Starting tomorrow, we are going to start another installment of the SNAP Challenge, in which we will dine for a month on just the amount of money we would get from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known informally as food stamps. We did it for a week last month and had a good experience (see my blog posts from Preparing for our SNAP Challenge through Lessons Learned from the SNAP Challenge for more details).
I wanted us to do it again for several reasons:
- Like anything you do for the first time, I think I made some mistakes and wanted to see if I could do better on a second trial.
- A good proportion of the money for our first attempt was spent on staples that we didn’t use up (oil, vinegar, butter, flour, yeast, red peppers, rice, potatoes, etc.). I wanted to use those up within my SNAP experience, plus I knew that would give me more flexibility this time.
- Our first attempt was a little carb-heavy and fruit/vegetable-light, so I wanted to try for a better balance this time.
- It did make us more mindful about our eating, which I think is a good thing.
- We are ending our spiritual center’s community outreach initiative, A Summer of Compassionate Service, this week, so it felt appropriate to complete that effort with another SNAP Challenge week.
This time, I did much better in restricting my traditional grocery store spending. I only spent $54 at Harris Teeter, buying the following items:
I figured we would receive roughly $99 for our family situation from SNAP, so that left me with $45 to spend at the Farmers Market! That is much better than during my first attempt, where I only had about $10 left to spend.
The photo at the top of the page is the results of my morning trip to our local Farmers Market. Doesn’t that look gorgeous? Talk about eating the rainbow! It is a much better selection of fruits and vegetables than we had for our first try. Plus, it only cost $41.50. That leaves me with $3.50 to spend if it turns out I forgot something essential.
I will report in as we eat ourselves through another SNAP Challenge week!