Zero Dollars Food Challenge

I’ve been on a mission to save money and the planet by spending less and using less. Like for many people, food has been a primary culprit in my house. 

So yesterday I decided to try something I had done a few months ago, that is, eating only what I already have in the house. 

Mind you, I haven’t done a decent grocery shop in a couple of weeks, but I knew that with my pantry and cupboards there was no way I didn’t have enough to survive. 

When I’m waking up on time and not rushing off to work, my typical breakfast is 2 scrambled eggs with onion, mushroom, peppers and asparagus on a slice of toast. And, of course, coffee which I drink black on weekdays. When I’m in a rush I’ll have a peanut butter sandwich and a banana with my coffee.

So yesterday I had no eggs, no bread, no waffles. Things were looking dire. I had just gone for a bike ride and my metabolism was in high gear, so cereal was not going to cut it. No food after a workout is a recipe for my turning into a raging bitch before my body gives up and I become a lethargic zombie. No words. No thoughts. Dead inside.

Here’s what I was able to come up with.

While it wasn’t my usual comfort food, it was pretty filling. Next time, I’ll take it off of the stove sooner and add more liquid. It gets thick so quickly.

Ingredients: Whole grain oats, tri-colored quinoa (any kind would do) organic milled flax seeds, dried cranberries, nutmeg. You can add almond milk and honey as well.

For lunch I got super lazy as I was so busy that I wasn’t thinking about food until I was starving. And we all know the bad decisions that are made through desperation. My answer to lunch was this. 

Naturally, I was hungry again 20 minutes later and had to figure out a second lunch. Basically, my morning work out was wasted on empty carbs. Great job, Lyz.

So back to the drawing board. I actually had to think for a bit before I figured out what I could put together. Finally I was able to assemble this.

This was really good. I had totally forgotten that I had veggie burgers in my freezer and there’s always some sort of pasta in the house. If I didn’t have sauce, I would’ve used ketchup, which I actually love on pasta. My whole family does.

Dinner was an embarrassment. When I tweeted about wanting to cut up some cheese instead of packing, I wasn’t kidding.

I love cheese! With crackers! And fig jam! Yes, it’s a terrible dinner, I could’ve eaten the leftover pasta and another veggie burger, but damn it I wanted this so bad. I justified it by telling myself that I could either have dinner and then cheese, or I could save the calories and just have the cheese. 

Anyhow, I hope that this inspires you to try the challenge out for yourself. I’ve done it a few times and I’m always shocked at how wrong my perception of how much food I have actually is. It reminds me of just how fortunate I am in my life to have so much food that I forget what I actually have. But I don’t just want to feel more grateful, I want to do better. 

If you try this out, please let me know how it goes, or better yet, make a post about it. I’m calling it the Zero Dollars Food Challenge. Btw, typically when I’m doing this for a week at a time, I’ll allow myself $15 that week to spend on restocking, usually produce.  

Here is a list of ways to spend less on food.

Our planet is in desperate need of help. The problem of worldwide hunger is incomprehensible and, quite frankly, vulgar. This is just one step, but a step moves us forward. I know that the problems of this world can feel overwhelming. I feel the same way. However, starting with our own home is possible and does make a difference. 

I challenge you!

Good luck and good vibes. Mother Earth loves you.

29 thoughts on “Zero Dollars Food Challenge

  1. I’m soo going to do this. I call it a pantry challenge but I’ll be on board with you and use the name you gave it. It’ll link back to you, also. I might be better off because I shopped on Saturday but I’ll try a no spend week, maybe

    Liked by 1 person

            1. Tell him I say hello! That’s an excellent idea, esp. seeing as ya’ll had just done grocery shopping. You guys are going to have so much fun with this, Cheila. It’s so good to have ya’ll on board.


    1. I appreciate your appreciating this post. This problem is so important, and I know that we can all do more.
      I haven’t seen this documentary. I’m going to click on the link now. Thank you so much

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You nailed it. I use almost every bit of leftover vegetables in the fridge till I go out for groceries. Which reminds me that I should about mine now and get my behind off the couch. The crackers, cheese and fig jam sounds like it would be a perfect fit in my cheese-filled dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! In our house we call it lets get skinny πŸ˜‚ It always feels so good getting creative and lightening the load. You will not even guess how many cans of kidney beans in my stock pile right now….5!!! We don’t even eat kidney beans!!!!!!! Don’t get me started on stock cubes! Baaajaayyysussss!!! I need shares in that business!! Great cause, thanks for sharing 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re hilarious! And I think it’s crazy that we’ve all got something like that going on in the pantry. I could live on beans for the next 2 years. Every hurricane scare we all run out and buy carts of beans then say we’ll make chili, if anything. πŸ˜… I should make a second post on this. Ask everyone to comment the things in their pantry that they’ll probably never use.


  4. Well done Lyz! I love this challenge! I have done something similar for just a meal, I don’t know if I could make it a whole day though! (Also, we live a few minutes away from both the supermarket and many corner shops with all sorts of food..) But, it’s a challenge for a reason right? πŸ™‚
    I loved your dinner by the way, I adooore crackers and cheese and I could eat it all the time πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was just having a come-to-Jesus today with my eldest son about “the kids starving in Africa”, lol, after he attempted to through away some $20 salmon. Not in my house! I don’t believe in wasting ANYTHING. You would think that I lived through the Great Depression or something…I’m just grateful! BTW, I love that you’re putting your cameras to use. Your posts are becoming more visual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s that wild Alaskan, huh? Lol, he lost his mind! He would’ve had to eat it, salmonella and all. Thanks for noticing my use of more photos. I always take them then don’t use them, so I’m making more effort 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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