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Someone sent me this link - pretty cool idea - http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/11/250185245/social-supermarkets-a-win-win-win-for-europes-poor. The comments are also interesting to read through just to get a sense of other people’s views on SNAP.
Hi everyone, today went well. I had egg fried rice for brunch, and am having some chicken with cabbage and rice for dinner. I had a pretty low key day at home, so I don’t feel (too) bothered by the smaller portions/inability to snack. That being said, I indulged a little for dinner and had some extra cabbage. I’m also realizing that the biggest challenge this week might be how to use condiments to mix the flavors of my meals up. Tonight: sriracha + soy sauce.
Lastly, I got invited to a friend’s birthday dinner tonight, and had to decline going out to eat with them. I’m joining everyone for cake later, but it’s still disappointing not being able to participate fully. I suppose I could have gone and not eaten, but when i’ve done that in the past due to allergies restaurants tend not to like it, especially if you don’t order a drink. It’s interesting to think about how much food is integrated into our social lives.
Had the same thing for all 4 of these meals:
Not bad but not great either. Just simple pasta with onions garlic anchovy and 2 meatballs (for lunch and dinner)
Glad this will be over soon..
I rarely eat out or buy lunch at school, and never get prepared food at the grocery store, so in some respects the SNAP challenge is probably less of an adjustment for me than for some. Also, I go to school just a few blocks away from my kitchen. If I need more food, it is just a short walk away. My frustration at being unable to get a snack at school or to give in to a sugar craving is nothing compared to someone who, if hungry, has a 45 minute commute back to their kitchen. And this is just between SNAP challenge participants. Obviously, my frustration would be a much bigger monster if the challenge didn’t end after seven days, if I had another month of double portions oatmeal/split pea soup to look forward to.
Some thoughts from the week:
1) So much of our socialization centers around food and drink. I can’t afford to go out for lunch or for a drink is one thing. How about: I don’t want to invite you over for lunch, which would be cheaper than going out, because I’m not sure I have the provisions and possibly am uncomfortable showing you what I can provide?
2) Shopping took so much longer and was a lot more stressful. I usually enjoy grocery shopping. Not this time.
3) I almost wish I hadn’t touched the found turnips. I probably would have run through the potatoes, possibly the kale. Would I have any food left? But on the other hand, those turnips were a life-saver. They were such a treat mixed with the potatoes.
That’s exactly what is unattainable on the SNAP budget: treats. And I’m talking of turnip-as-treat, not the cookies-and-chocolate kind. I also am an apple snob (cheers Cynthia!) but my usual varieties were another unaffordable treat. The affordable kind were quite bland. I ate them because I needed to eat fruit according to My Plate, but only for that reason.
4) Without variety, eating can be uninspiring and kind of a chore. I noticed that I was using a lot more salt than I usually do. To make up for the lack of variety? Possibly. I can’t imagine why else. Maybe this is another factor that drives people to select less healthy food options at the grocery store.
Best of luck to those still going or just getting started!
Hi everyone, I’ve been following all your posts, and am excited to start this challenge today. I live with a lot of severe food allergies, and have always wondered how people manage their dietary restrictions when they have to live on a budget. Quite often I’m restricted in what I can buy because of manufacturing practices (i.e. have to buy a certain brand). In general, I only eat what I make, including bread, granola bars, and other baked goods; I grind and brew my own coffee; and I can’t eat any free food unless I know how it was prepared. Overall, I spend a lot less money on food than I did before I developed my food allergies, but the way that I plan my meals requires me to spend a lot up front on ingredients. Just buying one ingredient (flax seed) to make granola bars, for example, costs $16.80, but it will last me several months. I don’t think that’s really an option for people on a tight budget though.
Like all of you, I found that my $30 went really quickly. I can’t eat peanuts, nuts, soy, legumes, beans, peas, chickpeas, or seafood, so I have to rely on fresh meat and dairy for protein. Also, the canned fruit I wanted wasn’t an option because of cross-contamination, so I could either buy the more expensive organic versions or nothing at all. I ended up not getting any…no fruit this week :(
I found a family-pack of chicken drumsticks on sale for $6.18, which was great but did make me wonder why it was so affordable. I must have checked the expiration date on it at least 3 or 4 times. I also bought some eggs and a box of powdered milk (I usually go through 2 gallons/week). The rest went to vegetables and a bag of rice. The first nutritional sacrifice of the week was switching from brown rice to white rice…total bummer/worried about the switch to a simpler carb. For coffee, I wasn’t sure what to do because I have to buy the whole bag. I decided to follow in Farnaz’s footsteps and calculate it out. The bag I have open now costs $10.99, and comes out to $0.35/day for my usual 2 cup amount. Here’s what I have for the week:
Chicken drumsticks $6.18
Dozen eggs $3.00
Box of powdered milk $5.99
5lbs of white rice $5.79
3.4lb pumpkin $2.35
When you get a chance, please take a look at the “sign up” page which has the link to a form to complete and email back to us.
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