Food Stamp Challenge – First Grocery Shopping

I have to admit that we did not start the challenge until Sunday, February 2.  The reason: we needed to finish up some food that was in the fridge.  The rules I set for us were: we would start with whatever was on the door of the refrigerator, the spices and seasonings that were in the cupboard and whatever was left in the jars of flour, sugar, etc.  Anything that I had otherwise in the house would be deducted out of the amount we would have for the month.

We are a family of 2 and if we were to receive the full amount in benefits from the SNAP program (food stamps) that would be $255.50 for the month, $63.87 per week.  I decided I would budget it as we were getting weekly, so that we would still have money at the end of the month.  I was amazed at how little this allowed us to purchase and at the last grocery store realized that I only had one option for dinner for the week.  I did splurge and buy yogurt for our lunch (this is what we normally eat) since Stella does not eat meat or drink milk.  It was cheaper in the individual servings than the big container – and yes I did buy whole milk, organic. So are you wondering why I would buy the expensive yogurt and not the cheap stuff?  One of the reasons I decided to take this challenge was to see if we could still eat a nutritious and healthy diet.

I ended up going to 4 grocery stores to get all that was on the list and the list was not long – but I did go over the $63.87. The list:

Food challenge 1 groceries

Parmesan cheese $4.79
Whole milk, raw cheddar cheese $3.29
Mozzarella cheese $3.99
Tortillas (10 pack) $2.04
Lentils $1.74
Buttermilk $2.55
Oats $3.30
Rice $3.12
Spinach (organic) $3.53
Broccoli (organic) $3.89
Apples 3 lb (organic) $6.99
Yogurt 10 servings $11.90
Raw milk yogurt $4.50
Blueberries (3 cups) $3.22
Tea $3.35
Eggs (2 dozen – local) $8.18
Bananas $1.10
Smoothie Juice $3.65
Peaches $2.69
Tax $3.42

Grand total: $81.24!  Now some of this we will use in week 2, but not a lot of it.  We are now down to $174.26.  Next week Stella will be doing the school lunch along with week 4 – so that will cut the food expense for those particular weeks.

Saturday night was spent soaking grains, making dough, soaking beans etc.  I will share our recipes and menus with you as we venture into the days ahead!

Food challenge 1 soaking

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5 Responses to Food Stamp Challenge – First Grocery Shopping

  1. Lorrie says:

    The majority of people living on SNAPS, or very limited incomes, would not be able to eat healthy in the amount of dollars allocated. Food for two at $67 a week would be bare survival … starches with very little protein. I’d think a valuable exercise for Stella however, in how much it truly costs to live.

    • simply0637 says:

      We need carbs and I am pairing with protein – posting on that this week. It might be bare survival but many people have to do it.

  2. Candace says:

    This is a wonderful project and I so appreciate the work you are doing to enlighten and educate us on he SNAPS program and whether one can actually eat nutritionally. Of course, what isn’t factored in is that fact that big agribus sells their food cheap because the government subsidizes it. Also, I wonder if summer would be a better month with farmer’s markets and having a garden. Thank you for taking this challenge on. Kudos to you and Stella!!!

    • simply0637 says:

      It might be easier in the summer, but to have a garden takes money and time – where would that money come from. We are lucky here in Floyd that our farmer’s market give $2 worth of produce for every $1 of SNAP.

  3. Jo says:

    What a challenge….and lots of preparation and thought. Good luck you too. Looking forward to reading your progress!

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