Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Challenge...


Yes I know it's been a bit since my last post and for those of you who are loyal followers please accept my apologies. I'll just let you know that sometimes life gets in the way of the best intentions and I would be surprised if any of you haven't found that to be the case at some time or another...

Anyway, the reason for the title "The challenge" is that I have been asked by the United Way of King County to participate in an interesting challenge and that is to live on the amount of food that can be purchased by basic food Washington state food stamps are called Basic Food and the daily amount is $7.00 for an individual and increasing amounts depending on the size of your household. An interesting bit about this is they have targeted food bloggers (more on that below) as already having an audience and also because we tend to like our food and would also tend not to move to an all ramen all the time diet for the 5 days of the challenge. This is about how to stretch the food $s and still make healthy, fresh, interesting food. Sooo...

I have accepted the challenge and...I would like to challenge all of you ouot there that are reading this to try it as well and write back to me with what works and what doesn't work for you. It's an interesting and fun way to stretch our dollars and I think all of you can come up with some interesting, fun and tasty ways to make this work for all of your families as well.

The rules are simple if a bit strict but that's what makes a challenge, yes?
  • What Are The Rules For The Hunger Challenge?
    · Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner spending only $X a day (see below)
    · Salt and pepper don’t count but all other seasonings, cooking oils, condiments, snacks, drinks, and everything else do.
    · Don’t use food you already own.
    · Don’t accept food from family, friends, coworkers and others. Not even the free samples from
    · Try to include fresh produce and healthy protein each day.

How Much Can I Spend Per Day?
Individuals can spend about $7 a day for the challenge. We chose that amount because it is the maximum food benefits a single person can get on Basic Food (what Washington calls food stamps). And while Basic Food is designed to be a supplement to food budgets, the reality is that many rely solely on their benefits for food because they don’t have enough money to buy food as well as all the take care of other expenses that they have.

This table shows how much allowance you’re allowed depending on family size:

  • Household Size Hunger Challenge Budget
    1 person $7 / day
    2 persons $12 / day
    3 persons $18 / day
    4 persons $22 / day
    5 persons $26 / day
    6 persons $32 / day
    7 persons $35 / day
    8 persons $45 / day

Now I'm going to try and make this a little more interesting and try and go the entire 7 days of the week on the 5 day total for an individual just to see if it can be done. I know, Henry (my just starting to eat everything 10 year old very active boy) will be with me for 4 of the 7 days so this makes the challenge even harder but I think we can do it as we've been fairly successful in keeping to ~$50 a week (more on this later in another post to share my first quarter numbers with you all).

What I ask of you all is do you think you could do it, even for the 5 days? What would you do to try and plan for success? Do you want to try this with Casa Jim & Henry? I hope you do and I hope you write to us about it. I truly believe we can get some great recipes as well as techniques, methods, plans, etc for stretching food dollars and continue to eat well.

Here is the link to the information page -

Here is the link to the registration page if you want to make the challenge official for you and your families -

Here is the link to the blog where all of us who have accepted the challenge and are blogging about it will be posted and we can all learn from each other -

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