BUDGETMAW   13,170
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Sunday (Day 13)

Monday, October 29, 2012

I went to the Farmers Market on Saturday, expecting to get eggs and maybe another spaghetti squash or two. I figured that the summer veggies would be long gone. I was wrong. There were still lots of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and green beans, and I even saw a little bit of okra. The fall crops were in, too - cabbage, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, winter squash of every variety you've ever heard of and a bunch you haven't heard of, too. Plus the usual meats and cheese and honey and maple syrup (did you know that Indiana used to produce more maple syrup than any other state?) and such.

I caved. I couldn't see not eating all that lovely summer produce when it won't be produced locally again until next summer. (Though one farmer told me that he would continue to have it until the end of November. He puts a hoop house up over the plants when it gets cold, and that's why he still has summer veggies.) So I bought some green beans and tomatoes, big red bell peppers, and kohlrabi and daikon. I was planning to quit the FS Challenge until after the veggies are gone from the Farmers Market, but then decided to stick with it. I will do a bit of cheating, though. I'll price the green beans and tomatoes as though they were canned instead of fresh (so 59 cents a pound for each of them). The peppers I'll go ahead and price at the 50 cents each that I actually paid. And I think I'll price the kohlrabi like carrots, since that's sort of how I'll use them, to add some crunch. So it's not exactly accurate, but close. I'll probably end up eating more veggies, too, than I normally would on the Challenge, so my costs and my expenditures will be a bit higher. So I guess that will make it more of a challenge, won't it. I am so fortunate that I can cheat when I want to!

Sunday's food -
B - yogurt with flaxmeal, sunflower seeds and cinnamon
L - soup of homemade broth, kale, frozen spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, and coconut milk
S - pork steak and broccoli and carrots with butter
T - tea, gelatin, coconut milk

Estimated cost of Sunday's food - $4.10, which is the highest day yet. But still less than the $4.19 per day of the average food stamps for one person.


Summary - October 21 - 27

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Average daily
Calories - 1928
Fat - 150 grams (70% of calories)
Protein - 114 grams
Total carbs - 41 grams
Fiber - 15 grams
Net carbs - 26 grams

Estimated daily cost of food eaten - $3.64

Pounds lost - 1.6

Thoughts about week -

I had been losing weight until I started the Challenge last week, when I stopped. My losses started again when I started eating more calories. The five days on the Challenge last week I averaged 1519 calories per day, and lost .2 pound. This week (seven days), I averaged 1928 calories and lost 1.6 pounds. This has been the general trend for the past few months - the higher the calories the more I lose. It may be the calories, or it may be the fat, as I have intentionally added more fat to bring up the calories. Or it could be coincidence, though that would seem more likely if I were just looking at these two weeks and not a trend over several weeks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIOPPE 10/29/2012 11:45AM

    Or it could be that you are shaking your body up so it doesn't get used to the lower numbers? Who knows with weight loss. Either way, congrats and keep up the excellent work! :)

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SHEYLANGEL22 10/28/2012 4:40PM


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LIVERIGHTNOW 10/28/2012 3:30PM

    MAW: You are so diligent about gathering your important information. You are definitely entitled to draw conclusions

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Friday and Saturday (Days 11 and 12)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I bought a medium/large head of cauliflower the other day. It weighed two and a half pounds as purchased, 2 pounds without the big leaves or the core that sticks out the bottom of the head. I paid $1.69 for it, or 85 cents per pound. A pound of frozen cauliflower, if I can find it, is at least $1.29. So it's cheaper to buy fresh (at least this size at this price). Frozen is more convenient for some things, and it keeps longer, though fresh keeps quite a while, too. But fresh is better for a lot of things. You can use fresh for anything you can use frozen for, though the opposite isn't true. I've wondered how fresh and frozen compared but have never bothered to find out before.

You probably know that you can use the core/stems of the cauliflower in cauli-rice, fauxtatoes, fauxtato soup, etc.

Friday's food -
B - yogurt with flaxmeal, sunflower seeds and cinnamon
L - soup of broth, eggs, chives, kale and tomato
Sn - tea with coconut milk4
S - pork roast, creamed spinach
Sn - pork roast
T - tea with coconut milk and gelatin

Estimated cost of Friday's food - $3.25

Saturday's food -
B - eggs scrambled with Veggie Veggie Stuff in the drippings from last night's roast
L - salad of cauliflower, celery, mayo, mustard, and leftover pork
S - bacon and eggs scrambled with tomatoes and onion in bacon grease
T - tea with coconut milk and gelatin

Estimated cost of Saturday's food - $3.65

Average estimated daily cost of food for the week - $3.64


Thursday (Day 10)

Friday, October 26, 2012

They had pork shoulder roasts for 98 cents a pound last week. Half a pound, which makes about a cup, costs 49 cents, which is a lot less than 58 cents for 4 ounces of canned tuna. It makes a great salad, with some cauliflower, celery, mayo and mustard.

Yesterday’s food –
B – eggs and Veggie Veggie Stuff scrambled in butter
L – taco salad, of Taco Veggie Stuffing, shredded cabbage, and sour cream
S – tuna salad, of tuna, egg, celery, mayo, sunflower seeds
T – tea with gelatin and coconut milk

Estimated cost of the day’s food - $3.71


Wednesday (Day 9)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I've been working at bringing my Food Stamp Challenge records up to date. What with "buying" a lot of what I'm eating out of my pantry/freezer/fridge, I know that not everything has been accounted for in the budget. And I'm not sure how much of what I have in the house is F/S and what isn't. It would be a lot easier in a lot of ways to just lock away what isn't F/S so I know that I can eat what's out. I also need to make a list of what I have. Especially in the fridge, so I can eat it before it goes bad. But also so I don't get in a rut because I've forgotten I have things. This Food Stamp Challenge, at least the way I'm doing it, is a lot of work! It's a good thing I'm not working and/or going to school full time and/or raising a family and/or caring for other people.

Wednesday's food -
B - eggs and Veggie Veggie Stuff scrambled in butter
L - salad of chicken, mayo, celery, sunflower seeds
D - hamburger sauteed with onion, carrot, and cabbage
T - tea with gelatin and coconut milk

Estimated cost of food eaten - $3.85

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUDGETMAW 10/26/2012 3:34PM

  Thanks for your kind words!

The reason that I track what I spend as well as the cost of what I eat each day is because this comes out of the Food Stamp Challenge. If all I was trying to do was to keep my food costs down, then the daily costs would be enough. But the Food Stamp Challenge - seeing how we would do if we had to live on a Food Stamps budget - is different. There is a huge start up cost that isn't reflected in the daily costs. Most things are a lot cheaper if you buy a large quantity. For example, a tablespoon of mayo costs me about 3 cents - but only if I buy a quart jar of it. But even though I may only use part of the jar this month, I still have to buy the whole jar. A whole jar of mayo and a whole jar of mustard and a whole box of splenda and a whole pound of butter and a whole... You get the picture. If a person is starting from zilch, she may have to buy things in smaller quantities (a pint of mayo for $1.50 instead of a quart for $2.00), so the daily costs would be higher. If you are starting with some basics and just have to replace them as they run out, you can buy the larger, cheaper sizes.

So it all comes down to why I'm doing this. I'm trying to do a realistic Food Stamps budget. Is it really realistic? No, it's not. I have the time and transportation to run all over town to buy things on sale or at the cheapest place. I have the time to do the planning and the cooking. I have a working fridge and two working deep freezes so I can store things. I have a working stove and oven and microwave and toaster oven and two crock pots. I have a pressure cooker and pots and pans and utensiles. I have oodles of cookbooks and a computer I can use to find new recipes. And so on. And I'm not working multiple jobs or wondering where next month's rent will come from or raising a family or worrying about whether my family and I are safe or trying to decide whether to pay the electricity bill or the gas bill because I can't pay both. I am extremely blessed in many ways. But that's why I am trying to make it close to accurate from a financial point of view.

What matters is what YOU want to get from this. I don't expect you or anyone else to do the whole Food Stamps Challenge bit, but I hope that I can give you some ideas for cutting costs, and I hope that to get some ideas from you, too.

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SAASMITH 10/26/2012 1:20PM

  I agree, don't drive yourself nuts with the F/S costs. Giving yourself a general breakdown of costs of what you are using is good enough. Doesn't matter when you actually purchased it, or with what type of funds. You've set yourself a goal of $130, That's the important part.
I like how you are showing you can do this. I think I might start a similar thing on my blog, maybe we can compare notes?While I don't get food stamps, I seriously would like to get our food budget down as low as possible. We're had some serious financial setbacks this year that have put us way behind on everything. Just on regular trips to the store, not counting all the little side trips for milk etc, we spend between $600 and $800 a month on groceries. It will take me a while to get on an even keel. I'm trying to decide if I want to show costs for myself or for my whole family. I have a lot of carby stuff in my cabinets that my family will need to eat, most of which they can cook on the nights that I work, and that I will still probably purchase for them, like bread for sandwiches for lunchboxes and oatmeal for breakfast. None of them need to lose weight, in fact, all three of my kids really need to gain weight. They look like I'm eating all their food, lol.

Anyway, I like what you're doing!

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BUDGETMAW 10/25/2012 2:24PM

  Only if they happen to have food leftover from previous months to use. And if people on food stamps tend to run out of food by the third week of the month (which research suggests), then they're not likely to have much left in their pantries to use. At least that's the premise I'm operating under - that there isn't food leftover from last month to use this month.

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LIVINMYDREAMS 10/25/2012 12:45PM

    Maw, don't drive your self nuts with the Food/Stamp Challenge. Everyone uses stuff from their pantry, etc. anyway.

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