After I agreed to do the Thrive on $6.65 challenge, I was invited to meet with Fife House staff to review the project rules. To sum it briefly, these are the ten important ones I have to be mindful of while trying to “thrive” on a fixed income diet.
1. Allowance is $6.65 per day or $46.55 for the week.
2. When grocery shopping, it is permissible to buy food for more than one day as long as the week total does not exceed $46.55.
3. Bulk buying is not permitted if the expectation is that the bulk will used after the week is completed (and therefore paid for outside of the $46.55).
4. Basics like spices and condiments that a participant owns can be used – but if they run out they should have to replace.
5. Current food (cans, jars, dry, frozen, leftovers) can not be used.
6. No more than three (3) meals can be eaten outside of this budget assuming you are a guest of someone or use a public service like a soup kitchen.
7. For this experiment, we will not use food banks.
8. This applies to food and beverages only. Toiletries are not included in the $46.55 limit.
9. We will keep a log of each of our meals identifying what we ate.
10. We will keep a log of how we feel and be open to blogging about it.
Luckily, I don’t have costly vices such as alcohol or tobacco. Although it may not seem like much to others who may be abstaining from their routine of a fine cabernet with their meals, I am already feeling anxious about giving up my soy lattes and double espressos.
Even having such a thought makes me feel like a jerk because of the tens of thousands of Torontonians living on ODSP, most will have even less than $6.55 per day for food since they generally have to budget for toiletries, transportation and other living expenses out of this same modest amount. This is certainly the reality facing People Living With HIV/AIDS at Fife House.
Challenge starts tomorrow – time to get over myself.