My Plate on food stamps? Challenge Accepted!

 By Thaint T

For this budget exercise I challenged My Plate on a food stamp budget. Was I successful? Read on to find out.

For this set up, I have a beautiful family of 5. Two adults and 3 kids. And the money for my food comes from food stamps. My weekly amount is $192, (or $38.40 per person, or $2.13 per meal). This is more than the national average food stamp cost per meal, which is $1.40. I had to prepare 90 meals each week, Monday through Sunday for my lovely family.

Hey Thaint you might ask, how do you know how much food you need? 

Well, I calculated using a conversion table Danielle provided me. Using cups and ounces I figured out how many servings I need. Servings to me is the easiest way to know how much food I need to grab at the store.

Looking at my list of food that I 'bought' at the grocery store, I can imagine the dishes I could make. I did buy food from every category - dairy, grain, vegetables, fruits and protein. Sure, it may not be diverse, but I still bought a little bit of difference food.

I did buy a lot of canned veggies, but I can still work with it. Plus, it was 10/$10 for canned veggies, and you can't beat that. I did not buy a lot of 'breakfast foods,' but from the looks of it, I can still make a decent breakfast. I bought milk, orange juice, and muffins. What more do you need for breakfast? I even bought fruits. Now my kids can't run away!

Some foods that really wouldn't 'work' would be this Italian cheese blend that I bought. It's a seasoning, so I can't do much with it. I also bought six jars of meat sauce, but no pasta or noodles. I can add my chicken thighs to the meat sauce with cheese and eat it with toasted bread.

I had about $40 left over after shopping. One big difficulty was that time was our enemy. But then again, who does their weekly shopping in one hour?? Either way, I succeeded.


Cupcake101 said...

Thaint - I'd love to see your meal plan for the week. That would round out the exercise nicely. What kinds of meals were you able to make? This could be very empowering information for those struggling to provide healthy options. I'd also love to see pictures! Great post!

akari thu said...

I was able to "make" a variety of meals, especially lunch to dinner. I "picked" out alot of canned vegetables and cheese.
One awesome dish that I made up would be chicken garlic+herb sauce with vegetables (pepperocini,small red bean and sweet peas) with a topping of cheese and for dipping, toasted bread!
And for a dessert/snack I can make a fruit pudding! Sadly, I didnt take any pictures but thank you and great comment!