Coffee is a drug...that I can't afford


We don't mean to insinuate an addiction, but it seems that the simple act of having a cup of coffee every morning matters quite a bit to your body as well as your wallet. As you'll read, some challengers have found it incredibly hard to give up their daily dose.

So at this point the biggest problem for me is I love coffee.   I didn’t figure my budget allowed for coffee, but I’m wondering how much coffee I could buy for $3.  Would that much coffee get me through the week or will I need food at the end of the week and regret buying coffee?

-Submitted by: CalFresh Challenger


I woke up with a terrible migraine at 3:00 a.m. Now, I get migraines once in a while, but they usually hit mid-afternoon and are triggered by stress. I don’t know for sure, but I would suspect that my sudden reliance on Ramen, which has MSG, and so much sodium might be the culprit. I took medicine and tried to pull myself together for work. I ate a cup of yogurt and drank a cup of green tea at 8:00 a.m. and tried to ignore my migraine because I had a meeting I couldn’t miss. As sometimes happens with my worst migraines, I threw up everything by 10:00 a.m. Now, I had a headache and was throwing up my breakfast, without a replacement option. Sickness of any kind and no expendable income for “sick food” was a problem I hadn’t really thought about before. I would wait for lunch to replenish.

The medicine kicked in and I decided to splurge on a $.99 coffee refill at 7-11. I usually take my coffee with milk and splenda. But all the fixings looked like a dessert heaven to me. I quickly drank half the cup of coffee standing at the counter, so I could refill my cup without an extra charge. The cashier nastily stared me down, but I just shrugged my shoulders. What’s a girl with coffee deprivation to do? I am usually so polite and thankful to every worker, but I found myself becoming resentful as she judged me. Nonetheless, I refilled my cup and added every extra they had: caramel, little marshmellows, whipped cream. I knew this was the first nutrients I would keep down for the day, and that I was making a poor drinking decision worse by adding so much sugar. But, I was just desperate for something that tasted good.

I ate a lunch of Progresso Lentil Soup. Disgusting in taste, but healthier than many of my options. It was a steal of a deal – on sale at my union CVS for $.97, but with a coupon $.75. It was more filling and better for me than Ramen, so I feel like I am making progress on food decisions.

I really wanted something fresh for dinner. So, I reached into my $9.00 kitty and spent $.50 on an avocado. I sliced half of it, cooked an ear of corn and made a fried egg sandwich. I don’t think I have ever eaten a fried egg sandwich in my life. Not an ideal dinner (cholesterol anyone?) but at least it wasn’t processed. At roughly the halfway point, I am hopeful I can do this… if they will let me return my unused Ramen to the store.

Breakfast: Yogurt ($.60), Green Tea

Lunch: Coffee!!! ($1.00), Lentil Soup ($.75)

Dinner: ½ of an Avocado ($.25), Ear of Corn ($.50), two pieces of bread ($.25), one egg ($.25)

Money left: $8.50

-Submitted by: CalFresh Challenger