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Food Stamp Challenge Day 10: Reality

This is Day 10 of a month long food stamp challenge. If this is your first visit, please check out this link to see all of the posts and get a better understanding of what is going on.

chessSome folks seem to be under the impression that this is just something that John & I came up with to do for a month because it might be fun. One comment was even made asking if the ad matching and couponing was like some game or if we felt it was tedious. That’s why I felt that today was as good a day as any for a little reality check.

I am a freelance writer, which means that my income is not always regular or on time. I’m not complaining about that, I mean this is the life I chose to live and I do love what I do. Last month I got word that once of my contracts would end at the end of October, taking with it a steady monthly paycheck of several hundred dollars. It was an unexpected blow and one that I am still stressing over.

coinsDid I mention that I don’t have a car? Because I don’t. I was in an accident in January that totaled my vehicle and I haven’t been able to afford to buy anything else yet, eight months later. Again, not a complaint but maybe it puts things into perspective a bit more if you understand that should John’s job take him out of town for a few days, I’ll be the one walking a mile to the nearest store of any sort (a Dollar General).

Lest someone think that we are living “high on the hog” here, I assure you we aren’t. We stress over bills and gas prices and we do what has to be done to get through each day, each week, each month, even when the money runs out before the bills do.

We are not wealthy people, but we have what we need. We don’t have a lot of money, but when it comes to love, respect, determination and an unrelenting desire to help others, we’re pretty rich.



  • coffee w/ sugar & creamer
  • cereal w/ milk

BREAKFAST NOTES: There was enough (stale) cereal in the starting pantry for two small bowls. The amount was probably 1/3 of what either of us would normally eat in a sitting.

leftover chili (Day 5)


leftover French bread (Day 9)
marinara dipping sauce

DINNER: $6.42

pot roast w/ potatoes, carrots, celery & onion


DINNER NOTES: Even after getting beef at a reduced price, this is the most expensive meal so far though in fairness it would have been under $6 if we would have used the free carrots we got on Day 7. The roast was 2.5 lbs pre-cooked weight, but even though it will be less when fully cooked there will be plenty of leftovers that can be reheated as-is or turned into sandwiches, soup or stew. If this roast yields just four servings, the cost is just $1.61 per serving.


  • Consumed Today: 7.60 [+1.40 for the day]
  • Consumed To Date (week): 13.70 [+13.30 for the week]
  • Consumed To Date (month): 40.83 [+49.17 for the month]
  • Spent To Date: 138.07
  • Remaining Balance: $141.11


What is the average cost in your area for the following five items:

  1. a gallon of milk
  2. a dozen eggs
  3. 5 lbs of sugar
  4. a pound (16 oz) of white rice
  5. a loaf of white sandwich bread

    Please include your state in your response.

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