Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SNAP Challenge - Day One

Let's review the rules of this little game. The whole goal is to get people to recognize how hard it is to a nutritious, balanced diet on the limited budge provided by the foodshare benefits of my county.  You can find more information about the SNAP Challenge here, but let's talk about how I did on my first day. I'm listing my meals and my best attempt at figuring out the cost of each.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie - $2.00

  • Spinach - .20
  • Banana - .20
  • Greek Yogurt - .75
  • Honey - .75
  • Milk - .10

Ignore the random Pumpkin Pie Spice in the photo. I had it out on the counter for something else and then I just absentmindedly left it there when I assembled this photo. If you'd like proof that I hadn't had any coffee yet, there ya go. I'll admit that I didn't really measure these ingredients so this really is a guestimate. I tossed in a small handful of spinach from the groceries I bought the other day plus a whole banana. I have a tub of Vanilla fat free Greek yogurt in my fridge so I threw in a large spoonful of that, squeezed in about a tablespoon or so of honey and a splash of milk before finishing with a few ice cubes and blending. It made more than enough for a satisfying breakfast and I felt pretty good about the protein, potassium and other vitamins present. For $2, I thought it was a pretty good start.

Until I remembered that I only had a TOTAL of $3.89 to spend for the ENTIRE DAY.


Lunch:  Chili - $0.80

My husband made a ginormous batch of chili the other day that made for a perfect re-heat. He used a pound a half of lean ground beef, black beans, red kidney beans, tomato juice, spices, and a few noodles just for fun. To be honest, it was practically impossible to figure out how much this would cost so he helped me come up with a decent attempt. The beef is about $4 per pound, so that means the meat was $6. The beans are each about .50 per can so that adds up to $2. Tomato juice? Approximately $2. Pasta? Maybe .50. All together, he estimated that the total batch of chili probably ran about $16 and yields at least 20 Sarah-sized servings. Since my man got himself a math minor at college, that was good enough for me. 

Dinner:Yogurt and Granola - $0.90

So, that left me with $1.89 to spend on dinner. Not great. Thankfully, I ate a late lunch so that chili was still satisfying me pretty well when dinner time rolled around so I really didn't need very much at all. I had a container of raspberry Greek yogurt with a little sprinkle of granola on top and that's it. My favorite 4-packs of this yogurt run about $3.19, so that come out to $0.79. Add in the granola, and my mini-meal only cost me about $0.90.  

Snacks & Beverages: Zero!

I didn't count the coffee I had in the morning because it's the coffee from the staff area of my office that is provided for us, so I hope that wasn't breaking the rules. Other than that, I just had water.

Day One total - $3.70

I stayed under budget on my first day, but I will confess that at about 10 o'clock at night when we were sitting there watching TV, my tummy started to growl at me a bit. Apparently my yogurt cup was a poor excuse for a meal and my belly was letting me hear about it. Honestly, I have no idea how I would have actually made myself a legitimate meal and still stayed under budget because even with the meager food I ate, I still barely made it. Day Two could be a real challenge indeed.

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