03 April 2011

SNAP - finishing the challenge

I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, and Blogger ate it. Haven't had time to re-do but with the wrap up session on Monday night I thought I should get it done. I took a photo of what I had left food-wise to compare to the opening pantry:

You see that I put the last macaroni into a cup, because it would not show if it was sill in the box. The peanut butter jar is about half empty. I had nine cents left and meant to put them into the picture but forgot.

Not showing are the cabbage leaves and oranges I bought midweek. I wanted to do something that was appropriate for St. Patrick's Day, but a full head of cabbage was outside my budget, even on sale. Then I noticed a lot of loose leaves in the bin, and grabbed a double handful. I microwave-softened the bigger leaves, chopped the smaller ones and sauteed them with some chopped onion, added half the box of kale and some chopped potatoes and a bit of shredded cheese. This stuffing I rolled in the leaves, and put them into a casserole with some pureed tomatoes as a sauce:

It was pretty tasty. For St. Joseph's Day, the last day of my challenge, I made a dish in the colours of the Italian flag, with diced tomatoes, the other half of the kale, and macaroni. There is a touch of white cheddar shredded on top, and it made two portions:

I've talked about the mac-&-cheese I made, and the french toast I had at the end of the week and here are pictures of them:

I did have food left at the end; if I were a bigger person I probably would have eaten everything in the pantry. Having the can of chickpeas and rice and lentils left makes a start for the next week, which would be a help because many of the things I bought on sale the first week were not on sale the second, and I would not be able to get as many items.

This is a picture of what I spent for the week:And this is one day's comparison of what I usually eat against the SNAP budget, and what a colleague who ate out for all three meals would spend. The supper was at an unusually expensive place, if supper had been at a more moderately-priced place, the differential would not be as dramatic:

If it is hard to see, on my usual day I would spend about $8.98, and my colleague spent on this day $58.23. Quite a difference from the $3.00 on SNAP! I am going to take copies of the two charts to tomorrow night's wrap-up event. It will be interesting hearing from people about their experiences.