Friday, September 16, 2011

San Francisco Food Bank Hunger Challenge - Day 6

I got up this morning at 5:20 for my typical Thursday morning run. I wasn't sure how I would feel, but I was pretty good after my slice of bread with peanut butter and half a banana. It held me pretty well through all 8.5 miles of my run as well, so I was pleased (I think I may have found a new pre-run snack!). When I showed up for the run, my friend Elizabeth presented me with a Gu, but I politely declined, telling her that if I were really on food stamps, I wouldn't be a member of the running club, and I probably wouldn't have friends who could give me extra Gus (which are something like $1.20 each!). She joked about "accidentally" dropping it and other funny things, but it was a great way to get the group talking about the Hunger Challenge! One of my friends said, "I can't believe you're doing this and training at the same time!" But I explained that I'm actually getting enough calories. Plenty of carbs, in fact! They're just not the calories that I'd prefer to be eating (like fresh fruits and veggies). We also talked about the poverty level in the U.S. and other similar current issues, so I was happy to see that the challenge provided food for thought.

Déjà vu?
Breakfast was oatmeal again, which was nice and filling, and since we didn't have any more nectarines, we opted to eat the two extra hard-boiled eggs. Instead of eating them at that point, though, we saved them for a mid-morning snack, which was even better, because it helped stretch the calories out a little longer.

For lunch, we went with egg salad sandwiches and some of the tomato soup that Stephen made. I also brought the leftover "pico de gallo" that I made for dinner last night because we'd already priced it out, and it was going to go to waste. It was a nice addition to the egg salad! I ate half of the soup with my sandwich and was plenty full, so I saved the rest for later. I chatted with Andrea at lunch again - they had a dinner party on a budget, and had friends bring food that stayed within the allowance as well. Sounded like a fun idea! We also got a few of our coworkers talking about the Challenge, which brought up some of the same issues that we discussed on the run this morning. Our office volunteers at the SF Food Bank a couple of times a year, so lots of our coworkers are familiar with what goes on there, but this just takes it to a whole other level.

I worked a little later than usual, but I managed to space out the rest of my snacks (some snickerdoodles, a banana, and the rest of my soup), eating the banana just before I headed home. I have to admit that as I was leaving the office I noticed that I could still taste the onions I'd eaten at lunch. I didn't have a toothbrush or toothpaste in my desk drawer (I think I must have taken it out when I was traveling somewhere), so I was really conflicted about what to do. I didn't figure that gum was part of the budget, but I finally decided that, for the sake of my fellow passengers, I would have a piece of gum. I mean, have you ever sat next to that person on the bus? The one with the really awful breath that makes you turn the other way before you can breathe in? I didn't want to be that person. I'm not considering it cheating since I did it for the sake of others. :) Who knew a piece of gum would create such an issue?!?

Probably the most vegetables we've had all week!
Stephen and I got home at about the same time, so we started cooking dinner pretty much right away. I made some buttermilk biscuits, and he took charge of the tuna patties - tuna, cornmeal, flour, onion, and a little mayo - and we reheated the rest of the tomato soup and collards. And yes, we only used one can of tuna. :) Altogether it made for a really nice meal, and we were more than satisfied with the amount and selection of food.

As I was calculating the costs of the different ingredients, I had to price out the wheat flour because that was already in the pantry. I also checked for the price of the buttermilk to see if there was a discrepancy between there and what we'd paid at Whole Foods (I was sure it had to be cheaper at Safeway). I was very surprised to find that both ingredients were cheaper at Whole Foods! The flour is what surprised me most - it's $2.99 for a 5 pound bag at Whole Foods, and the cheapest one at Safeway is $4.69!!! That's a huge difference, especially when Whole Foods is so often referred to as "Whole Paycheck"! The buttermilk was similar - $1.79 at Whole Foods and $2.19 at Safeway. These differences combined with the deals we got on produce at the Asian market in the Richmond yesterday just go to show that you really have to make sure you're getting the best deal. I know that I'll definitely be more careful about it moving forward, even when I'm not on a crazy tight budget!

Here's today's breakdown:

$0.12 = (36 raisins)
$0.24 = coffee (4 6oz servings)
$0.40 = 2 hard-boiled eggs
$0.22 = milk (1 cup) 
$0.02 = 4 tsp sugar
$0.44 = oatmeal (4 half cup servings)
$1.44 total for breakfast

$0.60 3 hard-boiled eggs
$0.40 2 large slices bread
$0.25 2 small slices bread
$0.18 2T mayo
$0.03 1T mustard
$0.82 2 servings homemade tomato soup

$0.20 1 large slice bread
$0.19 1T peanut butter
$0.08 1/2 banana
$0.44 snickerdoodles
$0.30 2 bananas
$0.10 1 carrot

$0.82 2 servings homemade tomato soup
$0.75 2 servings collard greens
$0.36 2 whole wheat biscuits
$1.00 1 can tuna
$0.12 1/2 cup cornmeal
$0.04 1/4 cup flour
$0.12 3T oil
$0.20 1 egg
$0.10 1/4 onion
$0.27 3T mayo

$8.71 total for the day
$39.81 for the week (still a little surplus!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am totally grateful for the effort you are making...and I appreciate you alluding to the people who have to live this way.
Here's another part of the "challenge" for us...
We can't necessarily choose where we shop. AND while you can price out a cup of buttermilk or 36 raisins remember I have to find a way to buy the whole container. On SNAP, you don't get to build up a pantry supply to "shop" out of...Our pantries are food pantries where you stand in line and have to explain that you have young children and teenagers to feed.
Your heart is heading in the right direction...thank you