I am setting myself 2 large goals for the year. One is to save $1,000 per month toward the kid’s college educations. (Actually the 10 year goal is to do this for the next ten years, but I digress) The second goal is to spend less each month on food (eaten at home and out) than is the largest possible food stamp allotment for a family of four. This site http://www.ehow.com/how_5637204_calculate-food-stamp-allotment.html gives the figure as $588 per month for a family of four. I am reducing that to $420 per month as my children only eat 60 meals out of an average 84 meals per month at my home. The rest they eat at their father’s home. Two of us pack lunches from home, two of us buy school lunches (which they could get free, if we qualified for the full food stamp allotment.) I am allow to drink the free coffee at work and eat cookies that a co-worker brings in, if I chose. If someone gives me a basket of food, I’ll donate it to the food bank. My purpose is to show that it’s not that hard or unhealthy to eat on the amount of the allotment if wise food choices are made. My pantry is low, but I am not starting totally from nothing. I went shopping this afternoon, bought a week’s worth, plus some and spent $102.21. Lunch was grilled cheese w/ fresh tomato slices, oranges and homemade potato soup. Dinner is homemade lasagna and steamed green beans.