Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's been a year...

since I started the food stamp challenge. It's 2 days short of the year and I have 2 weeks of food in the kitchen but I'm ready to go back to the store so last night I pulled up all my receipts for the year and added it up. $1309.74 or $25.47 a week. I didn't make it. Although, I was really close and I could have made it with more work. More on that later.

I did just fine until thanksgiving. I even hosted a few fancy meals for friends and had a people stay over a few times and fed them all just on my food money. But at Thanksgiving I had a set back when the urge to cook the whole thanksgiving diner for myself took over. Buying the 3 turkeys and all the fixings cost almost $300. At that point I thought I had blown it for 3 days of fun times and extra tasty food. However, that food lasted me well into March and it turned out I was ahead in the game.

But this was a hard semester with long hours and the last 3 months of it I pretty much lived off of granola bars, string cheese, and dark chocolate peanut m&ms. That diet completely wreaked my monetary goal and my eating healthy goal too. The last 3 months ruined the whole year.

Now that school is over and I’m eating again it’s harder to meet my goal this spring with the price increases we have seen. It’s also really stretching it now that I have cut wheat 100% from my diet. No more ramen for me, so special food needs makes it more difficult too. Although I was still able to do a little specialty shopping at Whole Foods the coolest grocery store with the highest prices around so it’s not impossible. And now that I know Hy Vee caters to the wheat free cook I think I can get the same ingredients for less.

So is $21 still doable? Yes, but only if I really watch it and have time to cook, and only if I eat real food and not junk, and only if the real food is frozen not fresh. It’s easer if I do fewer and larger shopping trips once a month or once every other month and then just do with out a favorite food, or even a perceived necessary food until the calendar says it’s time to go back. So while it’s doable, $30 a week is more realistic for me.

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