Table of Contents:

9/22/15 – Day 22

9/21/15 – Day 21

9/20/15 – Day 20

9/19/15 – Day 19

9/18/15 – Day 18

9/17/15 – Day 17

9/16/15 – Day 16

9/15/15 – Day 15

9/14/15 – Day 14

9/13/15 – Day 13

9/12/15 – Day 12

9/11/15 – Day 11

9/10/15 – Day 10

9/9/15 – Day 9

9/8/15 – Day 8

9/7/15 – Day 7

9/6/15 – Day 6

9/5/15 – Day 5


Day 4 – 9/4/15

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

As everyone looked forward to the long weekend this week, I became increasingly nervous as the Labor Day holiday approached. Why? I was visiting home, and I wasn’t sure how my family would react to my Mini-Budget Challenge. As the donations came in, I was inspired to keep as true to the challenge as possible, which means I wouldn’t allow myself the luxury of free dinners with the family. (See the rules here)

The way I saw it, I had 2 options:

Option 1: Fabricate vacation plans as an excuses not to come home. If I don’t go home, I won’t have to tell my family about the Challenge, right? I can send my parents Photoshopped pictures of me on the beach as I munch on my cabbage and rice lunch in front of the computer. The downside is that I will have to make up vacation plans for every weekend in September, which is suspicious as I am not usually that popular.

Option 2: Come clean about the project. Which is strange that I described it as “coming clean.” I’m not doing anything wrong, but I feel immensely guilty about disappointing my loving grandparents, who show their love for their grandchildren via loads of home-cooking.

For my long-term sanity, I chose Option 2. To my surprise, my family took the news extremely well! My grandma was sad to hear I won’t be eating her food, but my grandpa was really excited about the potential outcomes of the project. In their younger days, my grandparents had to scrape by a living on an even tinier budget than mine (pretty sure they literally lived through famines). They are really proud of me for pushing through this challenge, and I am so, so, happy to have my family’s support.

“The newspapers should write about this!” said grandpa, who was amazed that I managed to squeeze in three meals a day with protein AND fruit.

Yeah, okay Grandpa. Hopefully they will, but for now, I have next week’s menu to plan.

Daily Meals/Costs:

Chawanmushi with rice – $0.32 (1 egg only)

Braised Cabbage with rice– $0.28

Banana – $0.19

Chicken, potatoes, onions with rice ~$0.60

2 Pinkberry samples – Free 🙂

Total: $1.39

If you think what we are doing is interesting, impactful, or maybe kind of insane, please consider donating to our efforts here. 100% of the proceeds will go towards Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a non-profit that works to eliminate food waste and redirect food waste into solving urban hunger.

Donation Total: $165

Foodily yours,

East Coast