Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Recap/SNAP Challenge

Good morning folks!!

Happy fall!! We had absolutely amazingly beautiful weather here last weekend!!

I've been telling my runners that the cooler, fall temperatures would improve their performance. I don't think that they really believed me until they got to experience it first hand last Saturday.  We were scheduled to run the Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa Quarter Marathon. I really didn't have a goal time or race strategy when I started. I approached it as a training run. I met my group prior to the run. We planned to run a 12:00 minute pace and 9:1 intervals. I encouraged them to challenge themselves and to implement their own race strategies. I also told them not to be surprised if I ran faster. We started out a little faster than we planned. We took our first walk break at about 10 minutes. We did the first mile in 11:42. I knew that the last couple miles of the course was hilly so I slowed us down to a 12:00. They were running strong and actually skipped a few of the walk intervals when we got down to Riverside Drive. It was a great race and I'm really proud of my runners for challenging themselves!! 

Now, switching gears.....a couple of weeks ago, I posted about Hunger Awareness month and the changes to the SNAP program. Last week, our government pass the Farm Bill, which will decrease SNAP benefits over the next 10 years. This has been weighing heavily on my mind since I learned about it. How do you feed your family on $4 per person per day? Well, I have decided to see for myself. This week, hubs and I will be doing the SNAP challenge. I budgeted $4.50 per person x 5 days giving us $45 to spend on 5 days worth of groceries. I'm already a pretty frugal shopper and meal planner, so I felt pretty confident that I could come in below my budget. Here's what I got and spent:

Quick cook oatmeal 2.29
Raisins 1.19
Peanut butter 1.89
Bread 1.00
Celery 1.78
Carrots .49 x 2
Eggs 1.09 x 2
Frozen mixed vegetables .98
Brown rice 1.49
Can of black beans .59
Whole wheat pasta 1.00
Red beans rice mix .99
Can of mexi corn .79
1.5 lbs chicken breast 4.28
1 lb ground turkey 3.49
Canned tomatoes . 59
Tomato juice 1.39
Turkey smoked sausage 2.29
5 lb bag of russet potatoes 2.19
5 cans tuna in water 4.88

My total for all of this: $36.26

I got a loaf of bread too, it just didn't make it in the photo.
I shopped at ALDI, which helped keep my cost down. I had to go to Walmart for a few items, but I purchased store brand. I bought bulk oatmeal and made my own home made instant oatmeal packets. I "boiled" a dozen eggs to eat with breakfast or lunch or as a snack. Lunch is tuna sandwiches or peanut butter sandwiches. The turkey, frozen veggies, tomato juice and pasta was supposed to be a soup but it actually turned out more like a casserole or goulash. It is still tasty and made an LOT!! I also cooked the chicken breasts with the canned tomatoes, corn, black beans and rice. We still have the turkey sausage with black beans and rice for later in the week. For snacks, I planned carrots or celery and peanut butter, or raisins. Hubs was a little dubious about the challenge, but when he saw all the food I had packed for his lunch today, he changed his mind. I'll keep you posted on our progress daily. And I encourage you to find out more about how you can help fight hunger in America.

Have a fabulous Monday!!


  1. SNAP by its definition is only meant to be supplemental nutritional assistance, not the only source, I know some families rely on it as such, but it is not meant to be the only source of food income. This is also why food banks exist to help people who cannot otherwise afford food even with SNAP, as far as I can tell here in Montana people don't need to feed their kids more than 1 meal a day if they can't afford it even then there are programs that send food home with kids. Free breakfasts and lunches are provided at the schools and parks even through the summer.
    I would say you have proved that with careful planning and care you can eat well off of your budget. SNAP is a great and needed program I think in my eyes it is aggravating to see so many people at Walmart etc, getting carts full of junkfood with SNAP, while talking on their smart phones and then climbing into their SUVs. If they have so much money for those things why are my tax dollars paying for their junk food so they can be obese and eat up more of my tax dollars with healthcare. These people should be required to be educated about healthy foods and take responsibility for their health.
    Don't get me wrong I am not against these programs I just hate abuse :/ sorry for the rant. Food stamps should be taken out of the farm bill. People whine about the farm bill being so expensive but programs like SNAP make up nearly 80% of it. aaack there I go again sorry.

    You should give frugal shopping lessons btw, I don't think I ever do that well!
    Glad you had a great run with your group!

    1. I'm not trying to strike up a political debate or argue about entitlement programs. As a nurse case manager, I know better than most that there is abuse of the system. But, with 48 million hungry people in America, I think that abuse is the exception rather than the rule. I'm not doing this for glory or anything like that. I've been a recipient of food stamps in the past. My concern was $4 per person per day isn't much. How do you put healthy, well balanced, nutritious meals on the table. I know there has to be a way and that's what I'm hoping to prove.