It’s been a while but I am back! I have definitely thought about you, dear blog. Just never acted on those impulses.
I’ve got lots on my mind but the subject of a food budget is the most recent.
I just spent a good 45 minutes in a google daze….you know, when you google one thing (in this case, it was how to keep stupid, dumb squirrels out of my garden) and end up on something totally unrelated to the original search – like food budgets. I ran across a challenge from the San Francisco Food Bank called Hunger Challenge 2010. The jist of it is to put yourself on a food stamp budget of $28/person for a week, which apparently is the average budget for a food stamp recipient in San Francisco. So, for a family of 4, the budget would be $112 for the week. My first thought was “I could totally do that”….so I signed up for the challenge for 2011.
Our food budget is around $250-$300 a month for all 4 of us. That would equal to about $62 – $75/week for all 4 of us. So this is going to be easy peasy, right? But wait! The rules state that you cannot accept free food or drinks (no free coffee, etc). If you go to someone’s house for a meal, you have to plan that in. No eating out – because someone who is on food stamps would most likely not be eating out. If you have a garden, whatever you take out of it has to be counted against your total as a urban food stamper would most likely not have a garden (or have the time to maintain it).
Hmmmmmmmmmm………..it seems weird to me that you can’t accept free food. I would imagine anyone who really needs the food would accept the free food. Right?? I would also imagine that someone on food stamps would jump at the chance to eat at someone’s house as that is one meal they don’t have to worry about paying for. And ANYONE can grow veggies and some fruit – no matter where they live. Food can be grown in containers on your back porch, on a window sill….wherever you have room. It may not be a lot……but it can be done.
So that made me rethink the challenge and tailor it to my needs. I have a veggie garden this year and will use it and NOT count it. If someone wants to feed me for dinner, or whatever…..I’ll gladly accept it and NOT count it against my weekly total. And golly gee, if you want to buy me a free Starbucks, I’ll take it. 🙂 My budget will be $65/week (for all 4 of us, not per person) and that will NOT include the food I already have in my fridge and freezers. The meals will be relatively healthy (because let’s face it – I am on a continuous “lifestyle change” lol ) but will include foods my kids (all 3 of them – love you, Honey) will actually eat.
And I will start today! Luckily, I have a slight obsession with cookbooks and food recipe blogs so I already have a ton of ideas. And I have no problem updating you all on this process.
On a slightly small tangent, I love when people who have money and want to “budget” their grocery bills. One blog I read is doing a challenge and the budget for 4 people was almost $600. Seriously???? We’d be eating steaks every night. Sounds good to me!
Hope you all are great and hopefully for most of you, summer is on the way! For us here in Spokane, we are still wearing jackets and in some cases, long-sleeved shirts. Gotta love it.