I began with breakfast.
I admit to eating first and calculating costs after.
1 very small pot of coffee .25
1/2 Pomegranate .99
2 slices rye bread .20
1 oz cheddar cheese .39
As you can see even this meager breakfast came to 1.83 and put me over budget. Since I am going out tonight I will have an extra 1.33 to play with so I can make my daily budget but already I have an idea of how hard this will be.
I must admit that this toasted cheese sandwich typically would include bacon, tomato and a poached egg to dip it into. This is not an option on a food stamp budget.
When lunchtime rolled around I was hungry. I learned just how expensive a tuna fish sandwich is.
I used tuna, onion, a few olives, lettuce and tomato from the garden, rye bread and 1/2 roast pepper.
The total cost of one sandwich...1.60 (Since even garden goods are not free I assigned a value of .10 for the lettuce and tomato).
It is a good thing I am not cooking at home tonight as I would have .23 cents to carry over into dinner.
Since I am eating with Lynda and her family I can carry over those funds into tomorrow giving myself 3.89.
What I have had prior to my free dinner contains less than 700 calories and except for vitamin C which is at 94%; it is not nutritionally complete.
Keeping in mind that I typically eat 2,200 calories per day, I am going to have to do some careful thinking and planning as I go on.
I have been using food stock that was in the house and calculating costs today. In a couple of days I will (except for oil and seasonings) be shopping for new food and keeping to this budget.
At Lynda and Tom's I cooked with the kids and we had an abundant dinner. Salad with radish and avocado, two portions of pasta with pistachio pesto, that was made with garlic, oil, parsley, arugula, basil and pistachios and ice cream with raspberries. This along with two glasses of excellent Cab. (Even just a passable glass of wine will end up being one dollar's worth of food so it will be a while until I see wine again)
I am stuffed.
2,026 calories for the day (most of them off budget)with a much better nutritional balance.
I wonder how many food stamp families are so fortunate as to be invited out for an abundant meal packed with nutrition?
Tomorrow I will be balancing calories, nutrition and costs, in essence the real challenge begins.