Final Days of the #SNAPCHALLENGE

As we wind down the month of May I wanted to put a few thoughts together for the SNAP Challenge. I learned a lot this month, and took on some new things that have some serious staying power.

First of all, anyone who says they can’t live on a SNAP budget doesn’t know how to prepare food. I’ve successfully sustained my family of three on a SNAP budget eating nearly 100% organic and I still have approximately $25 leftover. I maintain that access to fresh food and lack of cooking education are what the SNAP program desperately needs, not more benefits per person.

I also learned once again, how to do more with less. But at least this time I wasn’t forced to. That said, giving myself strict parameters made me try new things and that’s always a plus.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the challenge is that I lost five pounds. I haven’t done anything differently except my eating habits for this challenge. I credit the weight loss to consuming fewer prepared foods with their hidden salt and sugar.

Now that the challenge is over I will welcome some snacks back into the fold – namely some corn chips, organic animal cookies and rice puffs for my daughter. ¬†I’ve gotten used to eating fresh homemade bread with various schmers, cheese and fruit for snack though and will continue to eat that moving forward.

I also will buy some deli meats and cheese again, but I will get a brand that has less preservatives and only buy it once for the month. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Here are a few thins that I learned that hopefully will help your grocery budget.

I was spending too much on prepared foods that can be easily made at home. The top three of this are broths, bread and yoghurt. Vegetable broth takes no time at all to make, while making a meat based broth is a bit more involved. Making a no knead bread proved to be an easy solution and now I have fresh ORGANIC bread at home with no high fructose corn syrup. Homemade yoghurt at home is half the price of store bought and has no added sugar. I won’t be buying these items in the store again anytime soon. That said I totally failed trying to make my own mayonnaise, and dandelion jelly (though I have successfully made fruit jams). Some things are just easier store bought. [Read more…]

#SNAPChallenge: Week 4 Shopping List and Menu

As we enter the last week of the SNAP Challenge one weekend is set to derail my entire month – Memorial Day weekend! I stupidly, completely forgot about Memorial Day when I was planning my month of meals and now I’m nervous we’re not going to make it to the end of the month.

I also deviated from the original plan from last week. Using our waste not, want not policy, we chose to use things in the house instead of purchasing new food. I did accommodate for buying it though. The good news is, my new plan actually cost less leaving me with more wiggle room with the budget. [Read more…]