As the mainstream media tells us countless times every day, these are tough times we’re living in. Incomes are low (if you even HAVE a job, that is), expenses are high, and people everywhere are struggling to get more and more out of every dollar. While I’m fortunate to have a stable job, and while I think I make fairly responsible decisions regarding money, I still find myself wondering how I can do better and keep more of my hard-earned cash in the bank.
Food is always a tough area to cut from the budget. After all, I love to cook new and interesting things for my friends and family. I make every attempt to prepare healthy and delicious everyday meals. I enjoy eating out and then writing about my experiences. Let’s face it: maintaining a food blog is NOT an inexpensive undertaking. The fact is, however, that I make conscious choices about my food-related spending. Plenty of people don’t even have the opportunity to THINK about such choices, as their available funds are so low that eating represents a difficult necessity rather than a pleasurable activity. More specifically, the amount of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) money received by the average individual equates to just over $3 per day.
Earlier this year, one of my favorite Atlanta food bloggers (the lovely and talented Tami of running with tweezers) wrote about her $30 project, in which she attempted to curb her food budget and still prepare nutritions, satisfying meals. She came up with some really great recipes, and she also shared some wonderful insights about her food habits. There were a number of other bloggers who took part in the experiment, and it was so thought-provoking that Tami decided to do it again during the week of October 11 and open it up to whomever wanted to participate.
Due to planned travel and a couple of other hiccups, I will be attempting the $30 project (actually, it is the $60 project, since there are two adults in my house) this week and then blogging about it during the week of October 11. Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, the point isn’t to truly put myself in the shoes of someone receiving food stamps, nor to make light of the devastating hunger situation in the United States and around the world, nor to get up on a soapbox regarding the availability of local, organic, free-trade food for all people. The point isn’t to make one big meal on Day 1 and then eat it for the rest of the week. The point is to be as creative and healthy as possible on a limited budget, and to therefore put more thought and work into my food choices.
I really look forward to sharing with you all. If you’re interested in other folks’ takes on this project, you can click on Tami’s link above (or on the blogroll) and/or visit the lovely Lemmonex. I’m sure more folks will take on the challenge, and I will be happy to update my links accordingly. Feel free to comment/email if you’d like to participate or want more information.