SNAP Challenge – Day 1 of 7 | Start by putting one foot in front of the other

Thank God for The West Indian Store and the 99 Cent Store.  You’ll discover why…read on.

$30.00 for the week.  Just over $4.00 per day.  I needed to “go shopping” in my cupboards, refrigerator and freezer.  This was difficult.  I didn’t have time to get to the supermarket to actually shop for $30.00 worth of food.  So, I had to rely on what I had available in my house, cross-checking prices on receipts.  The thing that saved me:  Many of these items I purchased at “The West Indian Store” (a bit of a distance from where I live) in the Bronx.  You can get some really good deals at these stores versus traditional supermarkets.  You’ll notice below there is a “luxury” item on the list — fish.  Guess what, it was less than $2.00 per pound.  Fresh fish in the supermarket can’t even compare.  I also have questions about how “fresh” the fish is in the supermarket.  In stores that cater to the Caribbean community, fresh fish is one of those “staples” that moves.  It doesn’t sit.  Another thing that saved me, I purchased the rice packets and the tuna salad in the 99 Cent Store months ago.  I’m breathing a sigh of relief for having them.

SNAP Challenge -

So, what did I end up with having shopped in my own house?

  • 1 apple
  • 1 packet of Green Giant mini carrots
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 packets of Carolina rice
  • 2 cans of supermarket brand tomato sauce (8 oz. each)
  • 2 cans of Bush’s baked beans
  • 2 boxes Bumble Bee Tuna Salad with Crackers
  • 2 packets Thick Country Vegetable Soup (serves 3 – 4 servings each)
  • 1 can Brunswick Sardines
  • 1 can Brunswick Herring Fillets
  • 1 bag of sweet corn (frozen)
  • 1 bag of broccoli (frozen)
  • 1 bag of okra (frozen)
  • 2 pieces of fresh fish (“Porgies”)

I have about $4.00 left.  My desire was to purchase (since I don’t have this at home) a packet of dry pasta and about 2 more apples.  I doubt that’s going to happen.  If all else fails, there’s one item still left in my refrigerator that I can include.  It’s not pasta.  It’s not fruit.  It’s a vegetable.  Even if I don’t have the pasta, I’m desperate for fruit.  Actually, I’m desperate for tea and sugar.  I have none of these on the list.

However, I may have to sacrifice all of those because I forgot seasonings.  I have no salt and pepper.  I also need oil.  Hmmmm…guess that’s where my $4.00 will go.  I will scrounge for packets at work and the oil I’ll “shop” for in my cupboard because it falls within the money I have available and I hope I’ll be able to get the two apples from my fruit guy at the corner of Madison Avenue in the 40s.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I packaged 7 days of snacks in the form of my carrots.  That bag of baby carrots looks mighty small when portioned.  Sure, I could have gotten fresh carrots, but remember, I didn’t have time to get to the store and had to “shop” in my own kitchen.  The photo below is deceiving.  Trust me, those containers are small.  (Thanks to the miracle of digital cameras, the zoom makes things larger than they appear.)

SNAP Challenge 1.1 -

So, what’s on the menu today, Monday, Day 1 of the SNAP Challenge?

  • Breakfast:  Apple
  • Lunch:  Box of Tuna Salad with Crackers
  • Snack: Carrots
  • Dinner:  Rice and veggies

Watch my tweets via @brainypintsizer.  I’ll provide updates as my day progresses.


4 thoughts on “SNAP Challenge – Day 1 of 7 | Start by putting one foot in front of the other

  1. Pingback: The annual company holiday party. I lasted 5 minutes. Now, that’s a record. | brainypintsizer

  2. Pingback: SNAP Challenge – Day 3 | Meal Plan and Reflections | brainypintsizer

  3. Wow, so impressed with your creativity! What a fantastic challenge…I’m clearly late hearing about it (as I just threw down $5 for a teeny container of pre-made pasta at Duane Reade…opps) but would definitely like to give a try, too! Thanks for the info:-)

    • I heard about it from the publicity Cory Booker was getting on the news and through his posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Some of the comments directed towards him have been negative but I’m going into this with questions like, ‘What if you have a special diet?’ and ‘What if this ”supplement” is not a supplement at all — what if you have no money to purchase food and this is your only means of getting nutrition?’

      We are often very quick to judge. As a Third World country baby, Americans have it good, but there are many on this soil who live like Third Worlders, which is quite shocking. So far, it has been okay. I’m not any worse for the wear, but the day is not over.

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