I finished the week with a lot of food. In addition to what's pictured, I still have two servings of the chili pasta and several servings of the spinach pasta, half a dozen eggs, and half a pound or so of ground beef.
On Saturday, I screwed up and forgot my lunch, so I bought a $5 salad at work. Two of my coworkers who knew about my challenge showed me how I could have scavenged food at work to eat for free, so I had a free veggie burger, too.
So what did I learn?
- I'm uneasy eating really cheap food. I worried about the animals that produced the beef and eggs. I worried about who grew my coffee. I worried about GMOs and preservatives. It's not that I normally eat all organic and locally grown, but there's usually a mix, some good stuff, some cheap stuff. All cheap stuff made me worry.
- It's probably doable, even though I didn't do it right. Especially if you can shop at Aldi and have some means of supplementing your benefits, whether that's five dollars in case you forget your lunch or a meal from a family member.
- Its not something I want to have to do. I'd rather buy good meat, eggs, and produce. My diet definitely didn't have much produce in it.
- Other people are a lot better at eating cheaply than I am. Or maybe I'm just not in the habit anymore. Like the personal finance advice to know ahead of time what you need to cut if you lose your job, I think it's good to know how to eat cheaply in case you ever have to do it.
I might do this again, but with slightly different guidelines. For staples like olive oil and spices, I'd use what I had unless they ran out. Those things last a long time and weeks when you have to buy a lot of staples are rare on any budget. What I'd like to try is either buying all organic food (bye bye, coffee!) or try shopping at the different grocery stores and how the results differ.
Week Ten: Diet - SNAP Challenge