I was hoping to do daily updates of our SNAP Challenge experience but clearly that hasn’t happened. So you are getting a mid week update instead!
I did most of the planning and shopping on Sunday. Our dinners this week were chicken and egg based since both were cheap.
The dinner plan: chicken and veggie stirfry, crockpot BBQ chicken (2 nights), and eggs (2 nights).
I have been back to the store a few times to pick up an extra thing or two but we are almost done with our $80 budget for the week.
I am keeping a spreadsheet of all our food purchases and food usage. There are some perishable items we already had that I couldn’t let go to waste so I am just accounting for those “purchases” within my budget. I am charging myself what I paid for the food except for Costco products, I am charging myself grocery store prices since not everyone has access to Costco.
And speaking of access, I likely have access to more resources than many families including
- close proximity to multiple stores
- my own reliable transportation
- time to shop at multiple stores
- a computer and printer to access deals and print coupons
- fully functioning kitchen appliances including multiple fridges (to stock up on deals) and a slow cooker
Each and every one of those resources helps me find and buy great deals on a regular basis. I think having these resources really puts me ahead of many SNAP families and makes staying within “budget” more doable for me.
While we are staying within budget, it hasn’t been easy. I have tried hard to keep meals balanced although that’s always a struggle with my little guys. I find it interesting that I am putting much more thought and effort into keeping their meals balanced this week though. This is Elliot’s dinner from last night, pretty darn good in my opinion.
And speaking of my little guys, they have been advantageous in this challenge for the budget. They count as extra people for budget purposes but certainly don’t eat as much as Peter and I. Their budget “overage” has allowed Peter to take a “normal” lunch to work which wouldn’t be possible for a single person.
The cost of his lunch works out to over $2, so more than half his daily allotted budget. Families clearly have budget advantages over single people.
Although if the family included teenagers, then the single person might be better off. Teen appetites can be insatiable and it would definitely be challenging to keep them satisfied on the $4 SNAP budget!