So I'm just at the beginning of this challenge and already it's daunting. I love cooking, at least I thought I did. But I'm cheap and lazy remember? The cheap part of me is ecstatic, the lazy part not so much. This is a lot of work. Actually its just a different type of work and I need to get into a routine. The shopping took forever - my brain actually hurt at the end of it and I wanted to buy a coffee and relax, but I couldn't or I'd have to count the damn $2 and I didn't have it to spare. Today I need to make some hummus, fresh tomato soup, tuna salad and of course lunch and dinner. Plus I need to work at my own business and fit in a walk or two for me. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels - something I personally hate. I need to plan and focus on one thing at a time. After I right this, I'm scheduling things out and that will be that.

There's a piece of me that is worried about next week before I even get to it. Talk about not living in the present. I'm worried about protein mostly. One can only have so many beans and lentils. I might have a revolt at home. My freezer will be empty mostly except for a turkey, which I'm not cooking.

Again, I just need to get into a routine and get creative with my recipes. A little less meat, more other types of proteins. Any suggestions would be helpful. Like I say to my daughter, one step at a time. Focus on one thing at a time and suddenly you're done.

There was one good thing, Warde, Lauren and I had breakfast together this morning. I cooked up some oatmeal, with an apple and a few organic blueberries (blueberries are part of the dirty dozen), some flax seed and honey. There was a side of egg for some added protein to keep them going through their day. We never have breakfast together, except for Christmas. I didn't realize that until this morning. That part was kind of nice. I told them how many slices of natural ham they could have on their sandwiches (2). Lauren asked for another jar of pickles to which I had to tell her that it wasn't in the budget. That got an eye roll. Then I said all perky that I'd make up a batch of tuna salad for them too for some lunch variety. Lauren looked at me and said, "Oh! This is going to be so much fun." - she didn't mean it. To which I responded with with a smile "Just wait until you get lentils for dinner." "Oh goody." she said. We all laughed.

They are being really good about it all, but it is the first day. Warde's just happy to be saving money, typical man. Lauren is always supportive of me and my endeavors. I'm hoping we all get into

Can I feed a family of three grown-ups preservative free, non-packaged food, sometimes organic for under $21.50 a day? Three meals, plus snacks and desserts? We are about to find out.

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