How to survive on $100 per month in Southern California

Just this past month, Steak Club was hit with yet another company crisis. It’s during crises like these that I have to remind myself that things could always be worse. How much worse? Imagine moving to California for 6 months with little to no money

That’s exactly what happened to me October 2021. Instead of being homeless and starving, I learned to survive and thrive on a cheap keto diet while getting back to optimal health. Here’s the story of how I went to Southern California, broke, and managed to survive on $100 per month

At the beginning of October last year, I had thoroughly had enough of Polish winters.

So I bought a one-way ticket to California. The plan was to stay there for 6 months, finish a course in regenerative agriculture, and make new friends.

Call it bad luck or poor planning – things did not go well, right from the start.

Returning to Warsaw to pack my things (I was living in Southern Poland at the time), I stopped by the courier’s warehouse to check on things.

Immediately after arriving, I was informed the courier company had been bought by Allegro (Poland’s largest e-commerce platform) – I had less than a week to move my fulfilment operations.

Problem was, I was going to California before then.

Regardless, while operations were being moved, I got on the plane and took a trip half way across the world.

There was no way I could’ve prepared myself for what was to come.

Landing in Los Angeles, I was witnessing the end of a civilization.

95%+ of the people I saw were obese, crumbling infrastructure was everywhere, industry pumping out smog and the cost of living dramatically decreasing everyone’s quality of life

My understanding was that I would be staying with my friend.

Instead, I found out I was renting a room in the house my friend is staying for a “great price.

$1350 for a single bedroom + and en-suite bathroom.

Welcome to Los Angeles!

On top of this, it was 09.2021 and inflation (price gouging) was already skyrocketing.

In 2 weeks, I saw the price of bacon go from $8-$12. Leaving the supermarket with a mostly-full basket cost a minimum of $100. 

With no passive income (Steak Club was still facing issues), I had to do something, and quick.

It was time to move out to the countryside.

Luckily, before coming to California, I had been introduced to a non-profit organization.

They were renting half a farm in San Diego county, complete with a tiny house. It was time to move.

The place was perfect: a tiny house all to myself, solar panels so I could work on my laptop, and on a farm (next Camp Pendleton military base, where I was born).

The problem was, with no money and no car (a necessity in the U.S.), I was totally stranded. There was no hot water, or even a toilet.

The next two months were cold showers and digging toilet holes, slowly fertilizing the farm’s barren soil.

What about food?

Luckily, I was able to go into town once a week, to join Juan (the only local farmer), at the farmer’s market.

So what did I do? Having lived with a holistic doctor the previous winter, I knew exactly what to buy in order to stay healthy.

The first trick was shopping at the Mexican Supermarket. With 40% lower prices, and an excellent beef butcher, what did I eat?

The minimum amount of protein required for the average person is roughly 0.8g of protein per kg standing body weight (or 1g of protein per lb of body weight).

Here are the numbers:

Body Weight: 125lb or 53kg
Required Protein: 53g/day ->1590g/month
Required Fat: 1590g/month

To convert below it’s is 453.6 grams per pound.

Food Costs:
Beef liver – $1.89/lb x2 = $7.56 -> 907.2 grams | vitamins
Eggs 12 Pack – $2.19 x 4 = $8.76 -> | vitamins + fat + protein
Flank Steak – $6.99/lb x4  – 454.59grams = $27.96 -> 1814 grams | protein
Butter (Fat) – $3.75/8oz = $31.73 -> 1808 grams | fat

Monthly total of-> $76.04

Keeping in mind, during this time I was intermittent fasting.

For 2 months on the farm, I was doing only computer work – keeping minimum energy expenditure outside in the hot California sun (except to get vitamin D).

With little to no money, I was on a strict keto/carnivore diet. Within the first month (mid-Nov), I ran out of money for essentials.

Thus no coffee or stimulants.

Just water, protein, fat, and beef organs.

The effects were nothing short of amazing.

My brain had not worked that well since high school.

That, coupled with the cold showers, clean food, fresh air and sunlight everyday, I had achieved optimal health in a very short period of time.

Within a week, I was feeling amazing, on account of the beef liver.

This was the first time in my life I had introduced beef liver into my diet regularly. I was slicing it up into pill sized chunks, freezing them, and taking some every morning and evening.

I normally track the hours I work (time is an entrepreneur’s absolute number 1 limited resource), and my work performance went from 6-7 hours a day on the computer, to 12 hours – without a real break. 

Most importantly, I fixed the courier situation at Steak Club in time for Xmas. I remembered to use my network. Got in contact with the owner of Lokalny Rolnik, who allowed me to move into their fulfilment operation.

After 2 months, by mid-December, I had:
– Grown an e-mail list at the farmer’s market to 250 people,
– Put together a Regenerative Solutions Affiliate Program,
Fixed Steak Club courier crisis (moved fulfilment operations to Lokalny Rolnik)
– Helped the non-profit select and purchase an 80ha property in Santa Barbara

This upcoming November 2022, I’ll be heading back to what the non-profit and I are going to call Yellow Fat Farms, to set up a Regenerative Agriculture School.

However, all good things must come to an end …

On December 15th – my birthday & the same day I got my driver’s license – I got kicked off of the farm by the owner for visiting the chickens. 

Talk about egos. 

There was a reason the non-profit was moving. I simply never realized the odds were that I would nearly be homeless for Xmas – this was the start of the process of getting kicked off 3 farms in 6 weeks.

This adventure was just getting started.

If you’ve not already subscribed to the newsletter, consider subscribing to get promos, discounts and further instalments in a series tracking my adventures from Adam Grows EDEN, as I use my passions of food, people & music to try and reform agriculture. 

Next up …”Getting kicked off of 3 farms in 6 weeks.” – with a hostage situation in between.

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