The other day I got into a conversation abut food stamps, or more specifically, EBT. Ok, how many people just got on the edge of their seat ready to get fired up about their stand on government funded programs? I’m not going to get all political, but to sum things up, I feel that government programs are wonderful when they are helping people who have come across hard times and need some assistance getting back up on their feet. However, I feel that there are some people that abuse the system, which unfortunately leads to having less to help the people that truly need it. Many times the abusers are also the ones buying soda and chips and complaining that it’s too expensive to eat healthy foods.
I won’t disagree that it is easier to eat healthy foods if you have a higher disposable income. Certainly eating organic can be pricy. I often argue, though, that you can choose where to spend your money; either spend a little more up front on quality nutrition or spend a lot later on prescriptions, surgeries and shots to help manage the destruction a poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle has done on your body.
But basically it was said that is was too difficult to eat healthy foods for every meal with the amount of money one receives through the EBT program. BAM. Consider my interest piqued. I love a good challenge. I wanted to see if I could do it- if I could feed David, Hailey and me a healthy diet for a week on only the amount of money allocated to a family of 3 via EBT.
So, we researched and found a website that would calculate your food benefits. We used made up numbers that seemed realistic to someone needing assistance.
So basically, we figured a household of 3, making $24,000 gross per year and having to pay $200 a week in childcare and $500 in rent.
This made our monthly benefit $409 dollars. So, divided by 4 (roughly 4 weeks in a month) gives me $102.25 to feed us for the week.
So next week, Monday-Sunday, I will feed my family for $102.25. Here are the rules:
- No using food I already have on hand
- Every bite we eat will be out of this allotted money. This means we’ll be eating at home (since most restaurants don’t accept EBT and farmers markets are just beginning to. I want to play it as conservatively as possible)
- No alcohol (since EBT funds may not be used to buy alcohol)
- If someone invited us over to eat, we can, since someone on EBT could also be invited to dinner.
I’m excited, and a little nervous. Though our weekly grocery bill usually is below $100, we do eat out fairly often. Also, David usually grabs a beer at the end of the night and I enjoy a glass of wine occasionally, but no alcohol next week for us.
I’m sharing it on here in case anyone is up for doing the challenge with me. If you are, holla! If you do it, too, I want to make sure to post your links on my wrap up.
Any tips that might be helpful?