When I first heard about the SNAP Challenge, I was nervous and worried about not eating enough because I LOVE food. Some people say they eat to live but I live to eat. It might be the wrong mindset but if someone were to offer me free food, I would accept it in a heart beat (unless it was brussel sprouts).
Days leading up the SNAP Challenge, I would think about the meals I could make and what seasonings I could add to them to kick it up a notch. I would even lay awake at night thinking about what to buy at the store in preparation for the Challenge.
The Sunday before the “event,” Calli, Mac, Sarah and I went to Walmart to go shopping for our groceries. I had a good idea of what I wanted to make but wasn’t sure if I had enough money to do so. When we got there, I immediately saw bananas and grabbed a bunch before Calli said she was going to wait until we were in the grocery section to buy food (I forgot the purpose of our shopping trip but knew I needed bananas for the house). So, I put them back and led the pack that way.
While shopping, there were so many temptations! We saw fries for a little over a dollar and grabbed some immediately–I later put mine back because I was going over budget and hadn’t gotten some other groceries I needed. I noticed I tend to buy name brand products because I know I won’t be disappointed from it.
The trip in total took about an hour and it was one of the worst shopping trips I’ve ever been on. Before going shopping, I told my mom about the Challenge and she suggested to make pasta with tomatoes. So when we got there I got big, fresh tomatoes and an onion for less than $3 and after evaluating what I had in my cart and how much I would get out of them, I put back both the onion and tomatoes. The amount of times I went back and forth between the meat section and the canned vegetable section was ridiculous. I wasn’t sure if the chicken was a necessity or if I could get frozen chicken for less. I decided I would get more “bang for my buck” if I went with the fresh chicken. But that meant I would be low on veggies 🙁
When I got home, I labeled all of my SNAP goods with Post-Its so I can easily tell what I can and cannot eat. It think it’ll make me accountable for cheating (if I do).
I’m lucky enough to be use to buying what I want when I see it and not being conscious of the cost. Hopefully, this Challenge will help put things in perspective and try to understand what those on SNAP feel like.
The subtotal for all of my groceries was $30.42 for all 14 items.