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October Food Stamp Challenge - Day 23 (Thursda

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I know, I said yesterday that I quit. But I changed my mind. I decided that I might as well go ahead and finish out the month, even if I do go over. And I have. I'm at about $122, and my budget for the month is $120. But so be it. That doesn't mean I should give up. And I've got lots of food left. I'll probably get a 10 pound bag of chicken legs from Walmart ($6.90, or 69 cents a pound) but because I want to make chicken broth, not because I need the chicken as protein. That's one difference between having a cold at the beginning of the month like I did last month and the end of the month like I have this month. There's no money in the budget to buy the chicken, which is really more for medicinal purposes than food. Oh well.

Dana Carpender has talked about buying 50 pound bags of chicken backs for her dogs. She gets them/got them from a chicken processing plant. Last I heard, which was a few years ago, they were 25 cents a pound. I need to talk to her about it. If the chicken if people grade (hasn't been on the floor, and so forth), I'd like to get some and make chicken broth with them. She said that there is quite a bit of meat still on the bones, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 10/24/2014 2:04AM

    Chicken backs sounds like a good idea. I really like making soup with my bone broth, but don't often collect enough bones to make it.

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The end of the challenge

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I quit. I didn't go through the end of the month. Not because I wasn't willing to eat cheaply, but because I wasn't willing to eat properly and all of my Food Stamp Challenge food was good, healthy food. I've been eating way off plan since late Saturday. I want to say that it's because I'm sick, but that's bogus. I started the September challenge sick and it worked out just fine. Nope, I just don't want to eat on my healthy, low carb plan.

And I got to thinking about how this probably isn't very different than people who quit eating on a food stamp budget because they don't want to any more. Because they want instant gratification instead of budgeting and allocating funds and planning and so forth. I've been wanting (and getting) instant gratification instead of budgeting and allocating and planning and so forth, too. It's giving me a whole different perspective on choices that people who have a very limited food budget by necessity (instead of by choice, like me) make. And I guess that's the point of the food stamp challenge, anyway, isn't it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUDGETMAW 10/23/2014 8:03AM

  You've got it - the time and effort to plan. How many people have the time and energy I have to make it work? Not a lot. And dear old Indiana is cutting back on food stamps starting next year. If you don't work or attend job training, you don't get food stamps. Well, you get food stamps for three months out of three years, but that's it. Nothing there about looking for work. You either find a job (or train for a job, though I don't know how many times you're allowed to do that) or you don't eat. Which leaves all that much more time and energy for planning, shopping, preparing, etc. your food.

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MRTHING2000 10/23/2014 6:18AM

    You did far better than I ever could have! It shows what is possible if given the time and effort to plan. For those who say they can't eat healthy because it is expensive--MYTH BUSTED. Like everything worthwhile, it takes effort


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DEWILL2 10/22/2014 9:19PM

    good luck

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ARNETTELEE 10/22/2014 9:04PM

  Happy sparking!

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October Food Stamp Challenge - Days 16 and 17 (Thursday and Friday)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Went to Aldi Friday for fresh veggies, which were on sale. Would have gotten some tomatoes, but they were out. The cabbage was a big head. I don't know if you've shopped there, but everything is priced by the "package." A head of cabbage, for example, is $1.49. Sometimes it's a great big head of cabbage and sometimes it's a scrawny little head. Same price either way. Of course, some things are priced that way at other stores, too. Cauliflower, for example, or iceberg lettuce or packs of romaine. For some reason, it surprises me with cabbage, though.

3 8-ounce packages of mushrooms - $2.97
3 lb bag of onions - 99 cents
big head of cabbage - $1.49

Total spent today = $5.45
Total spent to date = $83.80
Remaining = $36.20

Got my flu shot Friday at CVS. They've got a pretty good marketing ploy. They give you the shot and a coupon good for 20% off stuff in the store. Then they tell you to stay in the store for at least 5 minutes to make sure you don't have some strange reaction, but that you don't need to wait there in the pharmacy. You're welcome to get up and shop. I lucked out. They had iron tablets on sale, buy one get one half off, so I got two bottles of them. Figured the coupon wouldn't work with them, since it says very clearly that it doesn't apply to stuff on sale. It did, though. So I got 50% off the second bottle (or 25% off both of them) plus another 20% off the TOTAL price with the coupon, for a total of 45% off! Almost buy one get one free. I have some kind of anemia that doesn't show up in the normal blood work (hemogoblin levels are fine) but only when they check for ferratin, which you have to ask them to do. Low ferratin levels can be associated with Restless Leg Syndrome, though I haven't noticed much difference when I do take the supplements.

Thursday I had a scramble of eggs, green bell pepper (from friends' garden), onion, and green tomato (from friends' garden), all cooked in coconut oil, plus some lettuce to bring up the veggies. I'm trying for about a pound of veggies a day. Supper was a tuna salad (tuna, lettuce, celery, carrots, flax and mayo). And I had tea with sweetener and cream as a snack to bring up the calories. Still a bit low, but within an acceptable range. Just definitely at the low end of the range.

Friday I had my usual usual cauliflower and egg salad for lunch.

Supper was chicken liver pate salad. Or something like that. I cooked a bunch of onions in coconut oil (would have used butter if I'd had it, but the coconut oil turned out ok), took them out and then cooked the chicken livers in the remaining oil. Pulsed it a few times in the food processor and divided it into five servings. Mixed up one serving with two hard-boiled eggs and a bunch of mayo, added it to lettuce and mixed it all up. Surprisingly good. I've had the chicken liver pate stuff on lettuce leaves before, so figured it should be ok mixed in with the lettuce. And I was right. I froze two servings and have two servings left in the fridge, though I may freeze one of those. While liver is good for you, too much liver isn't. Let's see. 14 days left in the month and the challenge, and four servings of chicken liver pate, so I could have it every three days for the rest of the month. Sounds good to me.

The only problem with the chicken liver pate is that I used a bunch of coconut oil and I need to ration it for the rest of the month.

Woubbie, does it sound better to say that there are 14 days left in the month than that the month is half over?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 10/18/2014 3:24PM

    Yes, but Kyle's 18th birthday is zooming up fast so any way you put it omigod omigod omigod we're running out of time!!!! Four more merit badges to finish!!!!

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VEG954 10/18/2014 10:44AM

  I am always in awe of how you can stretch a buck!

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October Food Stamp Challenge - Day 15 (Wednesday)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Same ol' same ol'. Cauliflower and egg salad for lunch. Squash leaf and egg soup for supper. Didn't get anything out in time to thaw for supper, which is reason for eggs twice. Got out a package of chicken livers, though, and they're in the fridge to thaw. Should be ready to eat tomorrow. Oh, I should record how much I "paid" for them. 1.8 pounds at $1.59 a pound (I'll have to check that price the next time I'm at Walmart) is $2.86, bringing my total to $78.35. Leaving $41.65 for the second half of the challenge. It's half over!

I probably have enough veggies to make it through the rest of the month, but Aldi has some good specials this week so I'll probably get some more. Mushrooms for 99 cents for 8 ounces. Roma tomatoes for 99 cents for 20 ounces. Three green peppers for $1.49. Three pounds of onions for 99 cents. I'll probably get some mushrooms and tomatoes to have this month, and a bag of onions to chop up and freeze. Mushrooms and tomatoes are good in my egg drop soup, which has been squash leaf soup lately. Usually there's not as much veggie in it. I should pick a bunch of squash leaves the next time I'm at the food pantry and see about maybe freezing them.

Just did a recap of purchases and what I have left a few days ago. I'll wait until the 20th or 21st to do another.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 10/17/2014 9:14PM

    And all I can focus on is "half over".


Another month bites the dust.

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VEG954 10/16/2014 9:38AM

  You are the Queen of budget stretching!

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October Food Stamp Challenge - Day 14 (Tuesday)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Back on track today. Hurray!

Lunch was a salad of tuna, lettuce, carrot, mayo, and flaxmeal. Supper was a scramble of eggs, zucchini, onion, and broccoli cooked in coconut oil, plus a cup of tea with cream and splenda.

Don't remember who it was (Veg?) who said that if you add just a pinch of baking soda when you make a pot of tea a single teabag is enough for a quart of tea. Whoever it was was right! It really works. I make a pot (about 4 mugs) at a time with a single tea bag and it's strong enough for me. Not that I like it really strong, but I certainly couldn't get four cups from one tea bag in the past. Thanks.!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 10/15/2014 2:40PM

    Interesting tip! Wonder why it works?

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VEG954 10/15/2014 7:18AM

  You are very welcome.
Just make my one tea bag quart of tea this morning.
I try to take being frugal to the next level without being extreme.

BTW, coffee grounds and lea leaves are wonderful for plants.
So are crushed up egg shells.

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JAMBABY0 10/14/2014 10:05PM

    good for you and thanks for sharing

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JUNEAU2010 10/14/2014 9:53PM


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