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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$42 Emergency Menu

June 21st, 2007


Rather then complain for a week about how hungry and lightheaded my husband and I are on a Food Stamp Budget of no more then $1 per meal/$3 a day each, we have decided to do something different. For the many people that live on $21 or less due to various reasons, for far longer then a week, we have been inspired to offer a grocery list, menu, quick, easy, and fairly healthy recipes that can be made in 15 minutes or less with no prior experience in the kitchen. Grocery items were chosen due to their ability to stave off hunger, consistent low prices, and year round accessibility. Wal-mart was not my first choice of places to shop and was chosen strictly because it is a national store that can be found in many communities across the US. Our participation in the Food Stamp Challenge will kick off tomorrow morning and I will post our menu directly after breakfast. Recipes and updates will follow for the next 7 days.

The Grocery List
($42 for 2 people/$1 each per meal for the course of 7 days)

$5.00 for 2 Loaves of Baker’s Inn 100% Whole Wheat Bread (5 gr. of Protein and 3 gr. Fiber per slice with 16 slices in each package)

$1.47 for 18 oz. of Read more…

Food Stamp Challenge

Coffee, Coupons, and Last Minute Thoughts

June 21st, 2007


At this very moment I am sitting at my desk slowly savoring my last cup of coffee for the day and the next several days for that matter. Our windows are open and there is a slight breeze billowing through the sheer white summery curtains throughout our home. As sunlight pours through my kitchen illuminating the light sky blue colored walls, the scent of a cast iron skillet cooked breakfast of buttermilk buckwheat pancakes, fresh strawberries, bacon, and pure maple syrup lingers in the air creating a fragrance that no candle or essential oil could ever be compared. My pantry is neatly organized and stocked with a wide variety of local, organic, and sustainable foods that are fully capable of providing the elements for a delectable feast with little more then a moment’s notice. In the depths of my cool basement there is a tall shelf stocked with an assortment of overflow small kitchen appliances, canning equipment, seasonal gadgets such as an apple/peeler/corer, and a small row of neatly arranged Ball jars cataloging the results of my first attempts at canning a taste of our local seasons. Yet, for a week I am going to use my imagination to pretend that none of that exists…

I have always believed that Read more…

Food Stamp Challenge

Food Stamp Challenge Update

June 20th, 2007

A little over a month ago, when my husband and I had decided to participate in the widely debated and discussed Food Stamp Challenge, our purpose for doing so, was to bring awareness to the alarming problem of food insecurity in this country and to take some time to reflect on what we could do within our own community, to help aid organizations that reach out to those in need. Unfortunately, our plans were put on hold when my husband was rushed to the emergency room, diagnosed with a ruptured appendix, and had to undergo surgery, just days before the challenge was scheduled. Thankfully there were no complications, he is currently doing much better, and our life is beginning to resume as normal again.

Although we had to postpone our participation in The Food Stamp Diet, it has still been weighing very heavily on our minds. Since that initial post, we have been astounded by the large number of people who have found this site by searching for quick, easy, and inexpensive recipes that could be afforded on a poverty level or food stamp budget. Due to the nature of the searches and key phrases used, we do not feel that many of these searches were done in correlation to the highly publicized Food Stamp Challenge. Instead, we truly suspect that there are a large number of people struggling to make ends meet and desperately seeking solutions for feeding their family on a shoestring budget for a number of reasons. Whether they are on food stamps or not is negligible at this point. The fact that they found this site while looking for viable solutions is enough to have further inspired us to offer what assistance we can.

It is with those thoughts in mind that my husband and I have decided to Read more…

Food Stamp Challenge

Homemade Strawberry Jam

June 15th, 2007


As I sit here at my laptop, and look around at all of the modern conveniences that life in this century has afforded me, I can not help but wonder if my great grandparents would recognize most of them. If they were to be able to travel through time and space for a visit, how would my everyday existence appear to their old world eyes and sense of accomplishment? Would they be impressed with the fact that my home and life is stuffed to the gills with time saving gadgets which free up my time, only so it can be over scheduled and filled up with a million other distracting tasks, preventing me from savoring the moment at hand? Above all, could they comprehend the fact that living green and practicing sustainability is something I am learning and not second nature? Yes, these are questions that make me wonder about who I am and what I can do to leave something more behind me then an enormous carbon footprint in this world… Something that would make them feel proud of the legacy they have left behind them as well…

At the moment, the steps I am taking still seem small and insignificant to me, but all of them have enriched my life, giving it a deeper sense of value, and purpose. In my journey, towards eating local, living greener, and incorporating more sustainable practices into my life, I have found that Read more…

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Good Morning Baby Robin!

June 15th, 2007


What would you do if you woke up to find a baby robin sitting on your fence? Read more…

Random Thoughts

Strawberry Picking at Legend Hills Orchard

June 14th, 2007


Just two weekends ago, my husband and I laid our heads down on our pillows, slept under the soft Friday night light of a Strawberry Moon, and dreamed of fields that went on forever… As a result, we woke up bright and early the next morning hungry for the sticky sweet taste of strawberries and a day that began in an orchard full of perfectly ripe fruit waiting to be picked.


With tall travel mugs full of freshly brewed, steaming hot coffee, and the largest Read more…

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