Monday, September 14, 2015

SNAP Challenge Day 1 in Review

Did you know that SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?

So day one has come to an end.  How did it go?  So far so good but certainly a little different than my average day.

Breakfast: Coffee (half & half and splenda), toast with peanut butter and a sliced banana and a glass of skim milk.

Lunch: Sandwich (homemade bread) with deli chicken and sliced tomatoes* and cut up peppers.

Snack: 1/2 of an apple

Dinner: 5 ounces of grilled chicken breast**, pan fried potatoes with onions, a salad** and a glass of skim milk

All in all, not bad:

Grains- 4 servings
Fruit/Vegetables- 7 servings
Protein- 4 servings
Dairy-  2 servings

*I did not buy tomatoes, we have a tomato plant
** The chicken was grilled and seasoned with pepper, cumin and garlic from my spice rack
*** Last week I bought romaine (3 for $1), they were about to go bad and needed to be used up.  The cost of the romaine portion in this dinner was around $.15

What did I learn today?

- I miss having a choice.  When I wake up in the morning I look around the kitchen and decide what I want to eat.  Cold cereal?  A smoothie?  Oatmeal?  This morning I knew that my only two options were either toast with peanut butter or oatmeal.  A budget of $4/day hardly lends itself to having a variety of items to choose from

- I have to remind myself to drink milk with my meals.  My husband drinks whole milk and I drink skim.  Most weeks I get a gallon of each.  This week our budget did not allow for two different types so I went with skim milk since by stating "my husband drinks whole milk" I really mean, he uses whole milk in his coffee and on his cereal.  Since milk is one of the cheapest sources of calcium I bought skim milk for me to drink and half & half for our coffee.  

- Dollar Tree coffee is not the same as Gevalia coffee.  I love to coupon and often stock our fridge with Gevalia coffee for around $4 a bag when it goes on sale.  This week even a $4 bag would not fit into our budget so I went for the cheapest I could find, the dollar store.  Although not as bad as I thought it would be, it's just not Gevalia.


Do you have a recipe that calls for a small amount of a common ingredient?  

Vegetable/Cheese/Nuts: Instead of buying a full item consider checking out the salad bar at your local grocery store.  You can buy as much or as little as you like of the cut and prepared item.  For example a few tablespoons of chopped onion from the salad bar is likely to be less than buying a whole onion and cutting it

Spices/Flours/Dry ingredients: Check out a bulk store if you have one near you!  You can buy spices, flour, sugar, etc in quantities as small as 1 tsp.  Not aware of any bulk stores in your area?  Supermarkets such as Mariano's and Whole Foods let you buy items such as flour and nuts from their bulk bins in whatever amount you want!


  1. When I did the challenge-coffee was my "challenge" too. I found that Krogers had coffee that I fit into the plan. Homemade bread was a must. I had to take my milk to work in a thermos (we had a refrigerator there). Beans, homemade applesauce, peanut butter. . . looks like you did good.

  2. Thanks for all of your great tips Cindy!