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Kulongowski on Food Stamps Diet


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#21 tejon

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 10:25 AM

That makes sense. I could feed an army off of my stockpile, too :).
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#22 MaBell

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 10:58 AM

I have a lot of pantry stuff stockpiled but I'm thinking that other than spices and a few condiments I would keep my budget based on new things I buy with the $3 person/day budget. I'm probably going to start this Saturday and end on Friday. The only obstacle is that I have to bring a fruit salad to an event on Sunday.

I've lived on less per day - in NYC of all places. I ate a lot of rice and beans, cereal and soup when my rent ate up about 40% of my take home salary.

After this challenge I am considering the PennyWise Eat Local Challenge as well. It would be an interesting comparison of the food quality, etc. The budget for Pat and I would be $144 a week. This is about $40 more than we spend per week now. That doesn't count what we spend eating out a couple times a week.
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#23 tejon

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:05 AM

I've lived on less per day as well, $10 a week back in '91 for a while. Not something I'd suggest, that's for sure! I didn't eat meat (too expensive) and lived on potatoes, eggs, cheese, beans, pasta, salsa, salad greens, and apples. Oh, and ramen noodles with extras, that oh so versatile food item. Did end up with a really good bean dip recipe out of the mix, along with an abiding fondness for spaghetti and marinara topped with shredded cheddar (believe it or not, pretty tasty stuff).
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#24 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:13 AM

I'm thinking of trying to stay low carb while I do it. That will actually be a challenge.

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#25 Amanda

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:21 AM

This sounds like a novel and interesting experiment for someone who has never been hungry. I had some lean years when I was married (husband didn't work most of the time and I was the bread winner) and a few others later on when I lived solo in Chicago and when I first moved back to Portland. Perhaps those times made me the voracious eater I am today.

I'd be up for donating, but not for doing the food stamp equivalent thing. I have a well-stocked pantry as well, and could easily get by on what we've got in the house without buying anything at all for a week or more, I think. Going without from scratch is something I'm not interested in experiencing again. It feels scary to even think about, really. I feel sorry for people who go hungry.

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#26 chris pez

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 12:20 PM

as someone who fed himself and two kids off of food stamps for two years all i have to say is i'm with angelhair.
foodshedpsx is dead. as is god. and elvis. and george burns. and you and me too soon enough.

#27 ducky

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:07 PM

I think I'm going to go with Ted's original challenge of April 23-29 but what ever works for people is fine IMO. My challenge will be keeping the nutrients and protein up. I have struggles in certain areas so even though I'm not doing it long term, I want to be conscious of my nutritional values.

For me, it's about trying to get a message out and maybe raise someone's awareness and probably, more than anything, about stirring up a little fundraiser for the Food Bank. I hear things have been a bit tough for them lately.
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#28 LadyConcierge

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 04:43 PM

I also got to thinking last night that Ted should do a second week with the $21 budget and figure in what he would give up for a sales tax. That might be an eye opener for Mr. Taxandgougeme.



FYI: There's no sales tax for Food Stamps.

#29 Kristi

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 05:25 PM


I also got to thinking last night that Ted should do a second week with the $21 budget and figure in what he would give up for a sales tax. That might be an eye opener for Mr. Taxandgougeme.



FYI: There's no sales tax for Food Stamps.


Do you mean that in states with a sales tax, if you use Food Stamps, you don't pay sales tax on your purchase?

#30 LadyConcierge

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 05:33 PM

Yep. I used to manage the Papa Murphy's in Battle Ground, WA. Sales tax is subtracted or not added for qualifying Food Stamp purchases. At Papa Murphy's, this applied to anything not "ready to eat", like pizza, cookie dough, cheesy bread, etc. Salads and soda, and retail items like pizza cutters can not be purchased with Food Stamps.

#31 Calabrese

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 05:36 PM

I lived on food stamps for about six or seven months many, many years ago. All I can say was the produce and bulk goods at Corno's plus bits of their sweet Italian sausage and a few other low end meats, kept us fed o.k. The FM close to where I lived in those days just sucked and had no "nutrition center". I still can't stand split pea or lentil soup much though. The best meal of that period in my life was had when a buddy from college came to town and bought the fixings for a standing rib roast dinner. And of course, there were leftovers. I suspect that was one of those acts that cemented a friendship over the miles and over the decades that it's been. Enough reminiscing about the good bad old days.



Needless to say, I am on the I will pass on this challenge team.

#32 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 07:11 PM

I lived on food stamps for about six or seven months many, many years ago. All I can say was the produce and bulk goods at Corno's plus bits of their sweet Italian sausage and a few other low end meats, kept us fed o.k. The FM close to where I lived in those days just sucked and had no "nutrition center". I still can't stand split pea or lentil soup much though. The best meal of that period in my life was had when a buddy from college came to town and bought the fixings for a standing rib roast dinner. And of course, there were leftovers. I suspect that was one of those acts that cemented a friendship over the miles and over the decades that it's been. Enough reminiscing about the good bad old days.



Needless to say, I am on the I will pass on this challenge team.


Interestingly enough, I made split pea soup tonight for dinner, with cornbread. I wasn't thinking about the cost of it, but I've been too busy to go to the grocery store for a couple of weeks, and I had to hit the pantry up for some peas. I happened to have a sausage in the meat bin, and a smoked turkey leg from Gartners. A few carrots, an onion, a potato, some garlic, a bay leaf and salt and pepper. It turned out well, especially after I added some smoked paprika to it. And the corn bread was made in a red-hot cast iron skillet, greased with some leftover bacon fat Mr. P and J gives to the dogs to make their pills slip down easier.

I too was on food stamps in my earlier years, including when I was in college. It was the Nixon years, and everything was drying up. I remember having to sign a document in order to get the stamps that gave the caseworkers permission to come to my home to see if I was sharing any of my food with anyone else in the household, and to let them search my room to see if I was hiding money. All of this humiliation in order to eat. I hope it's changed for the applicants now.

I worked for Multnomah County in the WIC program at the North Portland Health Center about 15 years ago or so. Now THAT's a good program. It's for pregnant women, their infants and children up to five years old, I believe. The applicants have individual counseling with a registered dietician, medical checkups (including hematocrit), referrals to other programs etc. For food, they get checks to use like food stamps, but they get a LOT more than $21 per person per month.

They get their choice of about 25 whole-grain cold cereals, infant cereal and formula, choice of juice, milk, cheese, peanut butter or dried beans, and more choices for breastfeeding women. And the program saves infant lives and is successful in other ways:

"The following studies have documented that for each dollar spent on pregnant women in WIC, between $2 and $5 is saved in Medicaid costs; for each dollar spent on newborns in WIC, between $4 and $5 is saved in Medicaid costs. These dramatic effects are due in large part to WIC working in concert with numerous other health care programs such as maternal and child health services, immunization, migrant and community health services and Medicaid."

So if I was a (much younger) pregnant woman, I'd head for WIC instead of the Food Stamp office.

#33 MaBell

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 08:12 PM



I also got to thinking last night that Ted should do a second week with the $21 budget and figure in what he would give up for a sales tax. That might be an eye opener for Mr. Taxandgougeme.



FYI: There's no sales tax for Food Stamps.


Do you mean that in states with a sales tax, if you use Food Stamps, you don't pay sales tax on your purchase?


There is no sales tax at all on (non-prepared) foods in about 20 states.
Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

#34 polloelastico

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 09:07 PM

MaBell and ducky, you might be interested in this guy who limited himself to $30 in one month and blogged daily about it. Hungry For a Month.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#35 ducky

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:51 AM

I still think Ted should try to live on a small budget for a month, then live on the same money with sales tax. I'll have to go check out the bolg. Thanks PE. Started working on my budget and food list last night. It's not going as far as even I thought. I see alot of potatoes in my future. That $1.39 bag at QFC will go a long way. And Trader Joe's has eggs for 99 cents. I'm going through a store or two each day and making a list of possible items that might help it work. The thing I worry about is going for a cheap brand of something or getting it on sale and opening something and finding out that I can't stand it. Then I'm stuck with it. If I had more time, I'd do a comparison of cheap cans of tuna fish, cheap pasta, peanut butters, and things like that.
Pamela

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.

-Elsa Schiaparelli

(Avatar is the cover of Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen)

#36 polloelastico

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:59 AM

Hitting the Asian markets such as Fubonn and some of the smaller Vietnamese markets might stretch your budget a bit further in terms of produce, and certain canned goods as well.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#37 ducky

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 09:15 AM

I figured FuBonn, Lily and Pacific markets as well as Su Casa. I'm on the bus, so most of it will be near to home or work or in between. FuBonn is the only one that will be an out of the way trip but I figure they will have enough cheap stuff to make it worth the bus ride on a weekend if I were doing this all the time. Will probably scope out QFC, New Seasons, Fred's, Safeway, Winco and Albie's. Did Trader Joe's last night. Eggs, pasta, frozen broccoli are standing out and nuts and dried fruits if I were doing long term. I figure costco is kinda out unless I'm splitting things or trading with family members.
Pamela

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.

-Elsa Schiaparelli

(Avatar is the cover of Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen)

#38 tejon

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 10:27 AM

Couple of recipes that might be a help for you. Both are really easy, both work as a main dish, and both are very inexpensive in terms of ingredients. Also tasty, always a plus :P. You should be able to get small amounts of lentils in the bulk bins at any grocery store. Pasta can be gotten on sale for about a dollar almost anywhere. Parmesan isn't the cheapest thing, but a tiny wedge would flavor a lot of food and give you a pretty big bang for the buck. The recipes don't need it, though.

Angry Lentil Tortilla Soup
serves 2-3

2 6" flour tortillas (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onions, minced
1/2 cup carrots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 habanero pepper, minced (or hot pepper sauce to taste)
1/2 cup red or yellow lentils
3 cups water
1-2 green onions, sliced thin
6 tablespoons asiago or parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
salt and black pepper to taste

1 Toast tortillas until crisp and dry if using.
2 Over medium heat, saute onions, carrots, garlic and habanero in the olive oil until they caramelize in the pan a bit (turn golden). Add lentils and cook for a minute or two. Add water, salt (I use about 1/2 tsp.) and some black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep lentils from sticking.
3 Mash the lentils with the side of a spoon a bit to break them up. Break up tortillas into bowls, then top with soup. Garnish with green onion and grated cheese.


Pasta with Broccoli
Serves 2

1 lbs broccoli
1/2 lb. pasta (penne and linguine are great here, but anything will do)
1 Tbs butter (or use all oil)
1 Tbs olive or vegetable oil
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp salt
big dash freshly ground pepper
2 Tb parmesan or asiago cheese, grated (optional)

Cut broccoli into small florets, then peel stems and cut into 1/4 inch rounds (you can skip the stems, but they are so tasty!).
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta to the water and cook until just tender. About 3 minutes before pasta is done, add broccoli to the pot. Drain both in colander.
Meanwhile, in small pan heat butter and oil (or just oil) over medium low heat, then add garlic. Cook for a minute or two, then add pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Toss pasta, broccoli, and garlic-oil mixture together (I usually use the same pot I boiled the pasta in). Top with cheese and serve.


Ack - how could I forget?

Mujadara
Serves 2-3

2 Tb. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion (about 3/4 lb.), finely chopped
1/2 cup brown or green lentils, picked over for stones and other debris
2 cups water
1/2 cup basmati rice
Water
1/2 tsp salt

1 In a large sauté pan or skillet or a Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are deeply caramelized, a rich shade of amber. If they're burnt and blackened in spots, even better.
2 While the onions are cooking, place the lentils in a medium saucepan, add water to cover by an inch, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, undisturbed, for 20 minutes. Drain the lentils, and set them aside.
3 When the onions are ready, stir in the rice. Then add the cooked lentils, along with 1 cups of water and the salt. Stir to mix well, and bring the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep the pan at a slow simmer, cover, and cook. Depending on the size and shape of your pan, this last stage – cooking the onions, rice, and lentils together – could take from 20 to 40 minutes. Basically, the dish is done when the rice is done.
4 After about 20 minutes, remove the lid, and give the pot a gentle stir. If there is still some liquid visible, replace the lid and keep cooking until it is fully absorbed. On the other hand, if there is no obvious liquid, take a taste. If the rice is tender, the mujadara is ready. If the rice is not yet ready, add another splash of water, replace the lid, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. The mujadara is ready to eat when the rice is tender and there is no liquid left in the pan.
- Kathy

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#39 Angelhair

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 10:33 AM

My husband and I were discussing what is the 'cheapest' cuisine. We both agree that Mexican, expecially if you hit some of the bigger markets, can be super super cheap.

#40 ducky

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:55 AM

I find mexican food to be so satisfying too. When I used to eat with my crew, it would only take one or two corn tortillas, a few hunks of meat and a little sauce and I was full. One cup of atole or one tamale does it for me too. It's unbelievable compared to how much I would need to eat with any other cuisine to get the same feeling of being full and to stay full.
Pamela

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.

-Elsa Schiaparelli

(Avatar is the cover of Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen)