Sunday, February 03, 2013
I couldn't figure out why it's been so much harder to keep my daily food costs under $3 this time. I've done it before with no trouble at all. Sure, prices have gone up, but not that much. Well, I've figured out what's going on. I'm spending about 50 cents a day on my tea with splenda, gelatin, coconut milk, and cinnamon stick. That's 25 cents, twice a day. The gelatin itself is 9 cents twice a day. So what to do about it? The first thing that came to mind was to not count it, since it's really for medicinal purposes. Which actually happens to be true, which is always handy when one is trying to justify something. But then I realized that it doesn't really matter since I don't really have to live on a food stamps budget. This is just a personal challenge that I have undertaken and it doesn't matter whether I succeed or fail with it. So I'm going to loosen up a bit. I still want to keep my daily food costs under $100 for a 30 day month ($3.33 per day on average), but I'm not going to worry about keeping it under $3.00 per day. The average monthly food stamp benefit per person in Indiana is just over $132, so even at $4 per day I'd be spending less than the average benefit.
Last winter or some time when I was doing a Food Stamps Challenge, I listed some of the many advantages that I have over many people who really do have to rely on food stamps. I live alone, so don't have to consider anyone's wishes or tastes or needs but my own. I'm not trying to raise a family or go to school full time or work, so I have lots of time to play around with cooking and looking for recipes and driving all over town to get the best deals. I have a car so I don't have to try to carry my food on public transportation. I have two freezers in addition to the freezer in my refrigerator, so I can buy in bulk and I can freeze leftovers. I have two crockpots, a toaster oven, a microwave, two blenders, a stick blender, a food processor, and lots of other kitchen gadgets to make it easier for me. I have an Aldi (cheap), Walmart (sort of cheap), Sam's (sometimes cheap), as well as Kroger and Marsh (not so cheap, either one, but with some really good deals) nearby. These Food Stamp Challenges are sort of a game for me, which I'm sure makes it a lot easier. I'm not having to decide whether to buy food or medicine, or pay the electric bill, or whatever. When I talk about how easy it is to live within the food stamps budget I have set for myself, please keep these things in mind. I am very very glad and blessed that I have all of these advantages, and that I can quit whenever i want to, or change the rules whenever I want to.