Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU to get your gift doubled!

The SF Food Bank has HUGE NEWS! All gifts this week (through Friday and up to $25k) will be DOUBLED by Keurig, Inc./Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Can you imagine trying to learn to read or do even do algebra when you are hungry?? RUMBLY IN MY TUMBLY! This is why the SF Food Bank recently expanded its partnership with public schools to provide healthy morning snacks to schoolchildren – snacks such as fresh oranges, bananas, apples, granola bars, milk and more! Orange you glad?

Mostly I just want to feed the hungry poor kids of SF and Marin that are already at a disadvantage for a myriad reasons and not having enough to eat just makes no sense in this country. There is food all around! The fair is a veritable smorgasbord! http://bit.ly/MorningSnack

My suggested campaigns:
The new San Francisco Food Bank’s Double Down: a one-of-a-kind “sandwich of opportunity” features a healthy school snack (a fresh piece of produce, cheese and healthy crackers with cheese) and the chance to give a hungry student a much needed bite to eat which will calm a hungry tummy at school! Double Down today and give the opportunity to excel! This opportunity is so rare, there’s no room for a bun! http://bit.ly/MorningSnack

The SFFB Double Dares YOU!: The San Francisco Food Bank Double Dares you to feed a hungry local student! Double your gift and provide healthy school snacks (a fresh piece of produce, cheese and healthy crackers with cheese) and the chance to give a hungry student the ability to concentrate in class! Consider yourself “Double Dared” today and feed a hungry student! http://bit.ly/MorningSnack

Being hungry is distracting and with kids in our local schools not eating breakfast or not having breakfast at all -- a morning snack is necessary to keep the focus on the teacher and not the tummy! HUNGER, I REBUKE THEE!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pop tarts!

Dear esteemed reader, so I'm not doing the hunger challenge anymore but I figure I can still share some cheap recipe's I come across through this blog since it might be fun for the both of us! As many of you know I am in a food club and we have theme nights almost every month. Tonight's theme was finger foods. I decided to go all out and make pop tarts from scratch. Holla.

Today I made homemade pop tarts using Smitten Kitchen's recipe and revamping it to the items I had in my pantry. For example, I used soymilk and smart balance instead of regular milk and regular butter. 

I made them at my friend Annie's house and she has a food processor WHICH CHANGED MY LIFE. It was sooo easy to make these. I made the individual tarts pretty small because I was hoping to feed as many people as possible since this was for Food Club.

I made the cinnamon sugar filling and then a version of it using cocoa powder and candy bars. They were both really good. I should have bought nutella because that would have been amazing but I didn't want to buy anything new or have a jar of nutella around to eat with a spoon while watching Real Housewives.

The pop tarts were a hit! I think because they were so small there was too much dough to filling ratio. I also think they were a little doughy but I was afraid of burning them. Some may look burnt in the photos but they aren't, I sprinkled cocoa into the dough...

The star player of the evening was definitely Annie's Cuisinart food processor. Runner up was my trusty Silpat silicone non-stick baking mat.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Hunger Challenge is OVER!

So the Hunger Challenge officially ended on Saturday night but because of Yom Kippur I started fasting after dinner on Friday night. I apologize for not blogging my dinner on Friday night but you have to eat and get to synagogue before sundown (6:57pm) and I was in a rush!

Now that the Hunger Challenge is over I can actually reflect on how difficult it was. I can't imagine having to plan out a week's worth of meals and exactly what you can eat each day AND making in nutritious and affordable. I don't know who has the time to do that.

I'm thankful for the Hunger Challenge because besides the obvious benefit of learning what it's like to be food insecure, the Challenge also helped me be more mindful of how much I spend, what I'm eating and whether its "worth it" nutritionally to spend my limited budget on. 

I truly can't imagine doing this every day. It's fun at first because its just a game and not real but then it kind of becomes your actual reality just takes all the pleasure out of eating and turns it into just another thing to be stressed out about.

Now that the Hunger Challenge is over and there aren't going to be any more Hunger Challenge posts I don't want you, dear readers, to feel that you are no longer a part of this cause. I  recommend that you visit the San Francisco Food Bank's website to learn more about what this great organization does.

If you like what you read, and maybe even laughed out loud -- Please consider donating a few bucks a laugh to the Food Bank to help continue their work...

If you live in the San Francisco area maybe you would like to visit the Food Bank and do a volunteer shift or have a tour of the facilities? If so, read more here!

Stay in touch with the work of the Food Bank on their facebook page and on twitter.

Thank you so much for your loyal readership! I hope you learned a little about the real struggle many people have just to EAT.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Help get 30,000 pounds of chicken donated to the SFFB!

Hi everyone,
In a last-minute surprise, Tyson has once again come through for SFFB, donating 30,000 pounds of chicken as a result of our Hunger Challenge.
But...we need to rally people to make a comment on the Tyson Hunger Relief website, where info is posted about hunger in San Francisco. Please go here NOW and make a comment - then urge your friends, tweeps and fans to do the same:
NOTE: Although the comment form asks for your email, it will NOT appear on the site and Tyson will NOT use the email in any way to market to people. (This is just is just standard web comment practice.)
Thanks very much!

Sweet Lord.

Am I sick of the Hunger Challenge? Does Flavor Flave know what time it is? OF COURSE YOU IDIOT!
I'm sick of being hungry, of cooking dinner after work instead of doing other things like being with friends or heaven forbid: going to the gym.

Having such a tight budget and only shopping where Food Stamps are accepted is a limitation on a small freedom I took for granted. I've always been thankful to have food and to not be poor but this really took it home. Not only are these things the pits but they are an active pain in the...neck. If I had kids and had to feed them after work I'm not so sure they would be excited to get fed at 9pm when my dinner was finally done and maybe only slightly edible. It seems like the real clincher to eating on a food stamp budget is knowing how to cook and to have the time and patience to do so.

For breakfast I did not have oatmeal. I bike to work I'm over heated some mornings and today I did not want a hot steamy breakfast at all. So I had some of my whole wheat toast and I put some weird crappy jelly on it that was day-glow pink and totally gross. I also had a cheater's coffee.
The wheat bread is 37 cents and for the jelly I would actually like to be paid.

For lunch I am having the red beans and rice stew that I made last night since I didn't actually eat it last night. It tastes okay, its definitely filling but it taste kind of like cafeteria food.

I ate this entire bowl which filled a whole mason jar because I am a beast.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Folksy HC wisdom: If your burger falls apart make it into stew

I had my 75 cent coupon and I was ready to bike to safeway from work when I realized that was insane since it was already 7pm, I was hungry and tired and it was getting dark and I didn't have my bike lights! So instead I went to Walgreens where the prices are so high it probably negated my coupon.

Anyway, I went home and heated up my brown rice, soy milk and some cinnamon...I couldn't find my box of raisins anywhere. And I have to say the first bite was amazing! But I made too much and after a few spoonfuls I was over it but of course I finished the entire bowl...which is where disaster planted its ugly roots.
I was then full but hadn't yet made my red bean burgers! I felt like I had to because it was in my "plan". But I was resentful because I was supposed to meet up with some friends to hang out. I knew I was going to need the bean burgers for lunch today so I decided to make it happen.

I think what first went wrong was that the beans were supposed to be canned and I used half-blanched dried beans that just weren't mushy enough. AND I also don't have a food processor or blender which turns out to be really important in making this burger pasty enough to actual make a burger patty shape.
Long story short: I didn't want to be making these patties, the ingredients and equipment was all wrong and I was in such a mental funk that I didn't even take photos of the failed burgers (which I actually ended up pressing into a muffin tray to try to bake since the patty shapes fell apart on my cookie tray). Those who know me know that I basically only bake foods in muffin trays.
I feel guilty that I didn't take adequate photos so I made this montage:

It shows how I started out, then the fail and then what ended up happening...I just threw the dried gross bean muffins into some stock and the rest of my tomato sauce and made a weird chili stew soup thing. 
The end. I'm not even sure how much this costs and I'm not in the mood to calculate it. It's probably a few dollars.

Preparing for dinner and dessert

In preparation for dinner I copied down the recipe for my red bean burgers and decided to take a look for any soy milk coupons for my faux rice pudding dessert I'm planning on making. And viola I found 2 coupons for Silk soy milk! (I've decided vanilla soy milk might be yummiest). I'm going to try to combine the coupons if they let me but I don't really know if you can do that since I'm a total coupon noob.


At 2pm we had a birthday and anniversary celebration at work! I have been at my job for one year this month! Yay me!! :) Anyway, this celebration included various desserts.  FREE FOOD! THE ENEMY OF THE HUNGER CHALLENGE.
I talked it out with some people:

1) I debated eating the pie and then "paying" for it (but that meant no rice pudding later).
2) I considered LYING TO YOU READERS and not letting you know I ate pie (I'm sorry for even considering it, please forgive me).
3) I toyed with the idea of just completely giving up and eating the yummy treats and just laughing in the face of my hard work thus far...it was the lemon bars that really were starting to get to me.

However, even though I talk a big game, deep down I'm a lame goodie-two-shoes who has only gotten "in trouble" once in my life and would like to keep it that way. (7th grade, I got a demerit for being late to home room...I was helping Esther Pak pick up her flash cards that she dropped all over the lobby, we were in orchestra together....this is not the profile of a bad-#$%).

So, needless to say, I didn't eat the pie. Not even the lemon bars. I think that if I were on food stamps I would eat free food every second I had a chance but I understand the method behind the madness of not eating free things. Plus, I already cheat with the coffee.

Thursdays child has far to go

Last night I "power soaked" my red beans by accident and tonight I am going to bake them into a veggie burger! I found a a recipe for Red Bean Chipotle Burgers and I think I'm going to make these minus the chipotle...unless I can find that at the store for less than $1. I'm excited because before this challenge I had never made my own veggie burgers and always bought them frozen. My dear friend Lindsay (currently saving the world in Washington D.C.) regularly makes her own veggie burgers and is on a constant search to find one that meets her high culinary standards. I hope that these burgers are a success and I can offer the recipe to her as a potential cure for her wild-burger chase.

In other news my coworker  sent me this amazing website full of SNAP recipes: "The SNAP Recipe Finder is an online database of recipes that can be used to create healthy and nutritious meals for those with limited budgets and time." This is helpful because I still have another day on the challenge and even after it is over I wouldn't mind having some great inexpensive recipes to play around with.

Oh right, and shockingly for breakfast I had an oatmeal, coffee and the world's saddest banana.

Cost Analysis: 72 cents
Banana: 45 cents
Cheater's coffee: handout
Oatmeal: 27 cents

And for lunch I had two sweet potato tofu burgers mashed up with brown rice, salt and pepper.

Cost Analysis: 80 cents
Two burgers: 52 cents
1/2 cup rice: 28 cents

Total so far: $1.52

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 4 Dinner

Today was much better than yesterday, I wasn't unnecessarily hungry at all. Although, I did crave candy in the afternoon, at which time I usually cruise the "share shelf" in the refrigerator or Meredith H's ever-plentiful candy basket, but I suppose its for the best that I kick my sugar addiction (Jackie says I'm a sugar addict). I wasn't as hungry today which is good but I wouldn't exactly say my diet was balanced: oatmeal and pasta and brown rice. If the challenge was to only eat brownish white foods I would totally be the crown champion!

When I got hungry after lunch I decided to eat my brown rice -- I wish I could have mixed it with some milk and cinnamon sugar but such is the nature of this challenge! I never made it to the grocery store today as planned (I was busy visiting my sweet new apartment and talking with my mama on the phone and telling her not to take fosomax!!) 

So when I got home I quickly microwaved a sweet potato tofu burger (no bread) because I was hungry! (I was also about 8pm just to reinforce the fact that I wasn't that hungry today.) Then I realized I just didn't know what to do for dinner because yes, I was going to eat more for sure! No skimping today! So I decided to make some brown rice and then crumble in a sweet potato tofu burger like a sloppy joe. I ended up doing that and plus some salt and pepper it was pretty good!

I also made some extra rice for tomorrow AND I tried to boil some dried red beans for later and then stopped when they started to look funny and dyed the water red. Now they are just soaking like the directions said to do in the first place...and I googled to see if I messed them up and apparently this is called "power soaking" boiling for three minutes and then soaking for 2-4 hours. Nice. 

Cost of tonight's meal: 80 cents
Burger "snack" = 26 cents
Burger in dinner = 26 cents
1/2 cup of brown rice = 28 cents

Today's $2.30 + 80 = $3.10 

My mom was really concerned when I said I wasn't eating any fruit (also that I have some where nice to go for Yom Kippur) so I cheated (AGAIN) and had a small handful of frozen blueberries from a $2.99 bag of Trader Joe's blueberries. So, that was probably 80 cents more or less and is packed with antioxidants! So it is safe to say I spent at least the total $4 today.

Hey Mom: (if Dad shows you how to find my blog) rest assured mom! I'm eating well! I lock the door! I don't talk to strangers and I never walk alone at night! :) 

Thank the heavens that I don't really live on a food stamp diet. This is getting old fast. Like Ke$ha (who, incidentally, relied on food stamps as a childbut without the dance-able beat and fake attitude.

Day 4: Lunch

So for lunch I am just having the leftover pasta and sauce from last night's dinner. It's nothing too exciting but it is still really yummy. If not for the budget constraints I think this would be a great meal  if portioned a little smaller and with a side salad or a side of veggies of some kind. Although I think it is unnecessary to eat tuna since the mercury levels are pretty high. The cost of this meal is only $1.31 though so that is pretty good.

AND If I get hungry after lunch I came prepared. I have a sweet potato tofu burger, some bread and some brown rice in case I need more food before dinner...which is really good because if you go into the office kitchen you will find this little number on the counter:

Cake of Temptation in the office kitchen
What I will eat instead of cake...
But brown rice is just as good right? I mean look at it. 
1/2 cup of brown rice for a snack = 27.5 cents. So far today I have spent $2.30 so I only have $1.70 for dinner! I think I can do it though...plus I could probably spend a little more on it since I was so cheap Sun, Mon, Tues!

Day 4: The Challenge Continues!

I don't want to shock any of you, so please make sure you are sitting before you read this post. For breakfast I made oatmeal, coffee and a banana.
Are you okay? Okay, good. I know this is a great departure from what I have normally been eating for breakfast for this challenge so I hope that I haven't alienated any of my fans that feel as though they have gotten to know me. Please also note how sad my banana is starting to look. Poor guy, but don't worry -- I put him out of his misery.

Cost Analysis: 72 cents
Banana: 45 cents
Cheater's coffee:priceless
Oatmeal: 27 cents

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The dinner that couldn't come fast enough: Day 3

When I left work today I was dreaming of dinner. As I biked home I talked out loud to myself about exactly what I was going to do to prepare dinner and in what order as soon as I got home.

As soon as I got in the door I put water on the stove to boil and ate a banana toute de suite (45 cents) and 1/2 of brown rice I made last night (27.5 cents). On an average day I'm constantly eating, I have a drawer at my desk that instead of holding files is filled with food. It's stressful and so unnecessary that someone in the U.S. would worry about having enough to eat when everyone else lives in such excess.

I NEED DESSERT! I'm thinking of buying some soy milk and maybe trying to make a sweet snack with brown rice. I found this recipe which is for breakfast but it looks sweet enough for a snack. Plus it's written by Bethenny from Real Housewives of New York and most recently, Bethenny Getting Married a.k.a the second love of my life. I might buy some soy milk and see if I can afford some raisins! Oh sweet luxury!

Anyway - so today's dinner: I decided to make something with the tuna I bought since I didn't want to eat another sweet potato tofu burger (I might have to freeze the rest). I ended up deciding just to make a simple pasta dish with tomato sauce, onion, garlic and tuna.
I used: 1/3 of a jar of my Ragu sauce = 50 cents
1/2 box of whole wheat pasta = 53 cents 1 can of tuna = $13 cloves of garlic =31 cents

The total cost was $2.61 so tonight's dinner was $1.31.Total for today: $3.04
Breakfast = 72 cents
Lunch = 65 cents

Snack = 72.5 cents
Dinner = $1.31

Once again I am under budget and under fed. I think I am doing this too conservatively because I'm afraid of running out of food. I keep spiting things in half when maybe I don't have to. I think the obvious comment here is that if you are food insecure you might purposefully under eat to insure having enough food stored away for the next day. 

I also think that I am making fairly healthful choices, but given this limited budget and how much planning and time this has been taking, I could easily see ordering off the dollar menu somewhere one day out of pure fatigue. All this planning and thinking and being hungry is slightly gimmicky right now for me but it will get old fast. And if this were my real life I think it would not be fun at all. I mean, 90% of the fun is keeping this blog...

Day 3: Breakfast and Lunch

So it may not be very interesting for you, dear readers, but once again I had oatmeal for breakfast (with a banana) and my cheater's coffee. Cheaters never win by the way, remember that kids.
Oatmeal = 27 cents for 1 cup ($3.99 for a tub with 30 servings of 1/2c)
Banana = 45 cents (2lbs for $1)Cheater's coffee = Purgatory 

Lunch was a repeat of dinner since I was able to make a surplus of sweet potato tofu burgers.
Sweet potato tofu burger = 26 cents
Two slices of wheat bread = 
37 cents (one loaf $2.99 with 16 slices)

Ketchup squirt = 2 cents (estimate)

Today's total so far: $1.37

In the interest of my taste bud's and keeping this challenge interesting, I will not be eating a sweet potato tofu burger for dinner tonight. I'm not sure what I will make though. I have more tofu (dear lord save me), two cans of tuna, red beans, brown rice, pasta, bread, bananas, half an onion, half a jar of tomato sauce and some garlic...guess I better start searching for recipes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 2 Lunch and Dinner

Day 2 of the Hunger Challenge is over. This morning I was a little nervous that this week was going to be a big ol' mess. However, I kind of lucked out with dinner. But first, lets talk lunch.

Lunch was boring but yum -- I had the leftover pasta with veggie sauce that I made last night. It actually was enough to stay full for a while. The whole box of pasta was $1.25 I used half yesterday an today's portion was half of that...0.31 cents! The sauce was $1.49 I used 1/3 yesterday and half of that today... 25 cents...can this be right? The carrots were 49 cents a pound, I bought one and used half today...so maybe it was 20 cents? And then for a 3 o'clock snack I had 1 gala apple that was 39 cents. 
I was really hungry today at work. It was distracting and annoying. It made me feel sluggish and I felt the 5 o'clock stupids at like 3pm. At least lunch was only $1.15! Maybe today will be easypeasypuddinpie!

But since, as Sarte says "hell is other people" there sitting on the "tasty shelf" in the development office was NOOOOO an amazing looking piece of chocolate wedding cake...BUT I RESISTED IT! I did however take a photo so the whole world can know how beautiful it was. Oh, and during our morning meeting a lovely apple strudel was passed around...BUT I RESISTED IT!

After work my sister came over. We usually go out to dinner once a week BUT I RESISTED! We chatted, I had a banana 45 cents (2lbs for $1) and then she went home a little after 8. I love her but I was going to eat her face or starve to death if she stayed another minute. I also knew I had about 30 minutes of cooking ahead of me:

Then I decided to get creative for dinner...I knew I had sweet potatoes and tofu...so I googled "tofu sweet potato" and found this amazing recipe: Sweet Potato Tofu Burgers!
Unfortunately, I didn't have all the ingredients...I substituted my Ragu sauce for the tomato paste and I skipped the corn starch, cumin and cilantro (didn't have it). I did use a splash of curry powder so I'm willing to deduct 10 cents for that.

ingredients: I used 1/2 cup of brown rice = 27.5 cents ($2.75 for 20 quarter cup servings)
Two sweet potatoes = 49 cents (.69 lb.)
Two Tbs. of Ragu sauce = 15 cents ($1.49 jar)
Half an onion = 31 cents (.39 lb)
Three cloves garlic = 27 cents ($1.99 lb)
One Tsp. curry powder = 10 cents (estimate)
Pinch of salt 'n peppa = 5 cents (estimate)
One package of tofu = 20 cents (5 for $1)
Two slices wheat bread = 37 cents (one loaf $2.99 with 16 slices)
Ketchup squirt = 2 cents (estimate)
Total= $2.24

I microwaved the two sweet potatoes instead of boiling them. I don't have a food processor or a blender (in real life, so reason stands I also might not have these items if I was even more poor) so I just used my clean hands to mix and mush things like god intended.

I made little patties and pan seared them on each side. They were so handsome! I bet the real recipe is amazing because my little lame excuses are pretty damn good! I did have to add some ketchup because they needed some wetness and a little flavor so I added 5 cents for that. Frankly I think having some McDonalds ketchup packets around the house in these United States is quite common, but maybe that is cheating. I'm a rule breaker babe.
6 extra burgers! 

Total price of a single burger (minus 2 slices bread and ketchup) = 26 cents!
Total consumed today = $2.52? That can't be right. i think my math is bad, which wouldn't surprise any math teacher I ever had. 

Breakfast = 27 cents + cheater's coffee
Lunch =
Snack = 45 cents
Dinner =  65 cents

I did spend more on what I prepared today but I will eat it for the rest of the week. I think I'm going to get more decadent with my eating though because I can't keep eating oatmeal and pasta. CARBCARBCARB.  Oh wait? I can't because I already spent all my money. I am glad I got the tofu in for protein but I still need some fruits besides apples and bananas. And I definitely need more calcium since osteoporosis runs in my family like FloJo.

I was really hungry for a lot of today so maybe that's why I didn't spend so much. I think tomorrow I'm going to experiment with eating more and maybe going out of budget. I'm also going to go back and check this math in the morning.

I wonder if it would be healthy to eat like this every day. I would really need to substitute in some Greek yogurt or spinach to get me some calcium. Maybe an egg or two. I am tempted to try this another week since I'm kind of mad I already spent my money.

Day 2 Breakfast

Okay, I'm already a cheater. I made a small cup of the free coffee at work.
I did this because I think that free coffee is available at some jobs and if I were on Food Stamps I would go out of my way for some free coffee. As my friend Emily said "Free coffee is kind of ubiquitous, even my sister who works at a supermarket deli counter and actually is on food stamps gets free coffee."

Nonetheless I feel guilty already! Not everyone would get free coffee. I know if I were on a crazy-tight budget I would definitely seek out free food opportunities but still I'M A CHEATER. It says right here in the hunger challenge rules: No free coffee at work.

However, I still have to be awake at my job and this morning I really needed coffee. I blame the VMA's.

As you can see I also made a bowl of oatmeal. It was really big and it made my coworker Barbara actually say "woah thats a lot of oatmeal". However this is because I have a lot of oatmeal so I'm gonna be liberal with it. I also brought an apple for breakfast but I think I can save it for a snack because I feel rather full.

Overall this Food Stamp diet so far is carbo-loaded, very low on fresh veggies and fruit, no animal products.

My oatmeal package was $3.99 for a tub with 30 servings. That means that each serving is 13.3 cents (for 1/2 cup) I made a full cup today so really this breakfast was only about 27 cents...

When I home I'm going to examine my receipts and found out exactly how much each meal costs. 

Okay, just thought I would put a quick message out there! Gotta go fight hunger in San Francisco and Marin!:)

For every $1 you donate, the Food Bank can distribute $6 worth of food!  97% of all donations goes directly toward getting food to hungry people. Join the San Francisco Food Bank in the fight against hunger!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brunch/Dinner Day 1

Okay. So it's the end of Day One and I'm not gonna lie...I will definitely be eating less in quantity and quality than usual. Also, I thought about food and money all day today, it was pretty annoying. I hope I don't totally lose my mind doing this!

Disclosure: I'm a Jew. This Saturday is
Yom Kippur so I will be fasting all day. So I don't have to save food for that day.

Today I tried to buy food for the week:
As I look at what I have for the week it is more or less healthy but it is also lacking in variety and certainly doesn't follow the food pyramid. I spent time at two stores trying to find cheap deals. More time than most people would have, maybe more than I would have if I was super busy with two jobs etc.
The Total: $24.27

San Francisco would turn over and die before it let a Walmart or Target in city proper so I figured my cheapest bets were bodegas and Safeway for sales. At Safeway I spent $10.76. I also am planning on using a bag of brown rice I already had which is $2.75 and a bag of red beans which I think was $3. I then spent $7.75 at a bodega to get some fruits. So I have less than $4 left in emergency money. A.K.A. Ramen money.

**Update: So I'm torn because my coworker Stacy thinks that since I bought a $3.99 tub of oatmeal that I should only count the amount that I'm using this week. Since its not like the oatmeal has too be eaten this week and in real life this product lasts for 30 servings.
She has a great blog where she is calculating such things: http://www.hellocupcakellc.com/

I guess I wasn't thinking correctly and thought that I had to only count my food as lasting for this week.  In that case, my oat is $3.99 with 30 servings:  So that is 13.3 cents per serving...
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this information though...

What I ate today:
Brunch: For brunch (I got up at like noon) I made oatmeal and had one small gala apple. It wasn't the pancakes I was craving but it was okay. I didn't measure the amount of oatmeal I used but I did splurge for the big container of oatmeal (it has 30 servings for $3.99) so I know that I at least don't have to skimp on breakfast this week which hopefully was a good decision.
By the way as I was eating this I was watching Bravo and I paused. Can I watch Bravo? It seems too expensive to watch cable on a food stamp diet.

Brunch: 80 cents
about 1.5 cups of o
atmeal = 41 cents
gala apple = 39 cents

45 cents
I ate a banana. I didn't take a photo of it, you know what one banana looks like I imagine. I ate it on the way home from the store because I was gonna eat my hand.


I hate Ragu sauce I think it's cheap and tastes like tomato soup. But it was 50 cents less than everything else. So I made sauce with cut up carrots and put it over whole wheat pasta. The whole wheat pasta was 4 for $5 and the regular was 5 for $5 so that was another sacrifice I made. The best news: I put half of what I made in a mason jar for tomorrow for lunch. The bad news: as I type this I'm so hungry! Confession! I already "cheated" I had the smallest amount of green beans left over so I added them to my sauce for tomorrow before they went bad. I'm not so sure its cheating though, I think you can have some leftovers from previous weeks even on food stamps but maybe I'm wrong.

Dinner: 86 cents
Pasta: One box is $1.25, I used 1/4 of a box
= 31 cents
Sauce: The jar was $1.49 I used 1/6 =  25 cents

The carrots were 49 cents a pound, I 1/2 of one = 20 cents

I also took some photos of what was cheap and within budget at
Safeway...but what I would not buy:

So. It's only day one and you can still join in on the hunger challenge! Read the blog! Give it a try even if for only one day!

Day 1

So today is day 1 of the Hunger Challenge. It's 12 noon and I haven't even eaten yet because I have yet to go shopping for my $28 of weekly groceries. I already think I am going to fail big time. This morning I woke up and wanted nothing more than pancakes from St. Francis Fountain and then I remembered I couldn't go. Then my boyfriend gave me a home made carmel which I also can't eat. I'm not pleased. So now I guess I'm gonna go to maybe Safeway or maybe some fruterias on mission and see what I can get for cheap. I have $28 for the whole week but I'm not sure I'm going to spend it all today because I'm worried I won't ration properly for the week and then I will run out. I am going to try to have some fruit and veggies this week even though I'm sure that will take all my money. It's gonna be a beans and rice kind of week I guess. But I also just saw this video, I bet if you're on Food Stamps you don't have a couple hours a week to coupon clip but I'm going to give it a try and just use coupon that maybe I can find in the store or something. This lady is inspiring.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eating Healthfully with Little Money?

You can get leaner cuts of meat, but then they're more expensive. You can get fresh fruit every couple of days and blow half of your budget on fresh fruits and vegetables in a week's time, easy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Four Days Until the Hunger Challenge Begins

With the Hunger Challenge beginning this Sunday, I have already found myself thinking about what I might buy and how I will portion it out. If I were on Food Stamps, would I have time to really plan out what I would buy and then go ahead and buy it early and on sale?

Would I shop at Trader Joe's? I just read online that Trader Joe's recently changed it policy and now accepts Food Stamps. But if I lived in a food desert I would probably very far from my beloved TJ's and have to rely on bodegas and fast food. I refuse to eat fast food and I'm not including that in my Food Stamp Diet as I am trying to see if its possible to eat healthy on $4 a day.

I'm planning on photographing my 3 meals a day (and hopefully snacks) and breaking down how much they cost. I'm not going to use food I already own since I can't be sure how much it costs. I'm not going to shop anywhere too fancy pants and will try to stick to bodegas and Safeway.

Once again, there is still time for you to try out the Hunger Challenge! You don't have to do the challenge for a whole week or even this particular week! Sign up today to try it out and if you want, blog along with me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Can you live on the Food Stamp Diet?

The Hunger Challenge starts Sunday, September 12th!

Much like David Blane, American illusionist and endurance artist best known for his high-profile brushes with death
, I am going to eat on $4 a day ($28 a week) the average amount a person receives through Food Stamps. For one week I will be grumpy, I will be hungry, and I will no doubt struggle to keep my work quality up. Considering I spend $3 on an ice cream at Humphrey Slocomb quite frequently this should be an interesting week. But I'm proud to do it because no matter how much I joke around - this is a serious issue.

Can you do what so many others are forced to do? Try the Hunger Challenge and blog about it!