le_bebna_kamni: (Posh)
Today I overate. Not necessarily healthily, but I was well under budget and actually got to splurge today. Carbs, Glorious Carbs )

The biggest problems I'm having are taking food with me and sharing meals with my S.O.

With my current schedule, I don't have the time (and don't want to waste gas) coming home to eat before my classes start in the evening. But I don't have access to a refrigerator or microwave, which means I either eat cold food warm or warm food cold. Although with this warm weather my food stays much warmer if I leave it in a sunny spot in the car. So not the worst complaint I could have.

And as you know, my S.O. isn't participating, so we have double cooking duty, and it sometimes makes the price calculations a little trickier than they would be otherwise. ;P
le_bebna_kamni: (Default)
I think my roots are showing, and I don't mean my hair.Cheap Spaghetti Dinner Details )

I just came from a visit to the Michigan Food Stamp Challenge website, and I'm amazed at some of the difficulties people are having at meeting this challenge. I know that $1 a meal is pretty difficult, and you have to be creative and buy what's on sale and in bulk whenever possible. I know that several people doing the challenge are cooking for only 1 or 2 people, which actually makes the challenge harder, because you can't take advantage of some of the larger bulk deals.

But I never realized I'd be going through my first day feeling absolutely jazzed at the great deals I'm finding, and then seeing everyone else at the website talking about how hungry they are. Are the Meijer and Kroger where I live just that much cheaper, or is our group just out of practice with bargain-hunting?

For example, I recall reading about someone who said 2 pieces of bread cost $.26, or $.13 a slice. But my loaf of Kroger white bread cost $.99, and at 21 slices that's 4.7 cents a slice, or $.09-$.10 for 2 slices. At the cost of $.13 a slice, the equivalent loaf would have cost $2.73, which seems a bit expensive for bread (at least for this week).

Someone else purchased ground beef for about $3.93 a pound, which is a crappy price to pay if you're on a budget. Ground sirloin (the good stuff) costs about that price, but ground chuck when it's not on sale (which it often is) usually goes for about $3.19 a pound. Bulk hamburger often goes for even cheaper ($1-$2 per lb).

But maybe it's just my working class roots.

I know that my S.O. isn't participating in the Food Stamp Challenge because he's very picky about food and knows that you have to sacrifice quality for quantity when you're living on a $1 budget. We actually cooked separate sauces and hamburger for the spaghetti tonight because my budget doesn't let me purchase ingredients for the good stuff. His family growing up was firmly middle-class, with possibly high-middle-class tastes in some things, and it shows in everything from the cuts of meat that he chooses at the meat counter to his willingness to waste food on occasion.

I know if I were working a low-wage job right now, I wouldn't be putting bacon on my shopping list, or high-grade hamburger, or tofu for that matter, even though these are things my S.O. and I buy regularly.

So I'm wondering if perhaps at least some people doing the challenge are having the problem of being too middle-class in their tastes. Of course, I don't think I know anyone personally who is doing the challenge, so that might not be an accurate speculation. And I sincerely hope I don't offend anyone by that statement. But I when I read about PB&J's that cost a whole $1 to make, I have to wonder at least a little bit if the ingredients might have been just a little too high quality?

However, I did find out about The Angel Food Network as a resource for people who really do have trouble making ends meet. :)

That Rocks!

Sep. 4th, 2007 02:15 pm
le_bebna_kamni: (Metal)
Lately things haven't been going so well for me, for reasons that I don't particularly want to discuss. But sometimes you just have one of those days where everything falls into place the way you want it to.

Today is one of those days. I suppose my day actually began at about 12:30 this morning, when my significant other said, "Oh, by the way, I picked up hot dogs on the way home from work, and they were on sale 2 for $4."

As those of you who read my August 23 entry know, I'm doing the Food Stamp Challenge, which starts today. Since hot dog buns sell for $1 at Kroger (8-pack), and the hot dogs are also in an 8-pack, the math tells me that I can enjoy two delicious hot dogs for a cost of $.75. Aren't sales beautiful? I'm now enjoying two of said hot dogs for breakfast/lunch.

The next wonderful thing to happen to me today was I had a dentist appointment. Okay, the appointment itself was terrible (who likes dentistry anyhow?), but the news I got was wonderful. I haven't been to the dentist in 9 1/2 years, thanks to a lack of dental insurance (until recently), and they told me two things: 1) no cavities (yay!), and 2) my teeth were remarkably clean for someone who hadn't been to a dentist in 9 1/2 years. My only recommendation is getting my wisdom teeth pulled (no surprise there), but it's not something that has to be done right away and it's not absolutely imperative to do it.

Thirdly, shopping after the dentist's appointment was great. For Those Interested In Bargain Shopping )

I think the only thing that could make this day better for me right now is winning the lottery. ;P
le_bebna_kamni: (Army)
In a couple weeks, I going to [attempt to] participate in something called the Food Stamp Challenge as part of an awareness campaign for a vote that's coming up for Congress in October. Congress will be voting to cut funding for food stamps, and as a result several Congresspersons are asking people to personally experience firsthand what it's like to live on a food stamp budget.

The average food stamp recipient gets about $21 a week, or $1 a meal to spend on food. While for a lucky few, food stamps are a supplement to income, for a lot of people in the U.S., they're the main source of of food payment. In order to qualify for food aid in Michigan, you generally have to make less than full-time minimum wage (or minimum wage and have a family), so you can probably imagine from your own budgets just how tight these people must be.

The challenge: can you live for a week on $3 a day, or $1 a meal?

Michigan is having its own Food Stamp Challenge from September 4-10, and I'd love to encourage people to join. If you're interested, you can sign up at the main website, or simply show support by sending this link on to people you think would be interested. Those who feel even more motivated can drop an e-mail or letter to their Congresspersons asking them not to support the cut.

People who want to blog about the experience on their personal blogs or the site itself are highly encouraged. The site also has recipes and tips for anyone who wants to do the challenge.

And I'm sure you don't have to be in Michigan if you want to participate! :)

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