$49 Challenge Day 7 & Final Thoughts

Last day!

I like to be able to see EVERYTHING I have in there…hence, no crisper drawers.

For fun, here’s a picture of my fridge. It’s like I’m on MTV Cribs…is that still a thing?

Here’s what I got:

Breakfast: Soup (yeah, I know…walking on the wild side!)

Lunch: Egg with chorizo meatballs and onions cooked in ghee

Dinner: Pile of onions, radishes and roast beef cooked in coconut oil YUMMMMM!

I was a bit worried that by Sunday dinner I’d be left with one radish and an asparagus spear, but overall I think I did pretty well and enough food to last for the week.

To reiterate, here is what I bought:

  • Bones for broth – $1.49

  • Pastured sausages from a local farm. 4 for $8.50

  • 1 lb of asparagus – $2.15

  • 4 stalks of broccoli – $1.95

  • 1 bunch of green onions – $0.69

  • 1 bunch of radishes – $0.89

  • 1 white onion (organic) – $1.06

  • 1 lb of white mushrooms – $1.99

  • 1 yellow onion (organic) – $0.52

  • 1 bag of spinach (organic) – $2.08

  • 1/2 dozen local cage free eggs – $1.79

  • 1/2 lb grass-fed stir fry beef – $4.77

  • 1.85 lbs Chuck roast  – $9.18

  • 2 lbs spaghetti squash – $3.88

  • 1 sweet potato – $.201

  • 1 yellow onion – $.90

  • Chorizo Sausage – $2.99

  • 1/2 dozen eggs – $1.69 (they were on sale more the last time I bought them)

Total spent: $48.53…woohoo!! Success!


Creating healthy meals on a budget certainly does take some planning and creativity. I think I was truly saved by the spices in my cupboard and the oils I had on hand for cooking. I will be using this week as motivation that it can be done going forward.

As I mentioned in my last few posts, there are other things to consider when striving for a healthy life. The last two on my list were emotional support and the environment.

I’m going to talk about environment first. Unless you’re out living in the country (and still even then), you’re exposed to toxins throughout the day in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. But there are things you can do to to help your body manage the toxic load.

beef & radishes
Beef & Radishes

First, ensuring your body is properly digesting the food you eat will go a long way in creating healthy detox pathways. Your liver does much of the heavy lifting for detoxifying. Lessening the burden is a great place to start. Eating whole, unprocessed, chemical free foods will go a long way in ensuring that your liver is not being bombarded with toxins. Beyond food, many products that we use daily such as toothpaste, lotion, dish soap, etc can be toxic to the body.

I’ve been experimenting with decreasing my reliance on store bought products and have started making my own. For a while now, I’ve been shampoo and conditioner free. I use baking soda (diluted with water) once a week, followed by a splash of apple cider vinegar (again, diluted), and my hair has never looked better. I’ve moved on to creating my own toothpaste. I’m interested to see what my dentist has to say in June. And really, when in doubt, just use some good coconut oil. Fellow NTP and fantastic blogger, Liz Wolfe has a great skincare guide out- The Skintervention Guide. I couldn’t recommend this more for people who are looking for alternatives to chemical skin care products.

My next challenge will be making homemade household cleaners- dish soap, laundry detergent, etc. I’ve got a great resource from the folks over at DIY Natural. My cursory glance at the recommended ingredients leads me to believe that doing this route will be much cheaper than buying the premade chemical soups. Now, fingers crossed they actually work!

Lastly, I want to touch on the oh so important aspect of emotional support and wellbeing. As John Dunne once said somewhere, no man is an island. Being extremely introverted, I appreciate my alone time as much as anyone, but I do know that too much time alone takes me to a dark, low place. Humans are social animals.

We need human connection to thrive. Sometimes the need for socializing can seem at odds with trying to eat healthy (especially on a budget.) Sometimes when transitioning to a healthier eating lifestyle, one can feel the need to cut themselves off from going out and being social. I proclaim, this is unnecessary and can even be counterproductive to your ultimate goal.  

I did have to turn down multiple dinner invitations during my week of self imposed poverty, but I tried as often as I could to find cheap/non-food related alternatives. Let’s go for a walk! Let’s hang out at the coffee shop! Let’s just sit and talk somewhere. Be creative, and make sure you’re still connecting with other humans.

And at the end of the day, if all of your friends are going out for a happy hour and you really really want to indulge…go for it! Life’s too short to not sit back and raise a glass with your fabulous friends!

2 thoughts on “$49 Challenge Day 7 & Final Thoughts

  1. Congrats Amy! you rocked the challenge. I’m very interested in this hair regimen- do you just rinse your hair with the baking soda water? Do you try to “wash” with it??

    1. Hey Teresa! Welcome back to the States! When I do the baking soda, I do rub it into my scalp a bit, but not a lot. I have come to realize that it needs to be rinsed really really well or my hair gets crusty. This is the blog post that got me started: http://cavegirleats.com/2011/01/14/no-poo/ It takes a couple of weeks to get used to, but honestly my hair has never felt better!

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