Day Seven: Final Day of the Food Stamp Challenge

Many of the bloggers who accepted this challenge have discussed how difficult this week has been. I know there are regional differences in food costs, but this week has not been so difficult for us. But we have been eating this way for years, and I have a system that incorporates menu planning, very little food waste, primary shopping done at a low-cost store, filling in specialty items and organics from a couple other stores, using mostly fresh ingredients with some frozen and some prepared, and eating meat/poultry/fish just 2-4 times per week.

Adding to the previous total of $117.94 the oil that went into the birthday cake $0.36 and then the oil used today to sauté the garlic $0.20, our weekly total is $118.50 or $4.23 per person per day of the challenge.

Here’s what we ate today:

My breakfast

2 eggs over easy, toast w/ last of the butter, no cream for my coffee-used the last of it yesterday

Daughter: Greek yogurt, spoonful of peanut butter ,water

Middle son: banana, yogurt, spoonful of peanut butter, orange juice

Youngest son: cereal

Lunch was hard-boiled eggs and potato soup. Here is the soup ingredients

potato soup before

potato soup ready to eat

There were just a few leaves of lettuce left, so I had my hard-boiled egg on top of that with some dressing.

About mid afternoon, I got hungry and I ate two bowls of cereal

Dinner was vegetable soup made with the rest of the beef stock, the rest of the tomatoes, 3 potatoes, the rest of the carrots sticks: diced and the green beans leftover from dinner two nights ago. I added minced, sautéed garlic and pepper and basil and one more of the bullion cubes for flavor.

vegetable soup ingredients


The final photo is what’s left of the food we started with

not in photo: flour, sugar and spices


8 responses to “Day Seven: Final Day of the Food Stamp Challenge

  1. I have absolutely loved reading this, and seeing the pictures of what everyone eats. I have to say it seems like your children eat less than what seems the “norm” nowadays, I am a few years away from having children myself, so I don’t have first hand experience, but I’ve heard so many comments that teenagers-especially teenage boys-will eat you out of house and home, but it seems yours eat a manageable amount.

    You seem to have your routine down very well. My biggest problem is food waste, but I’m trying hard and seem to be getting better.

  2. My kids probably do eat less than the “norm,” but none of them have weight problems, as is the norm in this country now.

    The teenage boys do eat more than my daughter and myself, and a lot more than they did themselves just a couple years ago.

    Photographer Peter Menzel created a book called Hungry Planet with photos of daily meals from all over the world. It was eye opening to me to see the differences between most of the world and us in portion size and calories.

  3. Thank you for your reply! I will look into reading that book, it sounds similar to the “Material World” book that I’m also interested in, that shows pictures of families with all their wordly posessions spread in front of them

  4. Ah! I LOVE Material World. I actually bought a couple copies for the libraries of the schools the kids were attending.

  5. OK, your “food stamp challenge” is totally SICK!

    My daughter and I have been unfortunately on foodstamps for way longer than I would like. Not a choice.

    This ‘challenge’ of yours is pathetic and insulting to people who are scrimping to get by because of the economy. This LARK of yours isn’t of any benefit or information to anyone because you are just jerking around playing at shit. More like ego masturbation. Oh…look at me, I can do the poor people thing. AND YOU’RE BUYING ORGANIC? HOLY CRAP! We can’t AFFORD THAT. Oh, but excuse me, YOU can go back to buying whatever you want after this little experiment is over.

    I wish people like you could actually have no choice and get a huge education actually having to survive on food stamps for more than an allotted week. OUT OF NECESSITY…not out of A FRIGGIN LARK.
    The difference being YOU can stop. WE CAN’T. We survive on getting food from the major food bank here in SF, Glide, where my daughter works several days a week. All the supermarkets are miles away.
    I am totally offended by this ‘oh lets pretend to be homeless’ shit.

    Why? Because we are.

    Have fun with your little pretenses.

  6. SU- Thanks for your comment. I totally get the frustration and anger. I have been on food stamps and without a car. I know how much planning it takes, I know the judgement of the folks behind you in line when you buy one frivalous food item because you are celebrating a birthday or something.

    But, if you’ll read a bit further on the blog, you’ll see that I have been documenting my ability to eat for the food stamp amount since the first of the year. And we have been eating this way for years.

    I am not pretending to be poor now. I have been a poor single parent and I would like to offer folks with limited resources another choice.

  7. Hi! Life is terribly hard for all of us and we all do well enough (we are alive/healthy/have shelter/clothing/toys). I am happy you did this challenge! I have never been an advocate for food stamps and the articles I read involving food stamp purchases (and the poor food choices) just leave me shaking my head. My family of five (a 10 year old, 3 year old and 16 month old) are on food stamps right now, currently entering our second of three months. We have always eaten pretty healthy, limiting the processed food to rarely. We were given $697 month. I still had $100 left from last month, spending between $80-110 on good, organic, fresh vegetables/fruit, meat, etc. I am a stay at home mom and make 3 meals and 2 snacks for everyone- eating healthy on food stamps can be done. I am very frugal and have learned to live within my means though for the last few years. Thank you !

    • Kathie–you guys Rock!!! $100 left over on the month. Yeah! Please do not listen to the doomsayers about food assistance. Being a stay at home mom means that you have all sorts of time/resources/love to give to the family. Keep doing the work and the research to find out the BEST ways to take care of your family. The web is an awesome resource.

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