Pre-SNAP Challenge

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.

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The subtotal for all of my groceries was $30.42 for all 14 items.

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