SNAP Challenge Week 1

My day to day accounting of food is below. I would like to mention a few observation and a change to the plan here though, before we get into the nitty gritty detail of it all. Mike has been sick most of the week and has not been eating much. I do not put his daily intake in here because he does not usually eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch as Ellie and I do but his groceries are included in the plan. I keep finding random food stuffs that we are using in our menu that are not included in these grocery bills. Seeds, fruit, nuts and rice I buy in bulk and do not believe to be enough of a cost to make a huge difference, and they are pantry items that live for months at a time in the pantry, so I am not including the cost in the budget. Meat, cheese, and other larger cost items are being added to the weekly end total to be as fair as possible.

Also someone mentioned last week that feeding us on the cost for a family of four is unfair and cushy. I can see her point. I will do my best to stay within the maximum budget for a family of 3 for the month, which, according to the math done last week, is $501.

This week the adjustment to eating more frugally was very hard for me. I have been having I MUST EAT NOW PREGGO NOM NOM moments that have most definitely gotten in the way. Thankfully my cravings have not been too bad so I can eat an apple or pear with some peanut butter and be fine. It is when I am out and about that I have a problem. Also, Mike won an award at work and got a gift card to Outback, which meant we splurged. As I explain on the day I believe anyone on the SNAP program would have also used the gift card and not waited until the end of the month to prove a point. We deducted our out of pocket cost for the dinner ($12) but not the cost of the gift card as that did not come out of our pocket.

Grand totals for the week:

107.50 Sprouts
19.56 Lunch at Chipolte 
12.00 Outback (tax and tip)
6.95 Big Lots
 17.32 at Whole Foods
30.64 at Costco
2.95 Target
26.68 Extra food lying around the house
——
223.60 Weekly total spent

Day 1: February 1st

I was not able to get out of the house to the grocery until later in the day so did not get a lot of grocery shopping done, although we did get to Sprouts and hit their double sales and stocked up on some expensive things we might not have been able to afford otherwise. We did splurge a bit on non necessities which will probably bite us in the ass later. I did buy some supplements too for $20 (they were super reduced price) and will subtract that amount from my food total. We spent $127.50 at sprouts, $107.50 was on food.

For breakfast we had (GF) oatmeal with yogurt, blue berries, sun flower seeds and honey. Ellie’s snack was frozen blue berries (a godsend for a teething toddler by the way) and a piece of cheese. For lunch we had “pizza” with GF bread toast as the “crust”, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese we had left over from last week, and mushrooms and buffalo sausage left over from last week. This particular type of GF bread was not palatable to me as bread but made great pizza crust because it did not get all soggy. Do I get bonus points for using food I would have otherwise fed to the dog? Snack was a pear. For dinner we had left overs. I know I said we were not going to use old food but we just didn’t eat it all on time. Don’t worry we are pretty close to done now.

Day 2: February 2nd

This morning we had oatmeal, yogurt, sunflower seeds, and frozen black berries. I have to say pregnancy has kicked my ass today and I have been dizzy with a killer head ache. I had to leave the house though, with child and husband in tow, to pick up some necessities that we could not live without.  When we left I felt sick and nauseous and not hungry at all. When we were out and about I WAS STARVING and HAD TO EAT or pass out. So I fell off the wagon. We ate lunch at Chipolte and spent $19.56 on lunch for the three of us. We splurged and got drinks. I need to stop splurging since it is only day 2. Obviously I am a bad food budgeter, or maybe doing this during the last 9 weeks of pregnancy was not the best idea.

My husband won an award at work today for meeting the company pillar of “urgency” over almost 500 candidates! For this he got a $50 gift certificate to Outback Steak House. This is free bonus money we didn’t count on so I am un-abashed to say that we got steak for dinner. We went over and spent $ 12 of our food budget. I would say it was well worth the delicious steakey goodness. I also vow to get back on the band wagon but it WAS free food and anyone else in that situation, I think, would have indulged too.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a big snow day. I was hoping to go out and get some eggs and potatoes today at the grocery store but the migraine from hell and the teething child of doom prevented this. Should be fun.

Day 3: February 3rd

This morning we had some tasty GF Banana, apple oat muffins from a recipe I modified to fit our diet and needs. We also had some yogurt with blue berries and seeds.  

For a snack we had cheese and a pear. I then had a preggo binge of Pop chips. Don’t judge. They were on sale and I wanted salty crunchies. For lunch we had bun-less hamburgers with cheese, avocado, tomato, and yes, more pop chips. The tomatoes I got from Sprouts were on sale but VERY disappointing. They were “vine ripened” but had no real flavor and a very un ripe, mealy texture. Needless to say they were on the plate, but not eaten.

Dinner was Coffee Pot Roast with sauteed asparagus and mushrooms. All in all a pretty well rounded day.

We went to big lots and got 2 cans of coconut milk and 1 bag of Bobs Red Mill GF brownie mix for $6.95.

Day 4: February 4th

This morning we had a modified apple crisp for breakfast (1 1/2 apple, gf oats, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, butter, honey mixed and baked) with yogurt and tea. For lunch Mike and Ellie had cheese crisps, Ellie had hers with avocado and salsa. I had sauteed asparagus and mushrooms with whole mozzarella cheese on top (not the store bought grated stuff). For dinner we had pot roast soup which did not turn out as well as I had hoped since the pot roast was cooked in coffee the day before, the stock from the pot roast was too much coffee not enough beef. It was ok and good to use the left overs but if I were to make it again it would be with regular pot roast, not the coffee pot roast.

I still need to go to the grocery store but I did go to ross and get a cake pan for $5 so that I can properly make a GF chocolate cake for recipe club on Monday.

The Mozerella cheese was left over, big pack of 2 from costco for about $7.

Day 5: February 5th

This morning we were desperate for groceries. In a pinch we had yogurt, old granola from the back of the cupboard, and blueberries. We went to a friends house for a play date and had GF blueberry muffins and GF sausage (thank you friend for that), then went to Costco to get eggs, sprouted wheat bread (for Mike and Ellie), potatoes, and sharp cheddar cheese for a grand total of $30 and some change. We had to make a run to urgent care, which took 2 hours. Ellie and I went to Whole Foods to see if anything was on sale and scored a great price on chicken. I am very excited for this. I see chicken being a big staple for the next week. Because of the long urgent care visit we had baked potatoes with left over pot roast soup for dinner when we got home. I think the rest of that soup may be going in the garbage though. It still is not that great. I hate to waste it though.

Spent $17.32 at Whole Foods on 5lbs chicken legs/thighs, chocolate truffles, carrots, and dark chocolate chips (bulk) for recipe club.

Spent $30.64 at Costco for Organic Eggs, Tillamock Sharp Cheddar Cheese, sprouted wheat bread, and fingerling potatoes.

Day 6: February 6th

For breakfast we had sauteed asparagus and mushrooms, eggs, and pork loin. Ellie got a pear too. She didn’t eat most of her breakfast so the dog got a nice snack.

I had to run by Target and pick up some medicine, and also picked up milk for Mike for $2.95 (hormone and antibiotic free). Lunch we had deconstructed sushi  (sesame seaweed, rice, avocado, smoked salmon, some laughing cow cheese I found in the back of the fridge and braggs liquid aminos). For dinner we had bun-less cheese burgers (mommy was feeling pregnant/lazy) with avocado, sauteed mushrooms, and spicy baked potato “fries”. We are almost out of ketchup and I am excited to make some fermented ketchup from a recipe I found!

The seaweed paper we had laying around the house. It was about $3.50 (ish) a pack so we will add that to the grocery cost. The salmon was also left over. The package was $11.25 and we will add that as well. The pork was $4.93

Day 7: February 7th

For breakfast I had 3 eggs and some cheese and coffee with coconut milk and honey. Ellie had a bowl of yogurt, granola, dried fruit, and nuts. For lunch we had improved deconstructed sushi (sesame seaweed, rice, avocado, smoked salmon, sauteed asparagus, braggs liquid aminos and a package of spicy mustard we got from the Chinese delivery place last time). It was actually pretty delicious. For dinner we had Chicken, sauteed carrots, and roasted potatoes.

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4 responses to “SNAP Challenge Week 1

  1. Wow…. sounds like some good meals…. in the state I live in when my family of 4 was on food stamps we only got 252 a month…. so it was hard to get groceries for the month on that….

  2. I understand that most people don’t get as much benefit as the “maximum” amount set forth by the USDA and am sad for it. BUT I am basing this off of the numbers the feds provided as the maximum amount, assuming this is what they believe is an appropriate amount to feed a person for a month (weather it becoming from federal/state assistance or your pocket, or a combination of the two.) They were some good meals over all. I got a lot of staples and am hoping with wise fruit/vegetable and meat choices to fall well inside the budget for the month.

  3. You really should not count the supplements in your budget as those items would not be covered by SNAP food benefits. Those items have to be paid for with cash out of pocket or cash EBT benefits.

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