I Took The 29 Dollar Food Stamp Challenge

  This is what $29 worth of food looks like: the average SNAP (food stamp) payment for an individual each week. Kind of grim. Or not? I felt absolutely brilliant for buying it.

Seriously, who thinks about ” a food spending limit”? You and I just buy stuff that’s on sale, if possible, and that’s it.

Here’s my attempt at ” guerrilla economizing”:

College students will recognize the go-to stalwarts of: one 12-pack of ramen noodles and the two boxes of Mac and Cheese.

But wait- there’s  more !

Some tortillas, black beans, white rice, sour cream dip and Taco Bell green sauce equals: Chipotle’s . Four or five of those (average size).

Not impressive as Chipotle’s, but close enough for ” batchelor cuisine”.
A dozen eggs make four breakfast burritos, with the tortillas and some Taco Bell sauce.

Three ” fish tacos” with the last three tortillas and the three cans of Jalapeño fish steaks-an acquired taste….

Two Mac and  Cheese “dinners” with Tuna Fish. Tasty and filling- in a Batchelor cuisine kind of way. Work with me here folks. It beats the stuff those two guys on “Dual Survival” are eating ! 

A jar of crisp-(house brand for economy)- Dill Pickles, as snacks.

Two cucumbers- not sure how that fits in. I should have bought a pound of Roma tomatoes instead. Epic fail there.

Seven Ramen noodle soups with brocolli or cauliflower, plus a blast of Sriracha sauce ( not in my 29-dollar food basket) is actually breakfast for many Asians- with some additions, like beef or fish- not in my ” 29- dollar food allotment”.

The Cotto Salami I bought had no tortillas to make into ” sandwich wraps”. The biblical loaves and fishes were wanting…..Not criticizing any New Testament Rabbis here.

A gallon of milk equals sixteen 8 ounce glasses or about two a day. Nice to have.

Overall, this is not a head-on train-wreck. More like a sorry quixotic attempt.

As the nutritionists would say, this diet won’t get the job done. Not malnutrition. Just kind of borderline grueling, for we over-fed Westerners.

SNAP- the food assistance program- is defined as supplemental. It’s a hard slog nevertheless.

Gweneth Paltrow tried this challenge, and she and I both failed. I think I failed ” more succesfully”.


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