Jeff’s SNAP Challenge – A Week at a Glance

Tonight we go shopping for groceries for the next week as part of our SNAP Challenge!We’re choosing Jon’s Marketplace in Valley Village because it’s a lot cheaper than most other places and has a great selection of fresh meat and produce. We’re going to use less than $37 – the average amount of supplemental nutrition assistance provided to an individual in the state of California – for our weekly grocery budget.

I usually buy groceries once a week. I’m an athlete and I need a  high amount of protein which I like to get  from eggs, chicken,  beef, and beans. The rest of my plate consists of vegetables and fruit. Normally I’m a  conservative shopper – my grocery bill comes out anywhere between $30-$60 depending on what I need to buy and what I decide to treat myself with. Sometimes that chunk of Gouda cheese can’t be left by its lonesome on the shelf – am I right?

It amazes me how much my grocery bill can fluctuate  when I’m not paying attention! Have you ever found yourself shopping and getting excited about all the deals you’re scoring on your favorite food items only to ring up $50 over what you hoped to spend that week? That’s definitely happened to me.

Ask yourself these questions and feel free to post your answers below!

  1. How much does your grocery bill cost you each time you go out?
  2. How frequently do you shop?
  3. Do you cook all your meals?
  4. How many times per week do you go out to eat?

Here’s my stats: 

  1. About $45
  2. Weekly
  3. I cook all my meals
  4. About 4 times per wweek

This SNAP Challenge is forcing me to plan my meals in advanced so I know exactly what to buy at the store. I won’t have the luxury of having a fully stocked fridge or pantry and I definitely can’t afford to waste an ounce of food! However, I will attempt to still cook delicious tasting food as cooking is one of my hobbies. I believe you can eat cheap meals that are both healthy and delicious!

I want to stress an important reality that a lot of us might miss: Although this may be difficult for me, I’m able to spend significantly more than $34 at the store for a week’s worth of groceries. A lot of individuals aren’t able, and often times they have to decide between eating for the next few days and other necessities such as getting an oil change.

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