Today came in at $2.65. Three cups of coffee (pure indulgence) and oatmeal for breakfast, no lunch, and a turkey sandwich and some fruit for dinner.
For the entire week, I spent $23.83 on food, with $4.17 left in a budget of $28 for the week.
It wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t buckets-o-fun either. The only thing I would have done differently was pricing the oatmeal and not buying that box of cold cereal. I’m looking forward to having a more varied diet (like some fruit in the oatmeal).
Packing a lunch every day, washing the containers every day, eating the same thing every day took some things away from my day (less time in the morning to relax before work) and were mildly irritating. Some good things though were that I lost one pound in weight and learned something about portion size/control and when I feel full versus eating everything on the plate.
I think I’ve developed at least an inkling of what it must be to face the supermarket with a strict budget, trying to plan meals around that, and then making it all work. Week after week. Some people have mentioned that they think the farmers’ markets accept food stamps and will often provide a better price for people using food stamps. It that is so, that’s a great resource in addition to the food banks.
I estimated that in a normal week, I probably spend around $77 on food and beverages. Rounding down what was spent this week, it comes to a difference of $54 (yikes!). So I will donate that amount to the San Francisco Food Bank for providing this challenge.