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.: May 2007 --> The (Organic) Thrifty Food Plan Challenge

The (Organic) Thrifty Food Plan Challenge

» Whole Wheat Mushroom PizzaI'm still tweaking the website, but I'd like to introduce my latest project: The (Organic) Thrifty Food Plan Challenge Eating Organic on a Food Stamp Budget. (I've been persuaded that the second one is a snappier name.)

We eat well. Maybe a little too well, judging from our waistlines. And we eat pretty inexpensively, too. So the recent spate of publicity about Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's committment to eat food totalling only $21 for one week (the amount an average Oregon food stamp recipient receives) caught my attention.

Now, the Governor's stunt is a little misleading: no one expects The government doesn't expect food stamp recipients to eat on only $21 a week (though I'm sure some people try). The USDA's Thrifty Food Plan [pdf] (from which food stamp allotments are derived) is spartan enough, but the most recent figures provide an adult male between the ages of 20 and 50 years of age with $35.40 a week for food—part of which will be provided by food stamps, and part by the individual, depending on their income. Regardless, the Governor's point is well taken. It's not a lot of money to spend on a week's worth of food.

I pride myself on my thrifty shopping habits. I've also been fortunate in these last few years to be able to afford to buy organic and locally grown fresh food most of the time. So I've decided to take the Governor's challenge a step further. I'd like to see if I can feed the two of us for one month on a "Thrifty Food Plan" budget using organic food. My budget: 74.00/week or 320.80/month, the USDA "Thrifty" standard for a family of 2 adults, aged 20-50 years.

I just completed my first week. I spent more than I thought I would, but in general, I think it's going pretty well. You can read today's entry, how I'm accounting for individual items, my Sunday's week-end summary, or just start at the beginning and read from there.

 [ 05.08.07 ]


That's a really formidable thing to be doing and you make me feel suitably ashamed of the vast amount of our income our little family spends on food, organic and otherwise, a lot of which could probably be categorised as plain greed. You've inspired me to go away and do a proper review!!

I would be interested in seeing a time-investment tally with your weekly review. In my experience, the poorer I've been the more time it takes to "get by." Laudromats, public transportation, and cooking from scratch can quickly suck up those few free hours. The implications for family life can be significant: less time with the kids, less time for personal improvement or continuing education; less time for sleep or preventative health measures. The amount of energy it takes to get out of poverty often feels akin to approaching the speed of light.

Hi! I really don't think the food stamp challenge is much of a challenge, when most of the people I know have more food when they get food stamps. we are a family of 3 , two adults and 1 teenage boy and don't spend only $150 a month for us all.I'm on anothe yahoo group and they feed whole families of 7 and 8 with less than $200 month for some families. The amount $320 a month for 2 people is a lot. My sister's husband lost his job last year and they got $750 a month for food for 2 adults and 5 kids. She called the welfare & asked if that was the right amount & they said yes. She only spend $400 a month when he was working.Now he is back to work and they don'tget them anymore.



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