Annaleah and Virginia SNAP Challenge—9/27/2013

To end Hunger Awareness Month, we decided to try the SNAP challenge.

Goal: to “spend” $31.50, or average SNAP benefits for 1 person for a week, at HyVee for healthy food that we would be willing to eat and able to make more than one meal out of the foods chosen. We did not actually purchase and eat this food, but took pictures and wrote down the prices.

We found out that just going to the store and picking things without using a list or otherwise preparing took us longer and hurt our goal of getting the right foods for a balanced diet.

One choice we had to make was what brands to buy. While the store brands may be cheaper, they might not have as good a taste or be as healthy. For products such as milk and eggs this isn’t too much of a problem, but for processed foods, such as cereal, the generic might not be what is expected. We decided to buy a lot of store brand products because we wanted to get more for our money, and most of the products we bought were going to be part of some other recipe.

After we had chosen all our products, we found that we got a lot of products in the protein category, and not too many in the fruits and vegetables categories. We came into the project intending to buy fruits and veggies, but when the money started adding up, we decided to go with the foods that would last longer, such as dried beans and lentils.

If we did the project over again, one thing we would change is we would make a list before going shopping. When we went with only the intention of trying to get all the food groups covered, as well as keeping whole grains in mind, we lost track of what was actually bought. We ended up not getting as much produce as we would have liked for this reason.

We thought that we had meals covered pretty well for the week. We planned to have a banana, cereal, and/or toast for breakfast, a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch (as well as dinner leftovers), and tacos, pasta, baked potatoes, or soup for dinner. The chicken broth, dried beans, and lentils would last a while and could be used for future soups. The cereal would also last longer than a week, and so would the eggs. Carrots and potatoes could be added to the soup, or could be used as a side for another dish.

We spent nearly all of the $31.50, with 55 cents left over. With better planning and a little more creativity, we could probably purchase more produce and have a more nutritionally-balanced meal plan.



1/2 gallon 1% milk


1 dozen medium eggs


1 loaf whole wheat bread


1 pound dry pinto beans


1 pound dry lentils


1 pkg chicken bouillon


5 lbs potatoes


2 lbs carrots


2 lbs bananas


1 16-oz pkg ham lunchmeat


1 pound tri-color pasta


1 24-oz can pasta sauce


1 16-oz pkg cheese slices


1 14-oz pkg generic Cheerios cereal


1 lb hamburger


1 taco seasoning packet


8 whole-wheat tortillas


1 15-oz can refried beans






Posted on October 8, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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