Food Stamp Challenge: Day 3

Today marks Day 3 of my Food Stamp Challenge! I am also double-posting this post on my class blog.

It’s a lot easier to eat on $4.30 a day when you don’t buy every single meal out. Many people stop on their way to class or work and grab a coffee, and maybe a muffin or donut. A coffee and donut is already most of your budget for the day, if not all of it, depending on where you stop. When you are living on a limited budget, there are things you just have to say “no” too! I’m a happy camper eating in rather than out all the time, so I’m not finding it to be too much trouble staying on budget. Of course, there are times that I would love some shrimp, lobster or a nice cut of steak, but they are WAY out of budget. But are you able to “splurge” at all when you live on a budget? Of course! If you stay around $3 a day for your food (which I’ve proved isn’t too difficult), you’ll be able to eat fancy every once in awhile and it’ll be even cheaper if you cook it yourself, instead of going out to a restaurant! Watch for sales at the grocery store for your favorite, fancy foods. Around Valentine’s Day and other holidays, grocery stores have lobster tails for $5 each. You definitely won’t pay $5 at a restaurant! Learn to cook and try new foods -it’s good for you and saves you money!

Today for breakfast, I grabbed a piece of pumpkin bread that my roommate’s mom made. Since I don’t know exactly how much it cost to make, I’ll estimate my slice was $0.50. There are about 8 slices worth of bread, making it cost $4. That’s a pricey loaf of bread, but canned pumpkin (actually, pumpkins in general!) are very expensive. Does anyone know why? They really aren’t difficult to grow and they are definitely in season now! If the bugs didn’t destroy my pumpkin plants this summer, I’d have my own to admire right now.

In between classes, I munched on another Clif Zbar. They are $0.50/bar. After 4 classes (2 of which I had exams in), I was starving! I grabbed the quickest thing I could think of: leftovers! Have you noticed my love of leftovers? Such a money saver and a great way to get good food in you! I could have easily stopped and grabbed a $6 cold cut from the shop, but I have a budget to watch! I ate leftover stuffing and cauliflower from dinner the other night. Leftovers are hard to put a price on, since they are the extra food from a dinner that you’ve already accounted for. I’ll say this lunch cost $1, but no more than that. Iced tea added another $0.20. Lunch + snack + tea = $1.70.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have class from 9 am until 8 pm (with a small break in between) so making a complex dinner is really out of the question. I’m exhausted! Luckily, the boys took care of most of the dinner tonight. Don’t comment on the randomness (hot dogs and potatoes?!), food is food! We had hot dogs (no roll, I don’t like them!), roasted potatoes, and broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. They also had baked beans, but I don’t like them. I got the pack of hot dogs for FREE at Safeway (with this deal). The potatoes were approximately $1/lb. I ate about $0.50 worth. Veggies were $1 for the whole bag and I ate a fourth of it. Dinner cost $0.50 for potatoes, $0.25 for veggies, and $0.20 for tea = $0.95.

My total for today is $3.15!

Week to date: $3 + $2.75 + $3.15 = $8.90. I have $21.10 and 4 days left.