brand I think–only $1.50 or so)
– Sam’s Choice brand salsas (Wal-mart, $1.50)

Seafood (unless you fish it out yourself), red meat, berries, bread, pasta, soy, whole grain processed cereals, and such are NOT good deals.

That’s what I can think of off the top of my head for now.

2 Trent January 31, 2007 at 1:29 pm

Sounds entertaining. I will be watching.

3 Tight Fisted Miser February 1, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Maggie: Thanks for all the tips. I didn’t expect so much information. I’ve already bought my initial groceries but I’ll utilize your tips more next time.

Trent: Thanks.

4 Missy February 4, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Good Luck on your one month challange mash up!

Should prove to be very interesting

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