Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 5 of the Hunger Challenge

Today, I said the heck with it (to a point). I wanted a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. The boxed cereal that made me feel like crap was not a contender (and now a complete waste of money and food) and a peanut butter sandwich and banana just wasn’t cutting it. Hunger would set in just a couple of hours later.

So, I made a bowl of McCann’s steel-cut oatmeal. I figured this would completely blow my budget and leave something like a dollar for the rest of the day.

First, oatmeal vs. boxed store brand: the oatmeal left me with a healthy feeling of being full. Not the mildly-crampy, gut clenching feeling from the boxed cereal. (For the record, I do enjoy cold cereal and prefer it in the summer.) God! So much better and no hunger pangs until around lunch time.

Second, price-wise, the McCann’s came out at 1¢ per ounce more than the store-branded box o’ sugar. This was a surprise – a good one, but unexpected.

Now this is an issue for the consumer. First, the hot oatmeal products are shelved separately from the boxed cereal – sometimes in the same aisle, sometimes in another one altogether, depending on the store. There’s also the quantity and appearance. A “little” can of McCann’s would appear to make small amounts compared to a large box of cereal. The cost for a can of oatmeal is also “more” per unit - $6 versus the $2.39 for the box of cereal.

Lunch was something of a moral dilemma. It was a lunch meeting that I was required to attend and lunch was provided. After going back and forth over whether to count this in the budget, I decided not to. It didn’t come out of my bank account, so it was fair game. But moderation was observed. While I probably ate well over $4 in terms of cost, in terms of quantity, amounts were comparable to other lunches this week.

Dinner was pasta salad again. Warmed up because the night turned pretty chill, and it warmed up quite well. Can see the bottom of the pot!

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