A Spiritual Journey into SNAP

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

What are we eating: Breakfast & Lunch

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One reader asked for a log of what we eat these days. Is it all rice and ramen noodles?  I have done that before. It was called graduate school. But in those days I had $150 per week for all of my expenses, not just food!

For us breakfast and lunch are the meals that have changed least.  For breakfast, we’re all eating hot cereal at this time of year. Your choices are oatmeal, grits or cream of rice, depending on which grain you feel like starting with. The girls each have a glass of milk and Rose and David have orange juice. I have tea. We usually make two or three pieces of toast—whatever happens to be around—and share that as well. We also have some cold cereal around for a change of pace. Wegmans brand raisin bran is an awesome value at $1.99 per box.

Lunch hasn’t changed much either. David and I seldom eat a formal lunch. The big change is, perhaps, that David restrains his urge to travel to the bookstore for the daily bag of pretzels. I have been foregoing my usual handful of nuts at 2 p.m. and foraging around campus instead. Someone has usually brought in some sort of snack that can be found when the blood sugar gets perilously low. What I usually find probably isn’t as healthy as the nuts, but it’s not like I’m Supersizing for the month.

The girls’ lunches haven’t changed much. They still bring lunch to school each day. Here’s a typical offering:

Here are two typical lunches. Some left-overs, granola bar, hard boiled egg, fruit and veggies.

Here are two typical lunches. Some left-overs, granola bar, hard boiled egg, fruit and veggies.

Each girl got a container of left overs. On this particular day it was pea curry on rice. Each has a granola bar and a hard boiled egg. And one compartment is reserved for the fruit or veggie of choice. Orange for Laurel; carrots and cukes for Rose. Some days a half sandwich replaces the leftovers. Some days are two-veggie days. But the idea is all the same.

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