Archive for June, 2007

Just a quick note…

June 28th, 2007


Today is day 7 of our participation in The Food Stamp Challenge and I am happy to say, that we did not run out of food. We finished our last meal of a Totino’s frozen pizza and spinach tonight and believe it or not, the cooking time for the pizza ended up taking longer then anything else we ate this week.

Thankfully all of our meals were successful and their simplicity worked out really well as this turned out to be a very busy week in our home. After weeks of aggressive apartment hunting, my husband and I finally found an adorable urban apartment in downtown Columbus and will be moving very soon. It may take me a few days, but I will catch up our last recipe in the next day or two.

Many thanks to all who followed our progress and took the time to consider what life might be like in another’s shoes.

Best Wishes To All!

Food Stamp Challenge, Live Well for Less ,

No Electricity Dinner

June 28th, 2007


UPDATE:Click here for Emergency Grocery Lists & Menus

Living in Florida for as long as I did, I have probably spent years of my life standing in line at the grocery store during hurricane season. There would always be a run on bread, a shortage of milk, a collective panic of people wondering what foods could be made without electricity, and lines that ran clear back to the end of the store. It was a madhouse and as I often walked away with bags full of water, juice, granola bars, trail mix, protein bars, and fruit I would wonder, other then junk food, what else you could eat?

In planning meals for The Food Stamp Challenge, I could not help but think of the victims of Read more…

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I Have a Confession to Make…

June 25th, 2007


In trying to plan healthy meals that could be afforded within the confines of a Food Stamp budget, I did not adequately plan for that sweet craving that snuck up on me this afternoon and would not go away.

So, in a moment of desperation… I confess that I ate all of the M&Ms from our bag of trail mix. Seriously, I think my husband is going to freak out when he looks in the bag and sees what I have done, as my greediness means there will be no more chocolate for the week.

I suppose it could have been worse, he could have walked in and found Read more…

Food Stamp Challenge, Live Well for Less

Tastespotting & The Food Stamp Challenge

June 24th, 2007


Tastespotting is one of my sweetest or shall I say most flavorful addictions on the internet. They offer the most amazing visual buffet of food porn this side of anywhere. I have lost hours of my life clicking through their links exploring everything from ideas for dinner to perfectly plated and photographed desserts that made me want to lick my laptop screen. The talent displayed there is amazing and my cookbook collection seems to pale in comparison.

Last week through Tastespotting, Sarah of Saerinthal clicked through a link and found my post $42. Inspired by the plight of many poverty level Americans who struggle to survive on $3 or less a day and taking into consideration all of the other factors that effect one in that position, she too has decided to participate in the Food Stamp Challenge. She is challenging others as well and I can not wait to see what she comes up with.

This really made me think… Wouldn’t it be great if this were to snowball and more Bloggers/Tastespotters worked together to help find healthy and realistic ways to stretch that $3 a day? Take a step back for a moment, put yourself in another’s shoes, and consider what the heck you would prepare with very little time, energy, equipment, and experience. I know there are some amazingly talented people out there who could very easily put my $1 meals to shame. The question is… Will you be one of them?

Food Stamp Challenge, Live Well for Less

Taco Soup & Packing Tape

June 24th, 2007


My husband and I are in the process of moving, so it is fair to say that this is a pretty hectic time around our house. Our walls are lined with boxes filled with our personal belongings, all of them carefully wrapped and cataloged on one of my infamous lists. Looking at the remaining mess, I am convinced there is something very disturbing about seeing much of what you have accumulated in this world reduced to stacks of ugly brown boxes. Right now I am exhausted and it feels as if my entire weekend has been spent trying to pry packing tape off the roll without reducing it to useless shreds. Having quick and easy meals to rely on this weekend turned out to be a very helpful thing…

Saturday morning we woke up to the same breakfast of eggs, with cheese, salsa, toast and juice. Lunch was a predictable but reliable half of a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich with half of a banana each. Snacks of trail mix and 8 oz glasses of milk were successful in maintaining our energy level and we have yet to be hungry. Bored maybe, but definitely not hungry… Dinner last night was leftover pasta with beans and red sauce. I wish we would have had some grated mozzarella cheese to melt over the top of it, but that luxury was just not affordable this week. One thing is certain; a Food Stamp budget of only $3.00 per day only affords the necessities and definitely no extras. Even then, you have to spend it carefully to keep from going hungry especially if you wish to eat healthy and do not have the extra time and energy it takes to prepare healthy meals or elements of meals from scratch.

For almost that reason alone, I am really excited about Read more…

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The Collective Challenge

June 24th, 2007

As we continue with the Food Stamp Diet, I thought it would be important to point out we are not alone. Many Americans have begun similar challenges in order to heighten awareness on this important issue.

Food Stamp Challenge

Burning Dinner One Garlic Toast at a Time

June 22nd, 2007


This evening my home is filled with that distinct aroma of burnt garlic bread. Without thinking, I was going to toss all of it in the trash, but my husband reminded me of the fact that it might not be an option for someone trying to stretch their grocery budget as far as they could. So, we salvaged the best pieces (the ones in the picture) and scraped the rest. Inside I felt defeated. The garlic toasts were the one thing that I was really looking forward to for dinner and they were ruined all because in keeping in step with this challenge and my commitment to abandon all of the “luxury” items in my kitchen I chose not to use my timer. Thankful this was not a dire mistake, but it did made me realize how important it would be to pay attention to what I was doing. In a real case scenario, one burnt meal could easily send someone to bed hungry especially if the item could not be salvaged and nothing else afforded. Almost as bad, would probably be the need to Read more…

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The $0.41 Lunch

June 22nd, 2007


The day is flying by and thankfully our shoe string budget for breakfast carried us through the morning with out feeling hungry. Hopefully, I can say the same for lunch…

In researching, planning, and shopping for a menu and grocery list that could accommodate a poverty level grocery budget, it was lunch that seemed to be the most difficult to afford. Taking into consideration that many of the working poor and struggling families may not have access to refrigeration throughout the day and would not necessarily be able to store leftovers at work, half of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with half of a banana was the healthiest meal I could come up with. Yes, I really did mean half of a banana! Read more…

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Breakfast for Under a Dollar

June 22nd, 2007


*Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is typically the meal that most often skipped in a rush to get out the door. By taking a few minutes to prepare and eat breakfast you can help keep your energy level up and your blood sugar from dropping. I particularly chose eggs because they will help you stave off hunger pains. We prefer them scrambled and added a little bit of cheese and salsa for flavor. A hearty whole wheat bread with 3 grams of fiber was chosen simple because it is a complex carbohydrate. Although I am not a dietitian and no more then a home cook, I do know if through nothing but experience, that complex carbohydrates are far more satisfying and offer a much better source of energy then their often less expensive, overly refined, and processed counter parts. The 8 oz glass of orange juice was chosen to replace my passion for fresh fruit for breakfast. Although it could not compare with the vitamins, nutrients, and fiber found in a serving of fruit, it is high in vitamin C and help to round out this meal. The Texas Pete Hot Sauce was on stand-by because we were a little bit suspicious of the Read more…

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$42 Emergency Menu

June 22nd, 2007


It was many moons ago, but will admit that I do know first hand what it is like to experience hunger and food insecurity. Hearing about the Food Stamp Challenge both online and in the media has brought back a flood of memories for me and a deep sense of gratefulness that there is always hope. It is in remembering the struggles of poverty and my own humble past that I have set the foundation for this menu. It has been created to feed 2 people for a week with no more then $1.00 per meal, but elements of the menu and grocery list can be tweaked to accommodate a family of 4 for less then $84 if extra or larger (family sized) items are bought at the store. $42 0r $84 may seem like quite a bit of money to many people trying to pare down expenses or exist on a shoe string budget. However, this amount can easily be reduced by Read more…

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