Ok--I'm going to give it a try! Over at the Nonconsumer Advocate, Katy has issued a July Foodstamp Challenge. She asks readers to participate in this challenge of living at or under their state budget for food assistance, and to donate any difference between $ spent and those normally spent to their local food banks. I'm pretty sure that as one person in July, I can stay under the Oregon TANF limit of $101. But we'll see. (Does this mean that I can get coffee again? I hope so!) Who else (among my oh-so-many readers---and friends in Real Life) wants to participate?
Actually, I don't think that this will represent a big shift for me, because my family of 4 normally spends less than $404 per month on our food budget, including products such as dish sponges, shampoo and toilet paper. Sometimes we receive a little assistance in the form of family trips to Costco (thanks Mom!). We usually don't get many "extras" such as wine or chocolate (unfortunately). We do have garden space and grow a summer garden, as well as picking and freezing summer fruits and veggies from local farms for winter eating.
My initial goal for the month was far more ambitious, to try to keep total spending under $50 (and use the extra to pay down our mortgage). But I do want to prioritize health, and don't want to become too compulsive about this. Plus, I'm a little tired of lentils, and I'd like to host a gathering for co-workers at some point during the month. Therefore, I will stick with Katy's terms. I'll do my best to eat from our garden and glean from my neighborhood. I may also try couponing! Stay tuned...and please let me know if you'd like to try participating too...
---and by the way, the beer bottles that I gleaned from my neighbor's recycling box a few days ago yielded $2.75, just over the cost for a gallon of milk at my local supermarket.
Whoo-hoo! (Also a note: I do not live on a street with heavy pedestrian traffic, or I would have left them for someone who needed them more).