SNAP Food Challenge Part 2: Shopping Debacle and Prep

Preparing to Shop:

Well that’s the first step. Getting the food. And getting it on budget. With my $71.00 (35.50 per person for 21 meals each), I spent the night writing down the foods I feel would give us a well rounded 7 days of meals. I also spent a lot of time crossing off or circling foods that were possible ones that we would do without. For example tea and coffee.

This morning I got up bright and early and pulled up the flyer and headed out to the grocery store. I was super nervous thinking about staying under budget. What if I got the register and I was over? Would I have to hold up the line and put stuff back? Or would I just politely ask the cashier to take it back and not make a scene. I started to get sweaty just thinking about it. I decided to write down all of the prices as I went along so that I could get an idea of where I was.

Shopping Day:

My friend Lauren, who is also doing this challenge for 1 person with me, went shopping with me too. First debacle of the day: realizing that I left my written list at home. Well that was a good start. Luckily I had looked over that list 99 times that I could definitely remember almost everything I needed. Lauren also had her list ready and I had her help me remember some of the essentials.

Second debacle of the day: Literally every shopping cart was stuck to at least 1 other shopping cart and we couldn’t get them free. It was slightly embarrassing as we spent around 2-3 minutes yanking and pulling and sweating trying to get the carts free. And to top it off, the ones we freed had wonky wheels. Well who says everything has to go smoothly lol.

By the time we got into the store I had to remember my list off the top of my head and I had gotten a workout and was sweating. Then we shopped.

I will say that shopping took a little longer than usual because I had to keep track of the rough price of things in my phones notepad. But it also helped me decide if each product was worth going on the limited list or not.

Shopping Hack Health Food Stores:

One great hack about shopping at health food stores is that they have a bigger bulk section than the regular grocery store. Although the regular grocery store has small bags of oats, beans, and rice in bags for around $1 and even some spices, the bulk section allows me to grab bags of these things and weigh them out to around $1 as well. So although it takes a lot more effort, the same bonus of having a small bag of a few varieties of beans and rice will be nice. I also got two small bags of species (one bbq, and one Italian seasoning) to make the protein selections a little more exciting.

Final debacle of the shopping trip: I panic at the register that I was over budget and ran back to exchange one of the packages in the cart for a cheaper one. Although the checkout girl might have thought I was crazy, I managed not to hold her up at all.

And this is my receipt:

And Grocery Haul: (Sorry I cut off a few of the spices bags on the side. It’s hard to fit it all in!)

I even managed to come in $5 under budget which I will put aside just in case on Sunday we don’t have enough food left. It’s good to know I have it. Hopefully I won’t even need it, if I can cook smart and put together some really good meals.

Here is what I meal prepped tonight for the week:

  1. Soaking the three styles of beans I bought until tomorrow.
  2. Baked off all of the chicken using the bbq, Italian and bbq and brown sugar seasoning.
  3. Made ⅔ cup of rice with a little veggie stock, water, and bbq seasoning.

That should be a good start to the week. I think I’ll pack everything extra and save it for tacos, tostadas, taco salad, soup, and stir frys.

I also made myself a bowl of protein oatmeal with a banana and a small amount of the brown sugar I bought.

Nothing great to look at, but it was delicious and it got me through the meal prep. Matt will be having chicken, rice and a small salad for dinner.

Overall I’m feeling good about being a few dollars under budget, as well as ready for a few days already of meal prep. I’ll be writing down and taking pictures of my next few meals.\

Plus — I want to share Lauren’s Receipt for 1 person as she also came in $2 under budget!

If you are considering doing this challenge too, for what ever reason, let us know and join in! We would love to see your receipts, recipes, and pictures!