Funds Remaining

Monday, December 23, 2013

Frugal Recipes

$1.32 per serving87 cents per serving$2.23 per serving$1.31 per serving
Lori got an email recently with the subject line:  "Save With 5 Suppers Under $3."  The above images were linked to recipes for each item.

They are:
Buffalo Chicken Pie
Slow Cooker Steak & Potatoes
Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala
Slow Cooker Chicken Show Mien
Beef Taco Bake

Since the email was from Betty Crocker, all of the recipes call for brand name items like Bisquick.  Store brand substitutions can be made without compromising the recipe and further reducing the cost.

We have not actually tried any of these recipes, nor are we endorsing Betty Crocker or any of the brands mentioned in the recipes.  They are presented here as an example of how low cost recipes are out there.  We would appreciate our readers sharing any of their favorite low cost recipes.  We could have a recipe swap and all try new low cost meals.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

We Are Not Alone

Our last few trips to the grocery store have been for an item or two wanted for Christmas baking or candy making.  We have dutifully subtracted that from our SNAP balance and have $42.82 remaining to last until December 22.

We contend now that we have nearly 60 days under our belts that individuals and families can live on the SNAP allotment alone.  Particularly considering that school age children get breakfast and lunch at school year round in our area.  (School cafeterias remain open during breaks and summer for the express purpose of feeding children.)  There are other resources for hungry people like Second Harvest Food Bank and the Nashville Rescue Mission.

We received solicitations from both organizations recently.  Both point out that the smallest donation will make a difference.  Second Harvest contends that it can provide 4 meals for $1, although it does not say what the meals are.
The mission tells us it can provide a "Complete Christmas Dinner" for $2.26.  The enclosed letter does not tell us exactly what the meal is but explains that bulk purchases keep the per meal cost low. which is one thing we noted during our challenge.
We are not alone in our experience that it can be done.  The real key for us was cooking using real food in its most natural state - whole fruits and vegetables,  meats like chicken and beef that were bought raw and cooked at home, real ingredients like flour, eggs and milk to make breads and treats.  

We understand that cooking can be time expensive, but it can be done.  It can be done with a little planning like weekly cooking sessions.  One of our readers even told us about a friend that cooked one weekend per month, so that all she had to do for the rest of the month was pull something out of the freezer to heat & eat. Family members can and should be included in the prep process.  There are many ways to plan an organize.  Each family must find what works for them.  

We will continue to monitor our spending because that is how we roll and we will periodically update our balance here.  If we run out of money that will certainly be shared here.

The thing we'd really like to share is showing actual SNAP families how we were able to do what we did.  We'll gladly share budgeting tips, couponing & shopping how-tos, along with recipes and meal plans.  Feel free to pass along this blog site or our email address: to anyone wanting to assistance.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Quick Financial Update

We have $86.84 left on our imaginary SNAP EBT card.  Our next deposit will be December 22, which is just a little more than a week away.  We're going to make it just fine.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Financial Update

Lori has made another shopping trip.  We now have $111.22 remaining on our imaginary EBT card.  We have until December 22 before we get another 'deposit' to the card.  We still spent more than typical with extras purchased for holiday baking.  We don't expect to have any more of that spending.  From now on, the major purchases will be for our typical eating and between what we have on hand and the remaining funds, we should be fine.

As far as holiday baking goes, since Thanksgiving Lori has made ~100 cinnamon rolls for Breakfast with Santa, and 3 dozen oreos.  Both took some special ingredients that would not have been purchased if we were just eating in our typical way.  We believe that SNAP families would want to do holiday baking if their budgets allowed, (even though we don't think they'd actually  make over 100 cinnamon rolls!) so we decided to see if we could make it work.  So far, we've eaten well and stayed within our spending parameters.

We'll see how long this lasts.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Little Publicity

Our little experiment was mentioned in this electronic wellness newsletter.  Scroll down to the third story.  It is the article just above the pictures of the bathroom.  Hope that isn't a commentary on what the editor thought about our blog.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Boring Blog

There hasn't been much to say lately.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with Lori's family.  After the meal we all divided up the leftovers so we've been using those as the main part of our eating, not to mention still a few leftovers from prior to Thursday.

A trip to the grocery store is not needed.  Yet, a trip to the grocery store is likely to be made in the next day or so to take advantage of some sale items that will be used at some point.  That is our more typical way of shopping.

We'll post the tally once the trip is made.  It may not make for an exciting blog post, but it will be interesting to see just how long the money lasts.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Shopping Trip

Lori went to the grocery store on Saturday armed with a long list of items.  Most of the items listed were 'wants' rather than 'needs'.  She wanted to make several desserts and side dishes to the family Thanksgiving gathering on Thursday.  She could have volunteered to bring some very simple and inexpensive items like mashed potatoes.  Instead, she wants to try a new recipe for potato poppers.  They require a few extra ingredients.

There was very little on the list that were to restock the pantry.  We had quite a bit remaining, not to mention the ham and fajitas in the refrigerator.  Tea was on the list since there won't be enough to last the week.  Virtually everything else was for special dishes that are to be made for the upcoming holiday season.  Much of which was on sale or she had coupons or both.*

She spent a total of $125.99, which is a huge amount for us.  That leaves $205.71 for us to use through most of December.  We are committed to shopping and eating as we typically do.  We are curious as to how long this money will last.  As we mentioned last post, this is a season in which we typically spend more money on extras.  We are sure that SNAP families want special treats particularly during the holidays.  This will be an adventure for us.

As we enter this time of Thanksgiving, we especially want to thank our readers.  We are a little surprised as to how wide spread this has become.  We really appreciate it when one of our readers mentions something on the blog.  We even are glad to get questions and concerns about the blog that readers don't like or understand.  THANK YOU!

* Lori bought two pounds of Domino confectioners sugar normally priced at $3.29 but on sale this week for $0.97.  She had a coupon for $0.65, which doubles at her grocery store giving her an additional $1.30 off.  The store gave her $0.33 to leave the store with the sugar!!