Food Stamp Challenge: Day 1

Today marks Day 1 of my Food Stamp Challenge! I am also double-posting this post on my personal blog ( I’m used to taking and pictures of every shopping trip I take and a lot of my food, so you’ll probably notice that in my posts!

This week I will see if it’s possible to live on $30, the allowance given to a person on Food Stamps, or SNAPS. Before I begin, I must address that I am an avid couponer and an all-around frugal gal. I’ll be using my coupon skills and frugal ways to eat on $4.30 a day and keep it pretty healthy! I have nothing against Ramen, and you’ll probably see me eating it sometime this week, but I’d like to show how it is possible to get by on $30 a week by eating things a bit more nutritious than Ramen noodles!

I went shopping over the weekend to pick up somethings for this assignment. Not everything I’ll be eating this week is pictured, obviously, but here’s just an idea. At Safeway, I spent $7.50 on 4 cans of soup, 1 can of caramel, 1 salt shaker (we were low and it was only $0.49!), and some hand soap. The salt and hand soap aren’t included in my $30 allowance, as you can’t use food stamps to pay for them and condiments aren’t included. The soup, caramel, and carrots cost me just $4.96. I forgot to get apples for the caramel, so hopefully I have time to stop at the farmers market tomorrow and pick up some (at an atrociously high price).

For breakfast I had a Clif Zbar (one of my favorite bars!). I bought the box of 5 on sale for $2.50, meaning each bar costs $0.50. In between classes, I ate a pack of fruit snacks. They were recently on sale at Safeway for $0.99/box. I got them for FREE after my coupon. For lunch, I ate leftover homemade chicken noodle soup from the day before. The chicken broth was made from a chicken we ate over the weekend. The chicken cost $3.44, plus I was able to get 3 meals (and leftovers out of it). It’s hard to say exactly how much this one homemade bowl of soup really cost me, so I’m going to estimate and say $0.50, though I’m sure it was probably less. The Clif bar is organic, my Mott’s fruit snacks have no artificial coloring, and my soup was homemade. Sounds like some decent, health conscious foods if you ask me!

Lastly, dinner consisted of chicken, pasta and some veggies. The chicken breasts were $1.99/lb (I ate less than .5lb), frozen veggies were $1/bag (I didn’t eat the whole bag myself!), and the pasta was on sale for $1/box. I also had some ice tea that I made myself. This meal was shared between 3 people. I’m estimating that dinner cost me $2.

That brings my total for the day to $3! Great start! 🙂

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