A Spiritual Journey into SNAP

One family's experiment living on a food-stamp budget

Score Card—Week 3

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We have completed our third week of the Lenten SNAP Challenge: trying to eat—hopefully even eat well—on $147 per week for our family of four. We are almost half way through our journey. How did we do?

We had $6.55 left over at the end of the week.

We had a very light week in terms of feeding others. Just a few extra kids here for meals a few times during the week and other gift of food helped out tremendously.

We did splurge on meat for one extended meal this week. David was craving pabellón criollo, the national dish of Venezuala. It is composed of stewed meat ($12.09), black beans ($7.89), rice, fried plantains ($1.00) with a fried egg on top. At $20.98 this was by far our most expensive meal this week. However, we made an extra big pot of beans and spread it over three dinners, a lunch and a couple of snacks, which made it more like $7 per meal.

The trade-off came on Saturday. The gym was hosting a parents-night-out benefit and we wanted to participate. Just think: Four hours to ourselves! Under normal circumstances, we would have gone out for a leisurely dinner. However, under our rules, that would have counted toward our budget and I knew were were going to be close. So, instead of dinner, we had leftovers at home, went out for dessert ($14—counted toward our budget), and then went to a movie (Monuments Men). I rather missed dining with my husband, but we made a rain check for dinner during the next parents-night-out. Thankfully, our SNAP fast will only last 40 days.

Stay tuned for next week. I’m predicting a rough time with the budget. I am scheduled to bring dinner for EfM again on Monday and we have two birthdays in the coming week.

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