Our first “100 Days of Real Food” pledge brought lots of unexpected experiences and also lessons learned. What was originally created to draw attention to how dependent people have become on highly processed food actually ended up being a life-changing event for us. I didn’t expect our pledge to have such a big impact on me personally, but in the end I am glad it did. And that’s actually the reason why I am still here blogging about real food…long after the original 100 days!
Now while most agreed that real, unprocessed, organic, local, whole foods sounded great, quite a lot of readers also implied that it couldn’t be done without breaking the bank. So we of course had to prove all those skeptics wrong, which is why in October 2011 we began our “100 Days of Real Food on a Budget” pledge. We let the blog readers vote to determine our weekly budget of $125 for our family of four. (Note that on FULL food stamp benefits we would have received $167/week.) This real food on a budget pledge proved to be even more difficult than the first pledge at times, but we successfully completed the challenge in January 2011…whew!
Index of posts I wrote during our 2010 – 11 budget pledge:
- Budget Day 1: Getting Organized
- Budget Day 3: Sacrifices
- Budget Day 6: Five Bucks Left
- Budget Day 8: An Unfortunate Visit to Wal-Mart
- Budget Day 9: A Change in Plans and Earth Fare
- Budget Day 12: A Real Happy Meal
- Budget Day 15: Hillbilly Produce and Harris Teeter
- Budget Day 17: Yet Another Change in Plans
- Budget Day 19: Slim Pickings
- Budget Day 21: Week 3 and Halloween
- Budget Day 23: Trader Joe’s
- Budget Day 25: Food Stamps, Earth Fare, and Halloween
- Budget Day 27: Take-out
- Budget Day 29: Halloween Partaaay!
- Budget Day 31: House Guests and a Dinner Outing
- Budget Day 33: Almost Broke
- Budget Day 36: Scrounging
- Budget Day 38: Parfaits to the Rescue
- Budget Day 40: Almost Halfway and Tortilla Fail
- Budget Day 43: Under Budget!!
- Budget Day 46: Pancakes for Dinner and Record Time
- Budget Day 49: A Short Hiatus
- Budget Day 52: Back to the Grind
- Budget Day 57: Baby, It’s Cold Outside
- Budget Day 59: Complete Waste of Time
- Budget Day 63: Call Me Scrooge
- Budget Day 72: Hosting the Holidays
- Budget Day 77: Ringing in the New Year
- Budget Day 79: Trying New Recipes
- Budget Day 85: Scrounging for Dollars
- Budget Day 87: Almost Done!
- Budget Day 94: An Empty Refrigerator
- Budget Day 97: Some Mistakes
- Budget Day 100: Victory!
Post Budget Pledge 1: Some Relief and Revelations
- Real Food Tips: 12 Ways to Keep it Cheap
Also, check out:
- My third cookbook, “100 Days on a Budget“
- Our original “100 Days of Real Food” pledge
- Our Real Food Mini Pledge Program where you can take part in your own real food challenge over the course of six weeks. Registration is currently closed, but you can sign up to be notified of when it returns.
- Our list of “Real Food Tips” that covers everything from food shopping to picky kids
- Our “10 Days of Real Food” pledge sign-up page where we challenge readers to follow our same real food rules for a shorter period of time
- My list of real food “Kitchen Essentials“