Even though this post contains the food plan for day 2, my family is actually on day 7 today. I am having a lot of feelings about this challenge, and none of them are good.
This challenge is unexpectedly difficult. It’s inefficient. It’s frustrating. It’s poorly done. It’s a major pain in my butt. I literally get a pit in my stomach thinking about it and the food we’re going to eat for the day.
I’ve felt like this before.
This is how it felt when I walked into a church and asked for help with food.
This is how it felt when I couldn’t apply for WIC because I didn’t have enough gas in the car to get to the appointment.
This is how it felt when we made the move from homeless to homed and we had to borrow money so we could pay the rent and still buy food because our SNAP benefits hadn’t started yet.
This is how it feels to depend on SNAP to feed your family. It’s raw. It’s frustrating and sickening at times. It’s really difficult to deal with emotionally. This isn’t an efficient way to spend money, but it’s what you get so you make it work the best you can.
On day 2 I started worrying about the decrease in our consumption of fruits and veggies. I realized that when starting over the cost of something like coffee or ketchup can be prohibitive. I found that I had to buy the 1 pound box of oats because it was cheaper short-term, even though the 3 pound box would last longer and is nearly half the price long-term.
I actively worried when my son asked if he could drink the last bit of milk because I knew I couldn’t just run to the store and get more milk, and I knew the baby would need at least one more bottle that day. How do you choose who gets the last glass of milk? Unfortunately these are the daily decisions people who depend on SNAP have to make.
Surplus from yesterday: $.60
Coffee (3.00/lb on sale)
total cost: $8.50
chicken hot dogs (1.00)
hot dog buns (1.90)
small ketchup (1.00)
small mustard (1.00)
2 boxes mac & cheese* (2.00)
*prepared with milk but no butter
total cost: $6.90
6 apples (4.50)
leftovers from yesterday
total cost: 4.50
Jamaican Chicken & Rice
rice (1.00/1lb bag)
whole chicken (6.00)
frozen peppers (1.50)
total cost: $12.30
Total cost for day: $32.20
I went over by $.70 but as I had $.60 in surplus I’m going to call it even because even at my poorest point I could scrounge up two nickels to pay the difference.