Some Food For Thought

Over the weekend, I read an article about how Gwyneth Paltrow bought what groceries she could for $29, the amount of money per person given for food stamps. The #FoodBankNYCChallenge is raising awareness about hunger (which is a real problem; I'm not arguing that). They seem to indicate that $29 per person per week is not enough (the $29 is not meant to be the sole food budget for a struggling family; rather it is to be a supplement. And most families on food stamps also qualify for WIC if the mother is pregnant or has a child/children up to 2 years old).

I think that's ridiculous. We often exceed our food budget and have to borrow from other columns in our budget because we can't afford a budget of $87 a week ($29/3 people). This is what Paltrow bought with her $29:

Now, I set up my stash on my counter and could barely fit it all-- all with the intention of taking a photo. And then I forgot. So I'll just list my stash:

1 eggplant
3 cucumbers
1 red onion
1 very large zucchini
2 dozen eggs
1 head of lettuce
1 spaghetti squash
2 cans of black beans
4 cans of fruit
3 cans of vegetables
1 box of cherry tomatoes
3 avocados
3 lemons
3 limes
1 8lb bag of red delicious apples
Sriracha sauce
pesto sauce
1 package of baby portabella mushrooms
4 sweet peppers
1 bag of Cuties clementines
1 bag of white grapes
6 big pears
1 loaf of multigrain bread
8 cups of yogurt
2 packages of string cheese
1 package of low-fat wheat tortillas

All of this for $63.42, which is $21.14 a person.

This doesn't include everything I need for my week, but that's because I already have feta, brown rice, chicken, salmon, potatoes, fat-free Greek yogurt, peanut butter, etc. But most people carry over things to the next week if they get a good sale the week before. Besides, you could add a raw or pre-cooked chicken for $5 or less and you'd still be under $29/person/week.

I shopped at a local fruit stand (for you locals, it's the one on Coachman and Old Coachman by the railroad tracks) and Walmart. I typically avoid Walmart, but it was nearby and I needed some other things. If I had shopped at Aldi for the things the fruit stand didn't have, I would have saved even more.

My meals for the week:
Monday: leftovers from family dinner on Sunday
Tuesday: grilled salmon kebabs (Gorton's salmon-- I get on BOGO at Publix + coupons) with lemon and roasted red potatoes
Wednesday: Tex Mex chicken salad and leftover potatoes
Thursday: roasted veggie pizzas
Friday: Sriracha lime chicken chopped salad and rice
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: family dinner

I will use the eggs, extra veggies, bread, and spaghetti squash for lunches and breakfasts.

Mike and I are also attempting to do Weight Watchers, and all of these recipes are Weight Watchers adaptable.

So... I think Gwyneth Paltrow and co. are either very out-of-touch, not creative, or not willing to go somewhere besides Whole Foods to get their groceries.

Tell me about your weekly groceries and menu! How are you creative to keep costs down?

 xoxo, A