Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Food Stamp Challenge - Day 1

Live for 5 days on $1.00 per meal (or a total of $3.00) per day. Keep a record of prices and items.

Day 1 - September 25, 2007

I decided to go to Walmart for food shopping thinking I could find good deals on food. As I started in the produce aisle, I kept finding things that were $1.00 +. My approach on the project was to not only survive on $3.00 a day on food but I also wanted to find the healthiest choices while doing so. I wanted to make sure I had some type of fruit in my cart because all I picked up were veggies, celery, cabbage, broccoli, and carrots. The cheapest fruit I saw were plums at .98/lb, so I bought .90 lbs worth of plums which equates to 6-7 plums. The produce isle was the easiest part, most likely because I was just starting. Next I went to get bread, White bread was $1.07 and wheat was $1.18. White bread is gross, I would rather spend that extra $0.11 on walmart's wheat bread. Being a very picky eater was making this shopping experience even more complicated. I searched for the cheapest things in each aisle that I liked and could make a meal out of. I picked up some canned beans at $0.58 per can, and macaroni at $0.38, rice for a $1.00, thinking in the back of my head, I can make this work. As I'm strolling down the juice aisle, I decide to add up my items. By the time I got to juice, I was at $11.40, with no meat, eggs, milk, butter, cheese or breakfast items. For breakfast I decided that I would eat yogurt with granola, one of my favorite snacks/breakfast meals. But when I went down the granola aisle. The cheapest box I found was $2.72 and the large container of plain yogurt was $1.57. Something had to go. This is what made the project depressing, because not only did I have no protein in my cart, but I really wanted the yogurt and granola. So I stood in the middle of an aisle for a while trying to decide what to do. Take out some potential lunches, or snacks for the yogurt and granola, or leave the two foods I wanted really badly aside.
As I brought my items up to the register, I put everything up on the belt except the applesauce, broccoli, and chicken noodle soup, to wait for my subtotal and add the granola and yogurt if I could. By adding the yogurt and granola my subtotal was $15.28. MAN! The yogurt and granola had to go. I added the other things that were in my cart and my total was $14.31.
Frustrated and depressed, I left Wal-mart with 4 veggies, 1 fruit, yellow rice, a box of elbow macaroni, a loaf of bread, a can of red kidney beans, spaghetti-o's and chicken noodle soup, a can of peanuts, applesauce, and a box of butter in three plastic bags for 5 days.

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