Gwyneth Paltrow blew up the internet when she took on the challenge of living off $29 worth of groceries for a week, about the amount a person on food stamps receives. I actually thought she might succeed, since she doesn’t eat anything but kale and lettuce anyway.
It was for a worthy cause. An attempt to bring awareness to the struggles of the poor. But Gwyneth, who has a reputation for sounding pretentious and oblivious to the lifestyles of the not-so-rich and famous, seemed like an unlikely candidate for such an endeavor. Alas, she gave up after four days, discovering when you only have $29 to spend to make 21 meals, one shouldn’t blow the bank on seven limes.
This is what $29 gets you at the grocery store—what families on SNAP (i.e. food stamps) have to live on for a week. pic.twitter.com/OZMPA3nxij
— Gwyneth Paltrow (@GwynethPaltrow) April 9, 2015
Then I remembered another time Gwyneth set the world on fire when she said, “I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.” So basically Gwyn thinks it’s harder to be a rich, famous actress mom than just an everyday working mom.
The struggles of the wealthy are real. Since Gwynie was willing to put herself in the shoes of the less fortunate, I think it’s only fair that the other 99 percent of us get a chance to see what it’s like to be a Hollywood star. So I was willing to make the sacrifice and take the $29,000 a Week Challenge. (That’s the number you get if you take her 60 million net worth and divide it out weekly over the next 43 years.)
First, I moved into Gwyn’s sprawling Brentwood, CA mansion. The pool, the stables, the eight bathrooms! I was all amazing. I had no problem making the mortgage payment or paying the utility bills on $29,000 a week. You know, none of that financial stress that regular people have.
I hired two nannies to take care of my boys, and a driver to drive them to and from their extremely safe, prestigious private school. When my kid got sick, I didn’t have to worry about who was going stay home with him. When I was running late one evening, it was no big deal since the driver took my boys wherever they needed to go. When the nannies and I couldn’t figure out my kid’s New Math homework, we called in a tutor from Caltech to help. (OK, so Johnny Galecki isn’t really a professor at Caltech, but he plays one on TV.)
When I did come down with a cold, I saw one of the top doctors in the country the same day, because who needs health insurance when you have 60 million dollars? He told me it was just a virus and prescribed a kombucha tea cleanse. It didn’t cure me, but I lost 5 lbs.
My personal chef made my family three healthy, vegan, Non-GMO, organic, free-range, macrobiotic meals every day. No coupons, no sale flyers and no guilt about serving Kraft Macaroni & Chemical. The fridge was always stocked with fresh everything from Whole Foods too.
The maid cleaned the house daily and a service did the laundry. I didn’t have to wash a pair of jeans at 11 pm when I realized all my kid’s clothes were in the dirty laundry pile. And that day when I still felt like I had nothing to wear, I went on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.
It was only a week, but I look better than I ever have since I had a personal trainer, make-up artist and hair stylist at my disposal. I visited the spa for a facial and massage too.
I won’t lie. I mean, it was tough. On day four when the trainer wanted me to do 25 burpees, I almost quit. But the chef had a tofu and watercress salad waiting for me at home. Looking forward to that was enough to get me through that workout. While the nannies organized Legos by color, size and function, I soldiered on thee more days, riding ponies and swimming in the infinity pool.
Living the life of Gwyneth for seven days was pretty good. But I don’t miss the seaweed smoothies.