This is Day 17 of a month long food stamp challenge (on October 19th). 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.
After today’s calculations we can say that in 17 days we have consumed just under 26% of our budget for the month. That’s a low number and it proves that it is possible to live on an incredibly low food budget. Because I don’t want people to get the wrong impression about what we’re doing here, I felt that today it was important to go behind the scenes as well to give you a glimpse into what you don’t see.
What you don’t see is the time spent looking for sales, ad matching, finding, collecting and printing coupons. It doesn’t show the time spent putting together menu plans that will maximize the items we have on hand and minimize the need to purchase more. It doesn’t show the frustration and even paranoia that sets in when the only food you have set out for dinner doesn’t work out the way you intended and you’re worried that it may not be edible. Or when the bread dough doesn’t rise, bakes too long, or not long enough.
What you don’t see are the disagreements and even arguments that can ensue (and they do) when the stress of watching every last cent that goes out pushes everyone involved to their limits and beyond. It doesn’t show how much strain a challenge like this can put on even the strongest relationships and it doesn’t show how the biggest obstacles can bring you closer together.
What you don’t see is the simple joy of watching a batch of cookies bake through the tiny window of the oven instead of sitting in front of the TV with a snack cake. Or the giddiness of finding a “moneymaker” deal (where the store owes you money when you buy something).
What you don’t see is the sheer willpower that a challenge of this magnitude requires of two men who chose to do this because it is an important glimpse into the daily life and struggles of people who don’t have a choice. What you don’t see are the storage containers full of food items that we cleared from the pantry and moved into the chest freezer to remind us daily of how bare the cabinets are, or how painstaking and time consuming it is to break down the cost to the penny for each and everything we consume every day, down to the teaspoon of sugar in that cup of coffee.
What you don’t see are the tears we shed regularly because this challenge has given us a new appreciation for what we have, and what others do not. These 17 days have been some of the hardest we have faced and I don’t think a few blog posts can adequately portray that without it being said directly.
|cranberry sauce||can||1.07 [C]||can||1.07|
|C: Coupon||P: Price Match||R: Reduced||D: Damaged|
peanut butter & jelly sandwich
chicken salad sandwich
chicken & stuffing (leftover from Day 8)
whipped sweet potatoes
canned cranberry sauce
- Consumed Today: 3.25 [+5.75 for the day]
- Consumed To Date (week): 11.43 [+16.87 for the week]
- Consumed To Date (month): 71.89 [+81.11 for the month]
- Spent To Date: 198.09
- Remaining Balance: $81.09