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.: Eating Organic on a Food Stamp Budget --> archive

Week 4 - Wednesday - Spring

Best Box EverDear Everyone in Maine: I apologize in advance for the delicious meals I'm going to be able to make with this box of summer produce.

Isn't this something? In looking through my cookbooks for ideas, though, I realize that it's going to be a little harder than it looks—many of these summer squash recipes call for a nice, ripe tomato, and we're weeks out from that. I can hear you now: "Oh, boo hoo hoo". You're right. I'll manage. I put the basil in a cup of water on the counter and cover it with a plastic bag, and put everything but the onion into the crisper.

It has warmed up, and it's starting again to feel like summer. Perhaps not quite warm enough to pull out my Mock Tuna Salad (Don't Mock the Tuna!) but it will be soon. This year, I believe I'll use my dilled carrot pickles instead of the usual dill relish.

I made some Summer Tea on Monday, and today I drink the last of it. I put some more out on the porch in the middle of the afternoon. There's probably not quite enough time for it to sufficiently steep—I'll bring it in in the morning. Have you noticed how fast things happen when it's really hot? Summer tea put out in the morning, ready by lunchtime. Laundry on the line, bone dry in two hours. In the Spring, though, everything takes its time.

Breakfast is coffee and muesli & yogurt. Lunch for Jesse is Split Pea Soup, a grapefruit, and some cake. How's that for a combination? I hope he doesn't eat it all in a row. I have leftover Peas and Rice, the pickles, and a grapefruit.

Jesse's at a business dinner tonight, so (for ease of accounting) I ignore all the wonderful box produce and make myself some lentils and rice and read a book while I eat.

Wednesday total: $4.31. Remaining weekly allowance: $44.50.

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It's so helpful and refreshing to read about all of the success you have with this project! I was part of a huge dining co-op in college, and the culture of eating cheap and local was so pervasive that it was easy to follow. It's much harder now that I have a more structured schedule and my boyfriend and I only cook for two (instead of 100!). But you are reminding me that simple food is a great way to eat. . . now I just need a kick in the pants to get back in the habit without buying more cookbooks! Your ideas are helping me do just that. Thanks, Rebecca!

I applaud your effort and at the same time, it scares me... but then, you're consistently (looking at the summary on the right) under budget so this proves it *can* be done, right? But done with a lot of time, education... preparation... and quite honestly much of America that lives on food stamps (I'm guessing here if only because I know nothing about their conditions) may have more than one job and might just be too tired at the end of working to bother making a nice meal....

i applaud your efforts but being home all day gives you the time and the energy to cook a lot of things that normal people don't have the time to do.

a lot of families on food stamps are single parent scenarios who are working full time and raising kids.

i wonder how on-target you would be if you didn't have the luxury of being home and you had to care for children as well (getting home at 7pm gives no time to make beans that night, i'll tell you that much or bake a loaf of bread.)

plus, a lot of food stamp consumers aren't necessarily educated on how to make a lot of things from scratch.

I just wanted to respond to the people saying that the challenge can't be done- well, I think the point is that it IS hard. Yes, most people on food stamps might work all day and come home really tired. While she is showing this is possible to do organically, I think part of the point is showing how the money is not enough.

Then again, IMO part of the problem *IS* that people no longer no how to make food from scratch. I manage to eat mostly organic, and much is local for under the "average" of $68/week, but fortunately that is feeding me and usually at least one other person at least 5-6 days of the week.

I just went to the USDA site to check out the Thrifty Food Plan. At their calculations my family would be spending $124.10 for food alone (no cleaning supplies, laundry, etc). Man! I must be doing something really wrong because most of the time I don't have $100 a week to spend and that includes the non-food stuff. That being said, it would be hard to feed a family of 4 organically at the Thrifty price if you weren't cooking vegetarian. Beef at our local supermarket (the only one within 20 miles that carries grass fed, free range or organicly raised meat of any sort) was $6 per lb for ground beef and $16(!!!!) per lb for steak. I do what I can. I've switched to organic milk (at double the price), cage free brown eggs and as much produce as I can get here in SW PA.
I do want to thank you for doing this blog. It has given me hope that with some better planning, that I can feed my family better quality foods and still stay within my budget.

Those of us in Indiana will forgive you for the fresh produce as well. I just keep telling myself that summer is right around the corner and the farmer's market beckons...

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about this project

» How did it begin?
» Week 1: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Photos | Summary: Under budget - $3.20
» Week 2: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Photos | Summary: Under budget - $13.34
» Week 3: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Photos | Summary: Under budget - $7.15
» Week 4: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Photos | Summary: Under budget - $6.41
» Week 5: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Photos

other food challenges

» Above Average Jane
» The Eat Local Challenge
» The April 2007 Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge
» Half-Changed World
» Slow Food for Low and Moderate Income People
» Tinotopia's Food Stamp Diet

other food projects

Food is a Munition of War: living for one month on UK WWII rations

blogging by the book

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