Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Family SNAP Hunger Challenge: Day 2

Woke up this morning with a headache and irritable from my unintended fast yesterday and my overall lack of caffeine. Did not plan appropriately (again) last night for today, so Day 2 of the Project Open Hand SNAP Hunger Challenge is turning out to be a bit of a bear.

After the monsters' recorded their video reflecting on Day 1 last night, my daughter pointed out to me that although they appreciated the fact that I wanted to ensure they received the majority of the food, they would prefer that I allotted myself a little more going forward in order to keep me from being so irritable and snappy at the end of the day.

I was really struck by this in a way that I wouldn't normally be because she was absolutely right. And it made me wonder how difficult it must be for parents who are always short on food to maintain a level state of emotion and thoughtfulness when you're just really digging as deep as you can to get the next task done and move on to the next day. But there has to be a balance. There has to. So, for the sake of their sanity and mine, I'm adjusting my portions a little today.

Cinnamon Oatmeal
  • 1.5 c generic oats
  • 1 tbsp generic brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp margarine (cheapest I could find)
  • 1 tbsp honey (from farmer's market jar)
Chunky Applesauce on the Stove 
  • 2 small diced over-ripe apples I was about to throw out
  • 2 tbsp margarine (already beginning to realize I use this too much for it to be one that's so bad for us)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sprinkled cinnamon (grated stick)
  • water for both
Total for Breakfast: $2.11

  • sliced chicken breast (the whole chicken I boiled will last for several meals, including the broth)
  • 4 slices of wheat bread for 2 sandwiches
  • mustard for her
  • for me: leftover oatmeal the kids didn't finish at breakfast (almost 1.5 cups cooked, which was actually very filling, and which I ate over the course of 2 hours between breakfast and lunch), and, of course, lots more water
Total for Lunch: $1.22

Celery and carrot stix with peanut butter
and homemade chunky applesauce
 SNACKS: Morning and After School
NOTE: This is where we found we were lacking most yesterday.
  • cut-up carrots and celery sticks
  • 1 heaping tbsp of peanut butter for each
  • 2 tbsp chunky applesauce from breakfast
  • 1 string cheese for her
  • 1 snack bag of chex mix for him

Total for Snacks: $2.10

  DINNER: Chicken and Rice and Veggies

  • diced half boiled chicken from Monday
  • re-use 4 c chicken broth from the boil
  • re-use 2 egg yolks from Monday to thicken the sauce
    Chicken and Rice with a
    Side of Mixed Steamed Veggies
  • 2 tbsp yellow onion
  • 2 tsp ground comino seed
  • 1/4 c diced bell pepper
  • 4 crushed cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 3 c white rice
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies (steamed)
Total for Dinner: $5.45

DESSERT: 2 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream: $0.28

1 Flintstone vitamin each: $0.20


  • We had $13.68 to spend today. I only spent $11.36. That leaves $2.32. But I actually don't consider that a savings. I view that as an opportunity to maximize our spending and do better with my meal planning so that all 3 of us feel satisfied from morning until bedtime. Or, it could also mean I get to factor in a cup of coffee tomorrow. :)
  • Although dinner ended up being a pretty expensive meal, it was because it made so much that I was able to eat a full dinner myself, and we still have leftovers for all three of our lunches tomorrow.
  • By far, though, the biggest observation made today was that, as a parent, I still and always have to put the mask on myself first before taking care of my children.
For more details, to join the challenge, or to follow other participants' posts, please visit Project Open Hand SNAP Hunger Challenge.

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