Tomorrow I am kicking off my SNAP challenge. I shopped today and it was an interesting experience. My total budget for the week is $68.60 for 2 adults and 1 child. That is a total of 28 meals. I experienced some positives and negatives while shopping and I'd like to share those.
-I was able to buy ground turkey cheaper than ground beef.
-I could afford dried cranberries to add to my oatmeal and salads.
-Whole wheat pasta is the same price as regular pasta.
-Because SNAP recipients don't pay sales tax on items purchased with SNAP I have $3.28 left to get things later in the week if I need to. If I had to pay tax I would have been over budget by $0.43 and would have had to put back some of my yogurt or bananas.
-It took me a looooong time to shop because I was having to be so careful about how much I spent. I didn't want to get to the checkout and have to put things back.
-We are going to be eating the same things a LOT! Variety is expensive.
-In order to eat healthy I did not buy any snacks at all other than fruit. We can live with that for a week but it would be really hard to maintain permanently.
-Having more than one person (making the budget a little higher) made shopping easier. I imagine that is part of the reason Arkansas has such a high rate of hunger in seniors. So many of them live alone and get such a small SNAP budget to help meet their needs.
I'm anxious to see how this week will go. My family hears me talk about what it's like for the kids we serve a lot but none of them have actually lived it. I have lived on a really tight budget before so I don't think it will be as much of a shock to my system. My husband, on the other hand, has already tried to back out and we haven't even started. Overall, I think this is going to be an eye opening experience for my family.