Skip to main content

G's Food Stamp Challenge!

You've heard of the Food Stamp Challenge:  everyone from big-city mayors to large family bloggers have tried it at one time or another.  G is reaching adulthood and wants to make some of his own food choices.  Food stamps here are about $150/month per person, so we gave him $20 and told him it had to last four days.  Long enough for him to get a taste of what life would be like on a budget, but not so long that we'd starve the kid. 

G was able to eat one bowl of our cereal each morning, but that was it.  Other than that, he's on his own until Friday morning.

So here's what he bought:

$1.28  loaf of bread
$2.00  bologna
$1.88 six-pack small applesauce
$1.38 baby carrots
$2.56 small peanut butter/jelly combo jar
$2.48 large strawberry yogurt
$1.98 half-gallon lowfat milk
$.68 macaroni and cheese box (bought 2)
$1.98 chips
$.86 tax

TOTAL:  $17.76

G had to "buy" margarine from us to make his macaroni and cheese.  We could have just let him suffer for his own poor planning, but we didn't.  We're also seeing that soda is an expensive habit as we are charging him 40 cents a can (pretty much our cost) until the experiment is over.

What we've seen:

G is much more appreciative of the fact that his parents make him eat less expensive food sometimes for a reason.  We simply do not have the money to buy him a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake at every meal.  G has one more day to go and he is finding that the food is starting to run out. It won't kill him to eat bologna slices right out of the package tomorrow if the bread is gone, but I'm hopeful that he will be more understanding in the future when we run out of a favourite food.

Have you tried giving your children a similar challenge, or did they learn these things in college?


  1. A very interesting assignment!
    I am sure I would fail at this .. which no doubt explains my ever-expanding waistline :)

    (I actually learned this lesson in high school where I had to have job to be able to buy anything ... my allowance (earned by mowing the acre lawn and lugging the trash cans) being just two dollars a week)

  2. Haven't done this... I don't even live on this myself. But, I am looking at that list and seeing a lot of food that is subsidized, keeping it cheap. A lot of food on the list is genetically modified. And, a lot of food are considered top allergens. It is very difficult to keep your family fed! Our lifestyle is unsustainable...

  3. Very smart. I would do a second week so he can choose items based on what he has learned. For instance, he can buy pasta and sauce, and maybe some ground beef and eat that for a few meals. A box of pasta and jar of sauce cost the same as a bag of chips. Get veggies, peanut butter and jelly form Aldies or a less expensive store. Find yoghurt coupons.. etc.

  4. Excellent experiment! I second Ahermitt's idea of giving him a second week to see what he's learned.

    My kids are too young to have learned this stuff first hand, but I am planning on implementing some kind of thing where I have them help me meal plan and shop on our budget.


Post a Comment

Non-troll comments always welcome! :)

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK. 

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series. 

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…

Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

 All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap! 

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.  

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D! 

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics: