I am participating in Operation Come Home’s 24 Buck Challenge this week, during which I am trying to provide meals for myself with a budget of just $24. You can read why in my inaugural post here.

I love food and I love to cook so shopping for this challenge was difficult and uninspiring for me. I mean, check out this menu:

24Buck Challenge menu

I know, right? Where’s the beef? In fact, where is just about anything that is good and decent in this world? I thought, “Well, coffee and drinks are not included so there’s my breakfast smoothie and coffee” forgetting that I put strawberries, mangoes, bananas and protein in my smoothie. Then I saw ahead to Thursday evening where I will find myself at a dinner party with some girlfriends. Bingo! Free food. I’ll bring the wine! Then I remembered I was attending a potluck on Saturday evening for which I am expected to bring food. Bummer. No food! Looks like I’m bringing deviled eggs to the potluck if I can snag a few mustard and mayo packets from Timmies. AND if I don’t manage to eat them all myself.

Day One started out beautifully: a lovely cheese omelette with a big glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee. Actually I would call that pretty normal even for a Sunday. And dinner? Of course I would have preferred a fresh salad and fresh green beans but chicken, rice and canned green beans was tolerable. But my arrogance and confidence faded quickly after my hardboiled egg breakfast – and I am not looking forward to a whole week of them.

I’ve only just finished Day Two and my favourite expression has become, “Are you gonna eat that?” My family is ok with it but my co-workers find this a little disconcerting.

Day Two and I am also cheating; I can’t help myself. I managed to fit in a loaf of bread on the budget so grilled cheese sandwiches were doable – depending on how far I could stretch 200g of grated marble cheese – but I had no money left over for peanut butter and jam. Let’s just say these things mysteriously appeared on my doorstep one morning, just like the cooking spray and salt and pepper.

Now if only a nice strip loin with a peppercorn sauce with mysteriously appear on my doorstep.

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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