The Challenge: Eating For 31 Days on $31

The Challenge: Eating For 31 Days on $31

Sarah Rae Smith
Jul 23, 2010

When you think about spending less at the grocery store and trying to keep your costs down, it never really crosses our mind that a small amount of leg work could actually have us eating relatively healthy food for far less money. This is the true story of how one man lived on $31 for 31 days and did remarkably well!

Jeffrey over at Grocery Coupon Guide set out to be an average consumer and prove that with a small amount of leg work, he could put a serious dent in his monthly grocery bill. He made a set of guidelines to follow (such as only using two weekly coupon inserts in the newspaper and having limited computer access) and stuck to them, showing everyone how you can eat quite well for an entire month (and didn't start with any on hand food), for less than the average cost of dinner and a movie.

Jeffrey wasn't super keen on using coupons but taught himself how to use them wisely, only using those which truly benefited him and his diet and made sure to pick up extra items that might also be on sale (though not food) which might even give him money back.

He kept a daily record and photograph, cataloging his receipts and purchases to prove exactly how much he spent, where, and what it was on! We were quite impressed as he swears it will only take up 10 hours of your time to learn his methods, which also include donating many items he purchases to the local food bank. Although we focus more on using ingredients versus prepared product, Jeffrey did quite well for himself as there isn't much junk food in the bunch. Here's an example of one day that month:

Spent $4.49/$31.00:
2 boxes of Quaker Instant oatmeal
4 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
1 package of Knudsen Light sour cream
10 apples
2 lbs of carrots
4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
1 jar of Skippy All Natural peanut butter
2 cans of pork and beans
1 bag of long grain brown rice
2 packages of Mission 100% whole wheat tortillas (10 count each)

Donated to Food Bank 15 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis 4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins 1 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner 1 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner refill

You can see all 31 days worth of purchases here at Grocery Coupon Guide.

• Related: 25 Money-Saving Tips for Frugal Cooking and Shopping

via Consumerist
(Image: Grocery Coupon Guide)

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