SNAP Challenge : Day 1

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Thoughts before I started:

This should be easy! I feed my family of 8 for $200 LESS than the SNAP allowance, surely I can feed 7 of us for that!

Sorry I don’t have any pics for you, I completely forgot!

Meals on day 1:

Breakfast – egg burritos
6 eggs ($2.80/doz)
onion ($.80)
8 pack tortillas ($2.50)
1/2 lb cheese ($3.50/lb)
oil ($3.00/bottle)
total cost: $12.60

Lunch – Pasta
box whole grain pasta ($1.00)
canned pasta sauce ($1.00)
total cost: $2.00

Extra food for baby
milk ($4.30)
store brand cheerios ($3.00)
frozen mixed veggies ($2.00)
total cost: $9.30

bag baby carrots ($1.00)
1/2 lb cheese, sliced – leftover
6 boiled eggs – leftover
Total cost: $1.00

Dinner – bean soup
bag dry bean mix ($3.00)
can diced tomatoes ($1.00)
can corn ($1.00)
sour cream ($.80)
onion (.80)
Total cost: $6.60

Total spent today: $30.90
Surplus for tomorrow: $.60

Thoughts after day 1:

Beverages were milk and tap water. What I wouldn’t have given for a nice, cold diet Coke with lunch.

I don’t math so I rounded numbers up to the nearest dime.

Given that I have to account for all typical pantry items (ketchup, seasonings, etc) this is going to be tougher than I thought. I don’t know how many people start on SNAP with a pantry, but I imagine some have at least ketchup. The challenge isn’t perfect, however, it’s to simulate what would happen if we started from zero. I imagine that by the time you were on month 4 the challenge would be easier and you’d have some stuff in your pantry to fall back on. This is exactly why I didn’t have coffee for breakfast or biscuits with dinner this day :( The price of coffee would have put me over budget for the day and I didn’t want to start the week off with a deficit.

Also, yes, I know I could find food cheaper if I shopped at Aldi, Walmart, or a warehouse club instead of the normal grocery store. If you have these stores near you I strongly urge you to take advantage of them. Because I am simulating living below the poverty line this week I decided that the gas used to make the 10 mile drive to Wal-mart, or the 13 mile drive to Aldi, isn’t worth the $.40/gal discount in milk. Gas in my area is $3.49/gallon right now. Also, remember that since you cannot pay for warehouse membership with SNAP, I cannot shop there this week.

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