Saturday, December 29, 2012

#SnapChallenge Meal Planning

I will start my first week long #SnapChallenge on January 2, 2013. I will go shopping for the week on New Years Day.  I haven't really done any additional research on prices or recipes. With this list, we will see how off base I am on food and pricing.  I have an idea of what things cost, but am not sure how if my plan below is based in reality.

Since the $35/week is for food and beverage - I will be drinking mostly water (which I do anyway).

I usually fix a frozen fruit smoothie with soy milk each morning.  I don't think this is sustainable during the SNAP Challenge.  Instead of my traditional breakfast, I figure I will eat English Muffins (toasted) with peanut butter.  English Muffins are almost always on sale at my grocery store for about $2.50 for a 6 pack - that's $0.42 a piece.  I will buy the smallest container of peanut butter I can find and hope this will be $4.00 or less.  That means for a weeks breakfast, I have spent $6.50 or $0.92/day.

I want a healthy option for a snack.  I intend to buy a big bag of clementines (cuties) - these usually are on sale for about $5.00 for a bag of 25 or so clementines. $0.20 a piece for a snack - which I can have three each day of the week. Plus these have a high amount of Vitamin C but little fiber or protein.

Based on my estimates above, I will have $23.50 left to spend.  I envision my lunches and dinners to be pretty interchangeable - lunch may be leftover from dinner the night before.  I assume rice will be the backbone of my new meal plans.  I will buy $5.00 worth of whole grain brown rice as my base.  I will need protein and veggies and I have 18.50 left.  I will purchase chicken thighs which are full of flavor and relatively cheap cut of meat - $8.50 for chicken.  I will fill in the last $10 with tomatoes, peppers and some greens along with some beans (probably dried).

I will use some spices in my cabinet to turn these components into a spicy Asian stir fry or a Mexican feast.  If I have any money left over, I will buy some noodles, either rice noodles to make a homemade Pad Thai or an Italian pasta dish.  I would love to include some soy milk in my plan, but I don't think that it is in the cards.

What are your thoughts on my meal plan? Am I crazy when it comes to the prices of these items?  Do you think I will be able to make it a week on this plan?  If you are doing the SNAP Challenge or have recently completed it, I want to hear about it.  I will post my receipts once I am back from the grocery store - we'll see if my estimates are close or are way out there too.

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Lane Fuller said...

Looks like you've come up with the healthiest options working with the $ constraint of SNAP. It's great to see someone try this and look forward to reading about it.

Nicholas Gracilla said...

I'm impressed by this challenge and your giving it a go. You might consider more legumes or lentils too—they seem fairly inexpensive in the markets (although I haven't thought about it from this perspective).