Food often taken for granted when supplied in abundance

When you’re eating on a dollar a day, it’s impossible not to notice a few things. We think about food all the time. Whether we were consuming it or coveting it, food was always on our minds. Going in, we thought food would become a smaller part of our lives, but it actually became bigger. When you have something, it’s easy to forget about it, but once it’s gone, it’s all you can think about. For our experiment, we each allowed ourselves $1 a day to purchase meals. We did not take any handouts or free food. We did allow ourselves one free meal, and we also took one day off to keep ourselves motivated. While eating on a very minimal budget, we learned where to shop to stretch our dollar. We found ALDI and Kroger to have the most reasonable prices. We also found living on a budget comes with sacrifices. Ours were nutrition and taste. We gave up healthy foods and foods we like to simply eat more. When you only have one dollar to spend, how much you have to eat means a whole lot more than what you’re eating. Instead of coffee, fruit, wheat bread and chocolate, we had to settle for Ramen, white bread and water. We also had to give up the social side of eating. Before our experiment, we didn’t realize how intertwined eating and hanging out are. Grabbing lunch with friends or going out for ice cream were out of the question. Instead we had to learn to pack our lunches and turn down invitations. If our experiment taught us one thing, it is sympathy for those who truly do not have enough to eat. Our experiment was short, and we knew the whole time it would end, but there are people who live like that every day. But even though it was hard, and we would never want to live like that all the time, we did learn that it is possible. It’s not healthy or ideal, but it can be done. And if it’s possible to live on $1 a day, then maybe we’re spending too much on food and not enough on others. Maybe we should eat a little less and give a little more.