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Try as I might my struggle to come up with a catchy title resulted only in a mental traffic jam. Oh, well. The one I finally settled on drew YOU here, didn't it?

It happened. You know. Millions of people demanded more than the low wage jobs that won't give them enough hours and so they voted to "bring our jobs back" and while we're at it, let's slap tariffs on everything not made here in America and start a trade war too. We're mad as hell and we aren't gonna take it anymore!

I thought about starting to keep all my receipts organized by date so I could have documentation of the climbing prices we'll probably see. We Americans are so used to the prices we pay for cars, clothing, household goods, toys, electronics, you name it, because people in other countries work for $3 an hour. Just what, exactly, do you people think is going to happen to those prices?

The worst part is, those jobs aren't coming back and there's nothing Trump or anyone else can do about it. Factors beyond anyone's control including Trump are bound to have a major impact. Bringing American manufacturing jobs back is a delusion. Automated assembly lines using a couple hundred workers (if that) can produce the same output a plant employing thousand workers once did.

Empty-headed promises to out-of-work coal miners are just that. It isn't regulations, international climate agreements, or tree huggers that's killing the coal industry. As coal burning plants are retired or reach end-of life, new-build power generation using natural gas and/or renewables is simply cheaper. Trump can try and wage a hardheaded war with economics. He will lose.

Perhaps millions of people can get infrastructure jobs...maybe that would last a while...what then? And what about everyone else? We can't all work on infrastructure.

Everyone get ready to pay a lot more for everything while most people will (still) be stuck in low wage, dead end jobs.

If you're younger, you can go to school, study hard, have a reasonable chance of being rewarded with a well paying job, and become one of those jerks on the Yahoo comment boards who make snide, derisive comments denigrating people in their late forties or fifties as lazy, worthless "takers"  who want everything handed to them. Never mind that they know going to school is a long shot for them because, everything else being equal, employers will almost always hire the twenty five or thirty year old.

SO...these are my people. These are the folks I'm writing this for. If you're older, struggling to make ends meet, working some crappy job, see no end in sight and never imagined your life turning out this way, I think I might have something useful to offer. Some of you might think I'm off my rocker. That's all right. Feel free to continue being miserable then. It's still (so far, anyway) a free country.

I have to go back to the beginning of my journey. A couple winters ago, I became a fan of this show on the weather channel called "fat guys in  the woods." This guy, Creek Stewart, would take three or four out-of-shape guys off into different wilderness settings, and with only a very few basic survival tools, they had to survive for five days and learn how to build a shelter and scrounge what food they could find only from the environment. Often they barely managed to find anything at all to eat the first day or two, but usually by day three, at some point ol' Creek had figured something out and they'd be sitting around a fire chowing down on something. Sometimes whatever it was didn't seem particularly appetizing, but by that time, they couldn't care less. They enjoyed it.

And I had been trying to shed a few pounds, and I had a couple thoughts. 

First thought was, here are these four guys who just endured five arduous days. These five days weren't easy. They often spent all day long trying to scrounge something to eat from a wilderness environment that sometimes made them work long and hard and gave up little. But then, the end of their week finally came, and feeling proud of persevering, they all hugged each other goodbye and took their proud, fat rear ends home to brag to their family and friends. And, no doubt, go right back to gorging themselves as much as they wanted, whenever they wanted.

I thought, why not "survive" as a way of life? Not eating bugs and rigging heavy flat rocks to fall and crush a rat for dinner, but eat only what you  need...and no more? Forge and maintain the discpline to live on less...much, much less.

The other thought was...holy cow. I wonder how much money a person could save living that way?

FIRST...the need for the "discipline" component had to be addressed. Nobody can feel hungry all the time and keep it up long term. must continue to feel rewarding even after the weight you wanted to lose is gone. Because actually, many, many people DO lose a lot of weight with "discipline." Watching the weight go can provide enough of a sense of accomplishment to keep you motivated. But after that...

It's now the morning of Nov 13th, 11/13/2016.

I've had $131.95 worth of food...since the last day of August. Yesterday, Nov 12, I had 1770 calories, 54 grams of fiber, and 97 grams of protein. Yesterday cost $1.54. Most days, however, I usually eat more like 2000 calories at an average cost of around $1.80 - $1.90.

In December 2014 I topped out at 252 pounds. Now I weigh 152 pounds and seem to be stuck there, but I believe I'll eventually weigh 145 or so. I don't much care. I haven't been motivated by weight  loss for quite awhile now.

So you're older and see no prospect of ever getting a decent job again.Tell me. How much money have YOU eaten in the last 73 days? What if I told you "discipline" or "will power" is absolutely not required, that you  NEVER need to feel hungry, you'll never suffer hunger pangs or cravings, you'll probably get healthier than you've ever been, and put living paycheck to paycheck further and further behind you?

"So what the hell do you eat, Jim?"

I'll get to that. That's the part where some of you might want to tell me I'm off my rocker because you can't live on that, but the good news is your choices don't have to be the same as mine are. Besides, I most certainly CAN "live on that." I intend to keep doing so, too. I'm never broke and the longer I live, the more money I'll have. I turn 60 in April and I'm pretty sure barring catastrophic illness or my girlfriend killing me I'm going to be around for a long time.

I'll tell you what I don't normally eat. My regular day to day diet includes no meat, eggs, fish, chicken, milk, butter, cheese, or oil. It especially has little or no sugar.

Sugar is the evil that makes you have hunger pangs and cravings. When you eat something that spikes your blood sugar, an hour later when your blood sugar starts to decline again, it sends hunger signals to your brain. Eliminate the sugar, and you're in control of what you eat, when you eat, and how much you  eat without any erroneous nagging from your body's autoregulatory response.

I learned about this when I read "The New Glucose Revolution Low GI Guide To Losing Weight."

"GI" stands for glycemic index. I eat only carbs, but all carbs are not created equal. Some carbs are more easily broken down than others, especially highly processed ones.

Carbs that break down quickly during digestion have high GI values. Their blood-glucose response is fast and high.

Carbs that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI.


In January I wrote this:

In January, when I wrote that, my current way of eating hadn't evolved yet. At some point I was trying to convince myself that if I stuck to small portions at a time, Special K cereal had a low enough glycemic load (it does NOT). I was also living mainly on Great Value (Walmart brand) chicken nuggets. Well, they had no sugar.

THAT got my VA clinic to prescribe me pills for high cholesterol. I was also eating a lot of boiled eggs, because at the average price at my local grocery store, they were giving me 6 calories per penny.

Well, I intend to stick around at least another 40 years, so the cholesterol and anything that had cholesterol in it had to go. I quit taking the cholesterol med. Nothing I eat on a regular basis has any  cholesterol in it at all.

Besides, for saving gobs of money, I found a couple things way better than eggs. I usually average 11-12 calories per penny for a 2000 calorie day now.

In my own time. I promise I won't leave ya hangin'. I will tell you what I eat. Be patient. Bear with me.

Ever read those articles written by someone who decided to take the "food stamp challenge" and wants to tell you how hard it is to survive on $30 a week and how glad they are when the week's over? You can't imagine how silly those seem to me. 

But here's something different. Have you ever heard of this one?

The "Elon Musk challenge"?

So this guy read about Elon Musk wanting to prove to himself that he could live on $2 a day so he'd feel confident that he could if he had to while he was just getting started as an entrepreneur. And this guy decided to try it. 

Actually, Elon Musk did it in 1988 for a dollar a day, which this guy decided would be equivalent to $2 a day now. Anyway, he sets these ground rules for himself, like, he decides accepting freebies from friends is ok (LOL-CHEATER), and feels like he's going to bed hungry and feels like he's starving all the time, can't wait to get home from work, has a hard time stopping himself from devouring his whole jar of peanut butter (that was supposed to last a week, I guess) feels low on energy, has a dizzy spell after he works out...

Here's the thing. Everybody makes the same mistake. "Healthy eating" just HAS to include pasta and a trip down that expensive produce aisle. When I tell you what I eat 99.9% of the time, you might be inclined to think "you can't live on  that." 

I have been living this way for a long time now and yesterday I push mowed for about 3 hours and when I came back in I did 1000 leg raises (nonstop-it took 42 minutes) before I took a shower. 

But one of my favorite points he makes is how surprised he was that he didn't get tired of his staples like he thought he would. I don't either.

How many countries in this world do you imagine there are where large populations of the poorest people are perfectly happy living mainly on just one or two main staples, such as rice or grain? Sometimes these people, poor as they are, are healthier than average Americans, living longer and consuming little if any refined sugar.

Anyway. Enough about the Elon Musk challenge. If you're fed up with living paycheck to paycheck, wondering if you'll worry about money to pay the bills until the day you draw your last breath, and it's been that way for long enough, maybe you are, as I was, ready for what I've decided to call the HETTY GREEN CHALLENGE.

Hetty Green...the "witch of Wall Street"...she was a thoroughly fascinating woman, and apparently badly maligned. She was said to accumulate such a hoard of money her bank let her have a free office, and was such a miser she ate mostly oatmeal heated up on the office radiator. She's rumored to have rarely eaten anything else but that and 15 cent pies.  She built a fortune worth hundreds of millions before she died in 1916.

15 cent pies, eh? A pie that cost 15 cents around the turn of the century would cost over $4 today. I got the legendary Hetty Green beat!

Hetty Green's diet doesn't sound very healthy, does it? Do you have any idea how long an average person lived back then? Hetty Green died in 1916 at the ripe old age of 81!

My local grocery store has a store brand of old fashioned oatmeal (Best Choice) that costs $2.19 for a large cannister. That cannister contains 30 half cup servings. One serving has 150 calories. 

One serving costs SEVEN CENTS! That's almost 21½ calories per penny. And oatmeal can rightly be called one of the "superfoods."

If you're minding the glycemic index, you don't want the instant variety. Instant oatmeal is too processed; it's ground finer and has a higher glycemic index.

The old fashioned oatmeal takes no longer to fix than the instant. I put the amount of water I like in a half cup of old fashioned oatmeal, nuke it for ninety seconds, stir in my artificial sweetener, and by  the time it cools off enough to eat, it's ready.

If your careful or curious, like I am, eventually  you might get around to wondering if there's anything bad said about eating too much oatmeal. An internet search might reveal fascinating facts like how the considerable amount of soluble fiber in oatmeal helps control blood sugar because the soluble fiber becomes a gelatinous mass as it moves through the digestive tract, and that gelatinous mass binds a lot of sugar so it isn't as easily absorbed.

One website warned "excessive" amounts of oatmeal would also have the same effect in binding essential minerals like calcium and iron, too, which could create some chronic health  problems for some people trying to live on it.

Well, I don't guess it did any harm to Hetty Green. Besides, I usually don't have more than 5 half cup servings a day (2½ cups). Also, I'm not trying to live on oatmeal. It isn't the only thing I eat.

But it does absolutely no harm to take precautions, either. So I buy Vitafusion chewable multivitamins at Walmart, and just a few shelves away from those, I get my Spring Valley calcium supplement and my Spring Valley iron supplement. All three cost a total of about 20 cents a day.

My other staple comes from Dollar General. There is absolutely no beating Clover Valley 100% whole wheat bread for a buck and a half a loaf. At 60 calories and seven cents a slice, that's over 8½ calories per penny. If you compare the nutrition label with Nature's Own 100% whole wheat bread, they're identical. If you look at the ingredients, you find Dollar General's Clover Valley brand 100% whole wheat uses stone ground whole wheat and also has no high fructose corn syrup either - just like Nature's Own. 

Yesterday I had 2½ cups of oatmeal and 18 slices of bread. That's where my 1770 calories that cost $1.54 came from.

It was good, too. Who says it has to be bland? Not me. Sometimes I'll make a bender by emptying a packet of my Walmart brand (Great Value) aspartame sweetener down one side, then sprinkle some cinnamon on it. It's freakin' delicious, 60 calories, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, no sugar and no cholesterol.

Other times I'll spread what I've tried to estimate as maybe something less than a dime's worth of hummus on a slice, maybe sprinkle some cayenne pepper on it, or maybe some Great Value southwest spicy mustard, and either make it a bender or a full sandwich.

Hummus is awesome for its low glycemic index, no sugar, and I spread it very thin. In the 73 days between  the end of August and now, I might have used $40 worth of artificial sweetener, hummus, sw spicy mustard, etc.

Before the comments lecturing me about how "unhealthy" this sounds start coming, consider whether you  really have the high ground here. 

Depending on what link you click on, the average American consumes anywhere from 20 to 30 teaspoons of sugar a day. I consume at least twenty times less.

The average American consumes enough cholesterol to need medicated for it by the time they're old. I don't.

I average 60 grams of fiber and 80-100 grams of protein a day. 

Hey, your food choices don't have to be the same as mine! Use the glycemic index and create your own. Your hunger pangs and cravings will be a thing of the past. 

Even if you don't save as much  as I do, you're bound to start saving some money. I save a thousand bucks a every 3 or 4 months (that's being conservative..I usually manage to save a thousand bucks at least every 3 months) without really trying.

So stop dreaming about saving money and start planning what you're going to do with it. Because when you're able to live on darn nothing, you're finally going to be able to save some. And every month there will be more. You'll be able to put some in some great dividend stocks and feel confident that next month  and every month from  now on there will always be more, so you'll probably never be forced to sell them because your old clunker car breaks down ever again.

The money you're able to save every month by cheapskate living is a constantly renewing resource!

Me, I decided to stop reinvesting my dividends. I've decided my bank savings account should be a "base camp" for my money, where it stays a short time before it's deployed elewhere. "Elsewhere" is always a dividend stock that direct deposits the dividends back into my  savings account. 

My goal is to have as many trickling in to my account as possible, and work on increasing them. It doesn't take much to make me happy...hell, it doesn't take much to keep me alive!

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Oops. I forgot to enter the calorie and price information for my 18th slice of ww bread into my calculator yesterday. Oh well. That's the reason I've kept a record on paper as well since 9/01/16. To catch and correct mistakes.

So yesterday's calorie total was 1830 calories that cost $1.61.


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So far today...2 half cup servings of oatmeal and 1 slce ww bread.

360 calories...cost...21 cents. 

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There are frequent articles here at the Fool, on Yahoo, and Yahoo Finance about the astonishing number of people in America who couldn't cough up a thousand bucks for an emergency.  Many articles I've seen say much the same thing about being able to come up with a lousy four hundred bucks! And apparently this encompasses large numbers of people who make a ridiculous amount more money than I do.

Tired of living like that? Then do something about it! Here's a newsflash for you. A Hillary win wouldn't have had any immediate effect on your life, either.

The ONLY person who can have a dramatic, drastic, and IMMEDIATE effect on your situation is YOU.


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If you're among those I wrote this for, hey, I'm one of you.

My push mower is self-propelled. My knees are ate up with ate up with arthritis. It HURTS to get out and do things. I try to get out and do some things anyway because I think it slows the progression of the arthritis.

I get $1100 a month disability and the VA rates me at 50% disabled for service-connected disability for spinal stenosis and a herniated disc.

My $700 VA check and my $1100 disability check is my total income.

Yet I have no fear for whatever might happen under any administration.

IF I HAD TO,  I could easily live on my VA check plus the money I've saved until I turn 62 and could begin drawing regular social security.

THAT piece of mind is priceless.

So STOP coming here to the Fool and reading and dreaming about investing and managing to build up a dividend income over time that eventually will lift you up and make a difference in your life when you know darn well what always happens.

You fight and fight to save a few hundred or a thousand bucks and this time, you swear, dammit, you ain't gonna let anything force you to touch it. Maybe you buy some Verizon shares and feel like yeah! I'm finally gonna get something going!

How long do you usually have before some unforeseen circumstance forces you to sell your shares because you need the money. Six months? A year?

How many times does this have to happen to you? You need to do something radically different. And you can.

You just have to be pushed to the point where you're finally ready.


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That *peace* of mind is priceless.

I'm a bookworm. Spelling and grammatical errors bug me. 

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I'm always on the lookout for alternatives to keep on hand for the occasional times I do want something different.

My grocery store also prices canned pinto beans at 59 cents a can. A whole can has 350 calories, 24 grams of fiber, 21 grams of protein, no fat, no cholesterol, and only 3½ grams of sugar. Every 2 or 3 weeks I might break open a can and eat half of it at a time a few hours apart. Eating the entire can in one sitting might reawaken my appetite, even though the beans have a low glycemic index value.

Because the glycemic value alone isn't everything. To keep a lid on your appetite you also have to keep an eye on the glycemic load.

Glycemic index simply measures how much and how fast a carbohydrate elevates your blood sugar compared to the same measured amount of pure glucose.

The glycemic load takes into account the *amount* of the carbohydrate as well, relating the total carbs (net carbs, subtract fiber) available to the body for digestion in the specific serving size.

Glycemic load =  (GI value X net carbs) divided by 100.

Keeping glycemic load low (aim for GL of <10) usually keeps your appetite dormant.

Anyway, when I'm in the mood for something different (not often) pinto beans with some Louisiana hot sauce are really good.

Louisiana hot sauce has barely any calories, no sugar, no carbs.

You can build yourself a personalized regime around low GI foods YOU like.

If you decide you've been at the end of your rope one too many times financially, are you ready?

Change your life. 


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Peanut butter & jelly has nothing on this.

Two slices of my 100% whole wheat bread.

Hummus spread very thin over one. Not even enough, really, to taste.  It has only one purpose.

It will provide a stickier surface to keep my artificial sweetener & cinnamon from falling out.

Yummy. And now I'm up to 900 calories and 63 cents for the day.


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I don't worry if a really low-calorie day kinda sneaks up on me once in a while, but I don't let it happen very often. There's no way I'm only having 900 calories today. I often have to eat simply because I know I should. I rarely ever feel hungry, and when I do, it's a far more subtle thing. Hunger pangs and cravings are not things I have to put up with.

I guess I'll go have another sandwich with a little thicker layer of hummus and some Great Value southwest spicy mustard.

That'll get me up to 1020 calories and 77 cents.  

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Well, time just got away from me last night. I didn't realize how low my calorie intake was until it was pretty late. I ended up with 1440 calories for yesterday and food cost of $1.26.

When this happens occasionally, and you realize you're going to have a pretty low calorie total for the day, it's important to try to at least make sure you exceed 60 grams of protein by as much as you can.

You don't want your body snacking on your lean tissue. 

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I guess either a few folks liked what I had to say here or they were just being charitable by reccing me. Thanks!

Another correction: The grocery store where I buy my oatmeal has 2 store brands: Best Choice and Always Save.

It isn't really important but I use the Always Save brand of old fashioned oatmeal, not the Best Choice. The Best Choice brand is cheap, too, but not nearly as cheap as the $2.19 I pay for the Always Save.

"I rarely ever feel hungry, and when I do, it's a far more subtle thing."

I think it's cool, what eating this way does to your appetite. I don't get hungry the way you do. I mean, I never, ever feel like, "oh man, I starving."

What I do get is sort of hard to describe. It's so gentle and subdued it can easily go unnoticed for hours. I'm not even always sure what it is, maybe because it doesn't happen very often. It's very, very low in intensity compared to what being hungry used to feel like. I never feel like I "need" to eat.


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One of the comments I wrote above is bugging me. It just sounds wrong.

"So STOP coming here to the Fool and reading and dreaming about investing and managing to build up a dividend income over time that eventually will lift you up and make a difference in your life when you know darn well what always happens."

No. Do NOT stop doing that. But I'm saying if you keep trying to do that without changing anything else, "what always happens" will keep happening.

When I wrote this blog, I said I had $131.95 worth of food since the last day of August...73 days.

Anyone figure out how much that is per week? That comes to $12.65 per week. Of course, that's just tracking my main oatmeal and my whole wheat bread. My artificial sweetener, my southwest spicy mustard, and hummus might add a few bucks per week to that.

So around $15 or $16 a week.

Living on $15 or $16 a week sets me up to always have plenty of money. It markedly decreases the chances of something forcing me to sell a dividend stock I don't want to. In any given month, there will always be enough money to cope with things like needing new tires on the car, etc.

Right now my car has developed an antifreeze leak. I don't know how much the repair is going to run.

That's ok. I know I've got enough cash in the bank to handle it.  

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2 slices of my 100%WW bread.

A little hummus (it doesn't take much) spread over one slice

Dust it with some cayenne pepper. Now sprinkle a couple packets of artificial sweetener on it.

There. Spicy sweet. Mmmm.

120 calories. 14 cents.

That plus a half cup of oatmeal makes 270 calories so far today.

And food cost of 21 cents.

So good.  

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By the time I decided to start keeping a record of my calories and food cost on 9/01/16, I had been settled in to eating this way for a long time. Many times I kept track for a week or two at a time, and I knew I wanted to write a blog about it. But I didn't know where to start or what to call it.

Finally, I decided I'd buy a little notebook and really keep track over a much longer time frame while I continued to let my approach to writing it take shape in my mind.

It isn't written as well as I'd have liked, but I couldn't wait any longer. I had hoped to wait until after my next annual checkup on 12/03/16. at the local VA clinic. I'm going to ask if they would give me copies of the results of my fasting labs from 2014, 2015, and the newest ones from. 12/03/16.

I'm really looking forward to them. I believe I've added many years to my life.

I should add a cautionary note. While oatmeal and 100% whole wheat bread are rich in a few vitamins, they are very deficient in many others.

Pay attention and be sure you're getting everything you need. Buy some good vitamins. 

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Over the months I was trying to organize all the thoughts and ideas I wanted to touch on, the best way to express one that was important to me keeps eluding me. Well, darn it, I'll try anyway.

Many of you older workers had good jobs most of your lives until they relocated to exploit cheaper overseas labor. Drill press operators, warehouse and assembly line workers, turret & barstock lathe operators, machinists, welders, forklift operators, sandblasters, paint department workers...

Then. You. Got. HOSED!!!

And many of you have been stuck, ever since, working in jobs paying less than half what you made in the 80's and 90's.

Many of you are in the heartland. I know. I've been one. And you get on Yahoo comment boards trying to describe what's happened and you're insulted. Called names. Told you're not worth more if you won't get off your lazy behind and get the education that would get you a better job...or you're too stupid.

You know better. Not only are there too many people competing for those kinds of jobs where you live, by the time you went back to school and finished any kind of worthwhile training, you know you'd be a middle aged man lacking experience competing with kids half your age for a job. We know how that would turn out.

So really think about everything I've written here. 

I believe my new lifestyle will add not just many, but many, many years to my life. The last 15 or 20 years were hosed and most of it was spent trying to juggle the schedules from 2 crappy jobs.

No sugar. No cholesterol. Have found a super-healthy way to live far, far, beneath even my income.

I am BOYCOTTING AN EARLY DEATH. I've had a lousy dozen years.

But in a couple years I'll start drawing social security. And by GOD I'm going to live long enough to draw it for a LONG TIME.

First they said 50 is the new 40.

Then they said 60 is the new 50.

People are living longer and longer. I may be turning 60 in April but I pass for 40 very easily. Could be my life is still only half over.

Many of you got hosed. You deserve some GOOD years now.


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"I've had a lousy dozen years."

That's an understatement. More like twenty, but the last couple years marked a drastic turnaround for me.

Take care of yourselves. Start now.


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I wrote this blog on 11/13/16...and said:

"I've had $131.95 worth of food... since the last day of August."

Today is 11/18/16.

5 days later. Now I've had $139.65 worth of food since the last day of August, although it's early on a Friday night. I will have more to eat later.

During these last 5 days up to now I had $7.70 worth of food. Some of those 5 days I deliberately cut back on calories because I couldn't shower while we were getting a new septic tank so I avoided any physical activity.

That was partly the reason behind a couple of those low calorie days mentioned above. I never went hungry, though.


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I lost my big type-up reply....

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Can the lifespan of an adult be maintained or even prolonged when even ignoring hitting a minimum numeric calorie count and still be/feel optimal healthwise?

Ignoring $ for a moment. I'd have to say if I ate the following every day for a week, I'd feel quite amazing:

[1 of several...continued next post]

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[2 of several...continued next post]

1(fresh) boiled beet, 2 fistfuls of seaweed (water-soup style or dry-chip style), 1 baked yam, 2 tomatoes (or two fistful of cherry tomatoes), 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (freshly pressed), 1 avocado, 2 bananas, fistful of cilantro.

(not allowed to type above in a list format? only paragraph style works?)

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[3 of several...continued next post]

optionally could add some oatmeal, beans, piece of bread, or potatoe.

...I'd feel great even I cut all of the above in half to consume.
How many calories would this be in a day?

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[4 of 4...continued next post]

I'd argue that one calorie from a like-sourced great tasting (fresh grown and not de-natured) food could be equivelent to several multiples of one calorie from a man-made processed (denatured, cooked, diced, ground, bagged, canned) food source.

I'd argue that eating the grown tasty variety (divine nature providing) with its fiber would have a negligible GI/diabetic impact compared to any "equivelent" sugar measuring of a man-made processed food source.

If we ignore self-growing or even community growing, is there a way to get vegetables on the cheap?

I wonder also, what is it that is deficient in the growing process for alot of the tasteless/non-appetizing varieties for some of the same vegetables or fruits that look similar on the outside but can sometimes be so different in taste when sourced from different farms/stores (or even if a friend grows it)? I'd had lack of luck in most stores, and there's a one, maybe two stores I've latched onto for dear-life that seems to be source from the right farms.

...Should I have, instead of asking how many calories would this be in a day, instead asked what variety of trace minerals, vitamins, (and who knows what other words) of good stuff are being easily abosrbable by our body that may not be provided by any typical diet or even a varied-high-calorie diet?

Can seeds be inexpensive enough (over time) to figure out a seasonal/rotating crop of vegetables or fruits in your geographic climate to beat your $/food consumed?

These are ponderings and I do not mean to infer I know the answers to any of the questions I bring up. One day, later in life, I will pursue deeper into finding answers for myself into all of these questions.

Please let me share your findings in later months or years if you do ever delve into experimenting with any of the above thoughts here.

I've enjoyed reading what you have.

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Hi pjani

With the exception of potatoes and beets, everything you listed would have a low glycemic index.

Tomatoes have a fairly low glycemic index, too, even though they do have some sugar. Surprisingly, oranges even have a low GI.

But not all veggies are low in sugar. Green peas have a fair amount of sugar. Although they have a low GI, 2/3 of a cup of green peas have 5 grams of sugar. That's a teaspoon of sugar.

Also if I'm buying them, they only give me a few calories per penny.

I was into gardening for a long time, but I found I spent a lot more money trying to save money that way than I spend now.

Also, I found that some veggies woke my slumbering appetite even though their glycemic index value says they shouldn't have. When I avoid all sugar (natural and otherwise) that seems to take care of that.

Green beans and broccoli have a very low GI, but again, I only get 2-3 calories per penny.


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For awhile, too, I would eat a few bananas a day, but a banana has about 19 grams of sugar, even though a banana has a glycemic index of only 52. 

I tried to convince myself they weren't making me hungry and causing me to eat more, but they were.



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I think my car needs a water pump. Thanks to my lifestyle, it's just a pain in the rear inconvenience, not a "OMG-I'll-have-to-sell-some-shares" disaster.

In fact, it won't even hamper my plans to initiate a new $500 position in Starwood Real Estate Investment Trust at Computershare before the December ex-dividend date and get another $10 quarterly payment direct deposited to my savings account starting in mid-January.

Live cheap, cheap, cheap and keep buying more income.

Security is a fortess against the uncertainty of whatever lies ahead. 

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Many thanks for putting this post at the top of the most recced blogs for the month! That means it'll probably continue to hold a place there at least until December 13.

I'm glad more people will have more time to find it and read it, because my heart goes out to those who might genuinely be helped.



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Today is Saturday...11/26/16

Just a few more days left in the month. This coming Thursday is December 1st. My food cost since the end of August is now up to $153.42.

My annual VA fasting labs are on Friday December 2nd. Looking forward to them big time.

When I had my VA fasting labs in November of 2014, two years ago, I weighed 252. The doc said I was becoming diabetic and wanted to prescribe metformin because my blood sugar was out of control.

I watched my girlfriend go from popping pills to needing shots twice a day. I said, no way. Schedule me another set of fasting labs in a few months. I will fix this.

I began eliminating sugar. My first version of a sugar-free existence was way different. I did discover all hunger pangs and cravings were a thing of the past, but back then one of my major staples was Great Value chicken nuggets. I loved them with Tabasco and four of them had 150 calories, no sugar, and cost only 40 cents. At the time, I was amazed by how cheap I could live because it was so easy to get by on around $25 a week.

Being amazed because it was so easy to live on $25 a week seems funny now. Anyway, I lost quite a bit of weight and my blood sugar was no longer a concern. However, in December of 2015 the doc at the VA wanted to prescribe something for my soaring cholesterol levels.

Well, for crying out loud. Oh, well. So. The chicken nuggets had to go. Ok. 

Hmm. Well, I did take the cholesterol pills for awhile. But I stopped taking them 4 or 5 months ago and never renewed my prescription. I don't need them. I can't possibly need them. Nothing I eat now has any cholesterol in it.

I'm not a fanatic about it. I'm just normally perfectly happy without meat, eggs, milk, cheese, butter or oil. But my girlfriend will pout and get angry with me for ruining her day when she occasionally has a medical appointment in Springfield if I won't eat out with her.

So on those infrequent occasions rather than be punished for not wanting to eat, I'll have something I usually wouldn't. Usually fish or chicken. But if we go to a restaurant, I won't spend more to eat healthy. After all, it's a very infrequent thing, and my main focus is on being cheap now. I might even have a burger for the first time in six months. Depends on how I feel.

No need to be a nut about it. I can go back to being a nut about it at home.

Anyway, really looking forward to those fasting labs. The docs are always amazed at what I've done.


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Tomorrow is December 1st.

My food cost since the end of August is now $160.48, not including $2-$3 a week for artificial sweetener, Great Value southwest spicy mustard, and hummus.

When I break open a 60 cent can of Always Save pinto beans once every few weeks, I do count it and that's included in the $160.48 total.

The car ate around $400 in repairs, not including the $80 I tipped a mechanic who was kind enough to come out to the house a couple times when I wasn't sure whether I should try to drive it to the garage. Having a reliable mechanic who will take care of you like that gives peace of mind worth paying for.


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Last week I enrolled in Starwood REIT's direct stock purchase plan at Computershare, and yesterday I doubled down on my Tyson. This after a $400 auto repair. I'm still not out of dry powder; I always hang on to some of it.

I'm on disability. What's your excuse?

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Latest update:

I'm averaging under $1.50 a day now. I've added magnesium  and chewable vitamin  C to my daily vitamin and mineral supplements, but they still cost only 33 cents a day! Today I've had 2½ cups of oatmeal and 4 thin hummous sandwiches...1350 calories that only cost 91 cents so far! Of course, I'll eat a little more tonight. 1350 calories isn't enough. 

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Well, I had another half cup of oatmeal and another sandwich. That makes 3 cups of oatmeal and 5 sandwiches today.

Calories: 1650

Cost: $1.12

I've built a dividend stock portfolio worth $5k in the last 16 months on an $1800 a month income. 


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Hi, Jamie!

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Well. If anyone should happen to glance through these old blogs...I'm asking...again...if you are among those I hoped this blog would be helpful to...

Today is Jan 17, 2021. It has been 4 years since I wrote this blog.

LIVING ON DISABILITY I have continued to eat much less. I've kept the weight off. I've also saved a little money. I now have $90 a month in dividends tumbling into my bank account from a portfolio of 19 different companies worth almost $22,000 today.

Just from 4 years of doing exactly what I wrote this blog about. I did that living on disability.

I have made some changes. I no longer eat SO cheap..I read "The China Study" and "How Not To Die" and now eat a whole foods plant based diet.

I still avoid high glycemic foods that will elevate my blood sugar and cause me hunger pangs and cravings an hour after I eat them.

My dividend income will exceed $100/month not long after I turn 64 in April. I honestly don't think I'm being unrealistic when I say I think I have at least another 40 (or 50) healthy years left.

I have plenty of time. By the time another 15 years passes, my VA check plus my social security check PLUS what by then will be a hefty contribution from my dividend income will set me up nicely.

You can do this. Hey, man, once you manage to graduate from having $5-$10 a month in dividends to having $30, $40, $50 a month in dividends, your ability to save more money faster just keeps accelerating. It is exhilarating.

Start NOW!
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Wow. Now it's 12/21/21.
I guess nobody will read this. But if someone does, I just want to let you know it's damn good to be me.

Life just can't stop getting better. My dividend income is now over $112 a month. Next month it will exceed $114. My Altria dividend alone on Jan 10 will be $66.74.

Then just 5 days after that will see another $33.71 from another 5 companies come tumbling into my savings account via direct deposit. 10 days or so after that will see Cisco direct depositing their $12 contribution, and a week later I'll get my $12 from Verizon.

My dividend income is now $1,348 a year and the rate at which it's growing is continuing to pick up speed. It's exhilarating.
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