Sunday, December 11, 2011

DAY SEVEN: What I've learned

Oatmeal. Hubby had a granola bar.

Nothing (We had a big sale at the store and I was too busy to eat. Plus I had a superbad cold). Hubby had a peanut butter sandwich with the one last piece of bread.

The second packet of dry noodle soup with leftover ground turkey (Makes a bad cold go away. OK, maybe not really, but it did make me feel better). Hubby had more leftover pork with pasta. Viva la leftovers! And finished up with a piece of chocolate.

So what did we learn? Well, that living on a budget of $60 is doable. And that in general, you won't go hungry. However, it does restrict you. Because of money issues, I didn't really have enough fruits and veggies. We relied on our multivitamins to make sure we got the minimum RDA. If the monies were given as a monthly stipend, it would have been a lot easier: buying apples and clementines twice a month, stock up on frozen veggies when they are on sale. Also it did help that there were two of us participating so there was more money to use (since you can't get just a few spoons of peanut butter or half a loaf of bread).

For the items I purchased for the challenge, we didn't touch the dozen eggs and have 3.75 bars of butter and 75% of the peanut butter left over.

Emotionally, it was a bit draining; we gave up a couple of opportunities to go out with friends this week because we "didn't have the money." There was also the potential for embarrassment that first day at ALDI when I had to put some food back because I didn't have enough money.

Some of the local chainstores around here have signs posted re: foods that are accepted by SNAP and WIC. Often they are for overly processed, sugary, sodium-laden foodstuffs that are not filling and don't have much nutritional value (I wish I had taken a photo of the sign over those small plastic "barrels" of artificially fruit flavored sugar water). RARELY have I seen those signs in the produce, meat or dairy aisles. I hope that SNAP recipients are not just handed a pamphlet of suggestions but actually told what foods are suggested to purchase first.

I am lucky to live in an area that has a lot of places that accept foodstamps. But I know that is not often the case in the innercity. Also, I do have two ALDIs nearby which has very low prices on basics (And a vehicle or mass transportation to get to those places).

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