I think the hardest thing for me about the food stamp challenge is that I like to eat out a lot - or I like to at least have to option to go out to eat, if I'm invited. So I tried to save a little bit of my money to have that option. I went to the Dollar Tree so I could get a little variety for cheap. When I was separating my food items from my other items, the cashier asked if they were on the food stamp card. I was already filling the role of a food stamp recipient, I guess. Anyway, here's what I bought (don't judge):
- a good sized box of cookies
- strawberry cereal bars (when I opened these up, they were gross. The package made them look like nutri-grain bars. They're not. I'm eating them anyway.)
- a small container of milk
- four single-serve cups of apple sauce
- a box of peanut butter ritz bitz
- a small bag of shredded cheese
- instant coffee (7 single-serving packets, perfect)
- a can of spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
- a can of green beans (deal! only 50 cents, not a dollar. It's a big can too, so I'll have leftovers.)
- a box of pasta
- a bottle of orange juice (I'm picky about my juice, so I had to go with the smaller container to get 100% juice)
$10.50 for all that. I made some pasta with spaghetti sauce and cheese for dinner today, which was quite good and I had lots of leftovers. That'll get me by.
I also calculated the price of some items I had on hand:
- a box of macaroni and cheese
- half a jar of peanut butter
- part of a container of margarine
- 3/4 loaf of bread
- half a bag of carrot sticks
$8.50 was my estimate for all that... I usually buy the store brand anyway, so it didn't set me back too much.
I already spent $4.24 today on a bagel, cream cheese, and coffee at Panera because I had plans to meet a friend there. So worth it.
So, I'm at $5.71 and realized that I had a prior potluck engagement this coming Sunday. I'm thinking I should be allowed to eat there provided I'm bringing something too. Fair? I don't know, but I'm doing it anyway. I guess my $5.71 will go toward that, not going out to eat again.