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Food Stamp Challenge Day 4: Choice

I consider myself a pretty self-aware kind of guy, but in four days this challenge has hit me right between the eyes more than once. It is interesting how going without food to draw attention to food scarcity issues has caused me to become so hyper aware of how privileged I am in the grand scheme of things. I went to bed last night after a day without food knowing that I would have a good breakfast this morning.  Then I skipped breakfast this morning.

In my early morning mental fog I found myself caught in a painful cycle of whirlwind thought. I felt guilty because I was able to make the choice to go without food yesterday so I made the choice to go without one more meal today. As the day progressed I reasoned that if I hadn’t made the choice to do this challenge in the first place, the dialogue we are having here wouldn’t be taking place. If I didn’t make the choice to share my knowledge of gardening, crafts, food and recipes on this website, a lot of people would have missed the opportunity to learn about those things.

This challenge has grabbed my heart and strengthened by resolve to help those around me who need it. Today I made the choice to renew my commitment  and dedication to making the world around me a better place.


shopping10-4While out running other errands today we were able to find whole chickens at .88/lb which is the best price in the area right now. We also needed some tomatoes and sauce for several upcoming meals and the large can of tomato sauce (106 oz) will be enough for everything in the meal plan so far.


whole chicken whole bird (2) 6.48 lb .95
diced tomatoes 14.5 oz can (2) 1.72 can .86
tomato sauce 106 oz can 5.18 oz .05


We stopped in at ALDI and found a great deal on oatmeal but were unable to purchase it because of the store’s debit/EBT only policy (we are using a Visa gift card for this challenge that has no PIN number). The price for an item of identical size at Winn Dixie was substantially higher, but we noted that most of the prices at Winn Dixie were higher than the average we have seen at other grocers in the area.

ALDI had whole chickens in their freezer case at a price of .75/lb but John was gun shy when he saw that the lowest price per chicken was in the $6.00 range so we avoided them even before finding out that we couldn’t have purchased them anyway.



1 slice of toast (I skipped breakfast)
coffee  (starting pantry)

LUNCH: $0.30

3 chicken salad* sandwiches
mayo, onion, relish, salt & pepper (starting pantry)

NOTE: Chicken salad was made of leftover chicken from Day 1 dinner.  The starting pantry contained 1.5 lbs of onion, 8 oz of mayonnaise and 4 Tablespoons of sweet relish. Once depleted, these items will be purchased as necessary.

DINNER: $1.53

hot dogs & buns
French fries (1.5 lbs of potatoes, oil)

NOTE: The starting pantry contained ketchup, mustard & used vegetable oil for frying. Once depleted, these items will be purchased as necessary.

DAILY TOTAL: $2.38 (+$5.80 for the day, +20.34 for the week)
Total Spent to Date: $71.32
Total Remaining: $207.86

answer any or all of them in the comments below

  1. How close is the nearest grocery store to your home?
  2. What is the farthest distance you have ever traveled to buy groceries?
  3. If your vehicle broke down, would you still have access to groceries?
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