Thursday, September 17, 2015

SNAP Challenge Day 4 In Review

What are some common misconceptions or myths associated with SNAP?

Stigma associated with the SNAP program has led to several common misconceptions about how the program works and who receives the benefits. For instance, many Americans believe that the majority of SNAP benefits go towards people who could be working. In fact, more than half of SNAP recipients are children or the elderly. For the remaining working-age individuals, many of them are currently employed. At least forty percent of all SNAP beneficiaries live in a household with earnings. In fact, the majority of SNAP households do not receive cash welfare benefits (around 10% receive cash welfare), with increasing numbers of SNAP beneficiaries obtaining their primary source of income from employment.

Source: SnapToHealth.Org



Although the initial set up of planning meals took some time I am now finding that planning meals and sticking to them is SAVING time!  

Sure it took me an extra hour or so to make my grocery lists and put it into a meal plan but now meals are so quick.  

Instead of the dreaded "what's for dinner" feeling around 3pm I simply look at my plan and know that not only do I not have to think about what to cook but I know that I have all of the ingredients.

Day 4: 

Breakfast- Oatmeal with mashed banana and coffee (half & half and Splenda)

Snack-  Iced Coffee (see tip below)

Lunch- Leftover lentils/onions mixed with leftover grilled chicken and an apple

Snack- 2 hard boiled eggs

Dinner- Baked chicken leg*, zucchini and squash sauteed in oil, seasoned brown rice**, skim milk



* The chicken leg was sprinkled with salt, pepper and marjoram from our spices
** The rice was seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme from our herb garden

Grains- 4 servings
Fruit/Vegetable- 5 servings
Protein- 3 servings
Dairy- 2 servings


What Did I Learn Today?

- SNAP may not always be available to use!  While running errands today I saw a sign outside of my local grocery store that the SNAP/EBT machine was down and they were not able to process payments.  I have no idea how common this is, but can you imagine?  If I needed to feed my family and my local grocer wasn't taking my EBT card I would certainly hope that there was at least something at home in the cupboards.

- Leftovers for lunch are becoming a new favorite adventure.  Although I had bought lunch meat for the weeks lunches I am enjoying getting creative with the extras that we have around.  No more boring lunches for us!  Gone are the all too familiar sandwich, fruit, cookie lunches that I had been packing for years.  Hello newly combined concoctions from previous night's dinners.

FRUGAL TIP OF THE DAY: 

Love iced coffee but can't justify the cost?  I used to make my own at home by brewing 2 cups in the morning, drinking one hot and then saving the other for later over ice.  This method was good but didn't exactly have that coffee house flavor.  

I have since discovered an awesome new method:

- Take 6oz of ground coffee and combine it in a pitcher with 6 cups of cold water
- Cover and left sit out at room temperature overnight
- The next day strain it and combine the liquid with a 1:1 ratio of coffee to milk (you can add flavors or sweeteners if you wish), pour over ice and you've got yourself a rich and delicious iced coffee at a fraction of the store bought price.

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