Challenger wonders what it's like to feed kids this week, family of 5 has game plan


A college student challenger reflects on how hard it might be to satisfy a child or even children on a budget like this. Luckily, we have a mom of 3 that is documenting her experiences and shows how economies of scale work in her favor. Going back to our post on insecure living situations, buying in bulk still wouldn't work for a family constantly moving, with no place to store their extra food. Something to think about. Day #2 of Cal Fresh challenge. It's doing pretty well. Just trying to manage my budget and eats foods  that will sustain me throughout the day. It's kind of hard as a student when food is the fuel that keeps you going.  Today, I had my second protein bar this morning on my way to clinical. I didn't get to eat again until later in the morning which was when I had an apple. I had only water today. After clinical today, I stopped at the store again and purchased my dinner for the night. This consisted of 2 heads of broccoli, tofu and an avocado. I sauteed the tofu and broccoli but didn't eat the avocado. Its kinda of crazy and hard to be able to have only $4 worth of food for the entire day!  I cant imagine trying to feed growing children. They're always hungry. It would be difficult.  This does make me aware of the things that we often take for granted such as having a nice warm healthy meal.  But I have learned as an adult,  to not waste food as I do think of those who have it harder.

-Submitted by: CalFresh Challenger


I'm starting the challenge a day late...oops.

This morning I went to the commissary (lucky to have access, I know) and the two things that immediately struck me were: 1) I'm glad we're a family of 5, because there are some definite economies of scale; 2) I have become a horribly lazy shopper sometime over the past decade. Don't get me wrong, I buy tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains every week, and we cook at home nearly every night--but I don't compare prices as I shop the way I used to. I was shocked at how much money I'm likely throwing away each week, even on "healthy" foods.
Take fruit, for instance. We normally buy berries and peaches and apples this time of year, but today I opted for grapes and bananas and apples instead, for far more servings at far less cost. And the bread I normally buy? Twice as expensive as a loaf with very similar specs from a different company. Yikes.Our menu for the week:

Breakfasts: cold cereal with milk OR egg/cheese quesadillas, orange or apple juice, coffee with milk
Lunches: PBJ on wheat, apples, yogurt, tap water (in reusable bottles)
Dinners: chicken (thigh) curry with broccoli & rice, milk
                 spaghetti & turkey meatballs with green salad, milk
                 vegetable enchiladas with avocado salad, milk
                  korean short ribs with stir fried vegetables, milk
                  TBD (I still have just over $30 in my budget of $122.50 for 5 people/5 days)
Snacks:  grapes, bananas, popcorn, graham crackers
I'll follow up soon with how the family takes to the new "regime", and the challenges I'm sure we'll face...
-Submitted by: CalFresh Challenger