See you later Starbucks

 CalFresh Challenge shopping in New York. 

CalFresh Challenge shopping in New York. 

First, It’s frustrating knowing that I will not be able to give myself to this challenge 100%. On Friday a dear friend is getting married and on Saturday I will be attending the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival. For a second, I thought about taking into account the cost per plate at the wedding reception hall, but at $66, I would be sacrificing TWO WEEKS of food. With regards to the Garlic Festival, this glorious event comes but once a year and is a shining beacon in my small life. To make amends for my deviance from the challenge I will attempt to stretch out the food I bought for the challenge for two days past the official end. 

Location might prove to be a challenge. I am a native San Diegan living in the Hudson River Valley of New York. For over three years the East Coast has been my home and for over three years the discrepancies between East Coast and West Coast food have been the bane of my existence. I shudder every time I look at the outrageous prices of avocados and citrus. And I always have to give my produce an even more careful once-over since fruit and veggies take a beating when trucked over from the Central Valley of California. When I get the chance, I try to hit up the local farms for produce, but since I work Saturdays, I can’t make the local Farmer’s Markets and the one grocery store that features local products is a thirty minute trek (one that I refuse to make during bitter winter days). In New York the average weekly food stamp benefits per participant is $36.93, but I’m sticking to the California budget. 

Food is an extremely social aspect of my life. My mid-morning coffee break I have at the office is such an essential part of my day and my mid-week happy hour adventure is key to keeping sane. I’ve already rescheduled Aside from the previously stated exceptions, I will only eat food I have prepared from the items I purchased for the challenge. See you later Starbucks. Take care Sam Adams…

1 package of corn tortillas- $1.29
2 cans of black beans- $.67 each
1 can of garbanzo beans- $. 67
Brown rice- $1.19
Quick Oats- $2.69
Balsamic vinegar dressing - $2.99
Kale bunch- $.95
2 lb package of carrots- $1.00
Garlic- $.50
3 Russet potatoes -$2.56
Cucumber -$.66
Sweet potato -$1.02
Onion -$1.21
4 Granny Smith apples - $3.03
Jalapeno pepper - $.22
Green pepper -$1.11
2 tomatoes- $3.17 

TOTAL with Tax: $25.40