Food Stamp (FNS) Challenge

Hey Y’all!

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I will be participating with my family in the Food Bank’s FNS Challenge (FNS is the name for the food stamp program in NC). This challenge consists of living off of a budget of $4.15/person/day, and will last 5 days. I am extremely excited for the challenge, because it ties in well with my Grocery Budget Roundup, where I spend only $40.00 a week to feed my family of four. The challenge will start October 1 and last through the 5th.

I did my research before I went shopping, and choose between two stores – Food Lion, and Harris Teeter. I know when people are living on the FNS benefits, they may have a hard time getting from store, to store, to store to choose the best sales – whether it be the time or gas money, so I stuck to two close stores. I brought cash with me before I bought my groceries. And even before that, I took an inventory of my pantry, fridge and freezer to see where I could save a few bucks with the items I already had on hand. Then I made my list, and an idea for a menu based on the items that were on sale. Here is what I had on hand, and what I purchased:


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Budget: $4.15/day/person x 4 people = $83.00

Actual: $61.04 (pantry and purchased groceries)

Difference: $21.96

The budget allows me to spend $83.00 for my entire family, and when I added up the approximate value of what I had in my pantry and the value of what I purchased, my grand total was $61.04!!! I had $21.96 left over. I still have it. It is sitting in a jar on my counter right now. I figure with this money, I can keep it there to grab items I may have forgotten from my menu, or take money out of the jar if I have forgotten to add something from my pantry OR, I can keep in the jar for next week, or in a savings account. I like the keeping it aside method, because if there is a great sale one week on something that you use frequently, your left over money can purchase it in bulk without worrying about cutting into your weekly grocery budget!

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My menu for the week consists of breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am utilizing the chicken that I bought for three meals. We never use it all at once, so I figure, I can make chicken soup out of it one day, and then use the leftover chicken for enchiladas – three meals from one chicken that cost $4.37! Making your own pasta sauce (called Sunday Gravy in our home), saves you a ton of money too – just a few cans of tomatoes, a little garlic, and some patience, and you can get AT LEAST three or four meals out of it – usually for only a few dollars (like me this week – the tomatoes were only $1.00 a can!).

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I hope that you will join me in this challenge, and share your experiences with me. I will be posting a recipe every day from the menu above, and sharing my experiences with the challenge, and what it is like to live off of the FNS program benefits.

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Can you take the challenge?

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With Love,
Miss Lindsie

xo

PS: Sorry for the crappy quality of the pictures – my charts wouldn’t copy over correctly from Word =(



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