I finished the last challenge day by finishing odds and ends.
For breakfast, I had the usual greens and eggs, with some of the container of grass-fed beef that I had put in the freezer (containing lots of leeks and fennel) and beets and half a grapefruit from trader Delta.
Lunch was a stir-fry of greens, the last of the mushrooms and chicken. I also enjoyed beet juice with lemon, and a dab of pineapple guava jam from trader Rebekah.
For dinner, I enjoyed the other half of the grapefruit, chicken cooked in butter, a soup made with meat broth, fennel, leek and celery, nuts from trader Dean, beets, a can of smoked oysters and and eggs cooked in beef fat with greens and feta cheese from trader Felix.
I bought a can of smoked oysters for a dollar, leaving me with $15.12 in the kitty. I still have tons of food: purchased chicken and a kitchen full of lemons, oranges, tangerines and kumquats.
This challenge was much more fun than last year, probably because I got to know of more places in town that hold quick sales. Within the year, a new dollar-type store came to town, and I was able to enjoy a few more luxuries like liver sausage, sardines, oysters and eggs at a much better price than before. It also helped that a trading partner moved across the country a few weeks before starting the challenge and left me with a couple of bags of pantry and fridge stuff. There was lots of crap in the bag, too, but you didn't hear about it until now. I took all the pasta and bean soup to a local community center, and then threw out (I mean composted) the inedibles like the 20-year-old spices and the rancid snacks. But I did have several kinds of vinegars, pickles, sauces and sugars at my disposal, and that helped with variety. It also helped that I started a seasonal volunteering gig mid-challenge, and they sure did come through with some wonderful food and some really great coffee. (And a wonderful time, I might add. I will certainly be helping them out next time!)
I get so so tired of hearing how a paleo diet is unattainable financially. Sure, it is more expensive than the beans and rice diet I used to follow. But I really doubt that eating paleo for 84-some dollars a month is three times what a vast majority of vegetarians and SAD-eaters pay for their food, with the required soy analogs and packaged necessities.
Some friends were complaining about the price of bread, and of having to pay more than $5 for the loaves that they enjoy, and then having to waste it when they made a sandwich for a visitor and they wouldn't eat the bread. Mock meats and bags of salad greens are also really expensive, as is almost any type of fruit. So, I really saved some bucks by not having to purchase 3-5 pieces of exotic fruit every day. I was fine on just my locally-sourced and home-grown citrus, and the few berries and freezer jam I came across.
Today, I thought I would jump out of bed, go to the kitchen and scarf down a sweet potato or some cheese. But instead, I made my normal breakfast with the last of the grass-fed beef, and forgot about the other foods. Could I do this forever? It certainly is a pain to cook "my food" and "their food" at home, and to keep track of everything, but I think it is certainly doable.
Thank you for reading!