pretzels & cottage cheese 🙂

Week #3 Grocery Shopping: Depending on how you figure it, this week we came in either $4.06 under budget or $5.06 over budget. We’re under budget if I figure just this week. We’re still a little over budget if I factor in the $9.22 we overspent last week.
Bottom line? It’s getting quite complicated to figure this all out. To summarize, I subtracted the 4 days I will be out of town but added the 5 meals that guests would be eating with us.
Lesson? It takes a lot of arithmetic to make this work. Most people who are eating hand to mouth probably just buy til their money runs out. Maybe they then go to a soup kitchen or buy less nutritious food to stretch their money.

Saved some money this week by buying:

  1. More English muffins than we needed. They were two packs for the price of one. We’ll freeze them.
  2. Green peppers for stuffed peppers since they were cheaper than the red or yellow ones. (I didn’t know the color affected cost.)
  3. One onion (rather than a bag of onions). They were cheaper by the bag, but we didn’t need a whole bag.
  4. A fresh pineapple. The “savings” part was because it was on sale. Otherwise it’s a splurge.
  5. Medium (non-organic, non cage free) eggs. Apologies to all you caged chickens.

Things we didn’t buy but wanted to:
Red/yellow peppers, hamburg buns, Nutella, spices, jelly, yogurt, rice cakes, croutons, Coke


  1. We spent most of our week’s food allotment by the time we left the produce department. This was because we were determined buy nutritiously so as not to sacrifice our health – even for a noble experiment.
  2. We were able to “win back” some of last week’s over-spending by not buying any meat. We’re not vegans (or even vegetarians) but we planned meatless dinners for this week.
  3. Did you realize that bread & butter pickles sliced lengthwise for sandwiches are $2.69/jar while the little round ones are only $1.88? Ugh, I prefer the long sandwich style but we bought the cheaper ones – at least for this round.
  4. Jim, smart shopper that he is, passed up the bottle of coriander spice saying it would be cheaper at the natural food store. Indeed it was half as expensive at Clifton Natural Food Store, BUT, it takes a car (which we have) and is way out of our way to get there. We decided to wait.
  5. Although we feel bad for the chickens, we balanced out our moral compromises by packing our groceries in reusable bags. When the Challenge is over, we’ll go back to saving the chickens.
  6. Splurges: In addition to the pineapple, Jim likes pretzels as a snack and sometimes eats cottage cheese for lunch (which I hadn’t factored into our lunch menu). Since we were saving money by not buying meat, I graciously granted these “whims.” After all, he bravely chose to forgo buying Coke. To stay within the Food Stamp Challenge and still eat nutritiously has meant giving up most “comfort foods” and any extras.