Sunday, March 8, 2009

Living on Food Stamps

CNN Correspondent Sean Callebs spent the month of February living on a food budget of $176 (roughly $6.28/day), the highest amount that an individual could receive in government assistance if he had no income. He blogged about his experiences trying to make the budget last throughout the month.

His experiences were pretty interesting, and I learned a lot from his blog. I had no idea that over 31 million people in the United States rely on government assistance to feed themselves and their families. I have said before that food expenses are my greatest vice. The amount that I spend on coffee and soda alone probably totals over $176 each month. In fact, we are only one week into the month and I've already spent over that amount. I think that I would struggle not only to budget that money throughout the month, but also to avoid the really expensive items like eating out and lattes.

In his blog, Callebs commented on the social aspect of eating out and how he missed it during his month of eating on food stamps. I think that would be one of the hardest parts. So often, I don't intend to go out to eat, but then a friend calls and I easily give in.

My goal for this week is to pack a lunch every day and to bring my coffee from home. Although it may not be quite the budget that Callebs had, for me it's a good start.

Here's to trying to spend more wisely.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring is Here!

Today is a beautiful day! I love when I can open the windows again.

Although it's open year round, this nice weather prompted my first trip back to the farmer's market. I felt a little guilty that I didn't make more of an effort to go throughout the winter when I was reminded of how great the prices are. For the amount that I spent on dinner last night at Pei Wei, I got 1 lb of green beans, 1 lb of Brussels sprouts, 4 kiwi, 3 pounds of grapes, 1 lb of potatoes, a basket of tomatoes, and 1 bag of onions. Crazy!

Another exciting thing about refunds! My taxes are complete thanks to Turbo Tax online, and I should be receiving my refund in the next few weeks. Some will be used towards paying bills, but some will also go towards fun. In these economic times, we have to find the fun where we can! 
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