Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I see over on the Al-Dente blog (via Insty) that there is a "Hunger Action Challenge" which challenges one to:
  • Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner spending only $7 ($12 for two, $18 for three, and $22 for four) per day.
  • Salt and pepper don't count but all other seasonings, cooking oils, condiments, snacks, drinks, and everything else do.
  • Don't use food you already own.
  • Don't accept food from family, friends, coworkers and others. Not even the free samples from Costco!
  • Try to include fresh produce and healthy protein each day.
(I have highlighted the family-of-two cost, as it is just my wife and I.)

Now, let me introduce you to our new, recently spiffied-up monthly food budget (now with more money and new fruit and veggie category!):
General Groceries: $192.50
Fruits and Veggies: $55.00
Coffee: $7.00
Alcohol: $7.00
Date Night: $25.00

If you include the maximum of $50 or so of our respective fun money that ends up going to Starbucks, McDonald's, or subsidizing a date night in a given month, we have a total of $336.50, or $11.22 per day for a 30 day month.

I hereby declare victory over this not-particularly-challenging challenge.

If my wife and I can manage to eat what we believe to be a balanced diet, complete with dinner at Outback and a few fast food runs, on less than the maximum food stamp benefit for a family of two, it would seem that hunger just isn't that big of a problem. This challenge has backfired - I'm more skeptical than I was going into thinking about it!

I realize that I live in a fairly low-food-cost area here in Indiana, but all it takes is skipping date night and fast food, and all of a sudden the food budget stretches much farther. What am I missing here?


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