Monday, September 12, 2011

First day of the SNAP Experience

Having my husband work for the Association of Arizona Food Banks can really open your eyes and heart to some of the experiences that many families endure during these tough times. I am very lucky that I have many choices when it comes to food without blinking an eye, but many people don't.

There are many who need SNAP benefits (most commonly known as food stamps), because they wouldn't have the funds to be able to eat. The month of September is Hunger Action month and today was the start of the ACAA's SNAP Experience (Sept 12th - 18th) where many of us would challenge ourselves to see if we could survive on a budget of $29.00 for a week's worth of food ($41.00 if you opt in for a $12.00 budget for food not approved by SNAP).

I have decided to see if I can do this and since one of the requirements of the SNAP Experience is to record food, I'm already halfway there since I do that already for my diet.

Here was my daily food along with it's caloric value and cost for that portion.

Breakfast: -- Calories: -- Cost:
Coffee with Soy Milk -- 35 -- .40
1/3 cup Slim Rite (Slim Fast cost more) -- 60 -- .30

Bagel w/ 1 serving of Cream Cheese --380 -- .75
1 can of Slim Rite -- 170 -- .80
Coffee with Soy Milk -- 35 .40

Dinner: (Using $12 budget at Hula's Modern Tiki)
Pork Taco -- 400 -- $3.28 including tax
House Salad w/a side of 1 tbs of dressing -- 225 -- $4.37 including tax
Plus a $2.00 tip

Total water intake 1/2 a jug -- .39

Total: -- 1305 calories -- $12.69
Total without eating out: -- $3.04

I had to go out to eat because my husband's organization (Association of Arizona Food Banks) benefits this month at Hula's Modern Tiki where every Monday for September Hula's is donating 10% of their gross profits to AAFB. I went during Happy Hour and got the specials to stay within the $12.00 budget we are allotted for food not approved by SNAP.

The eye opening thing about today is that I am on a diet, some people don't have the choice of eating less. I knew that Slim Rite would curb my appetite since I've been on diets before, but this is the first time I ever thought about the cost of food. Does being on a diet mean eating less and spending less? We will see as the week progresses, because knowing me I get sick of eating the same foods. Will I be able to vary my food choices and stay within the budget is the question.

Would you like to know if you can live on a $29.00 food budget click here for more information.

The Arizona SNAP Experience is sponsored by the Arizona Community Action Association

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