Saturday, May 8, 2010

Eating Well on $68.88 a Week

It can be done! The Associated Press challenged two chefs and a foods editor to make meals for a week on what the average food stamp payment is for a family of four. One went over budget about ten dollars, but the other two were right on it. This means that theoretically, Emma should be able to provide meals on a gasto of $10 a day. I say theoretically because even professionally-trained chefs struggled and said that it took very careful shopping and a willingness to incorporate leftovers. The menus they planned would be so helpful if they had also given all the recipes. Instead, they gave one sample recipe from each chef. (Click the post title to read MSNBC's coverage of this story.)

Artwork: One of the Family by Frederick George Cotman
(I wanted to use a larger image, but in all the ones I found, the husband was almost completely obscured in shadow or partially cropped out.)


Eliza said...

I was surprised that the Tortilla Espanola on Chef Garces recipe had no tortillas in it! I just assumed since it was in the title... Also, both the red and green salsa is cheaper if you make it yourself. If I have all the staples, I can feed a family of five for a little less then $300.00 a month. However, if you have to work, that cuts into your time, making it harder to stay within the budget. Traveling all over Houston for church and school activities also makes it difficult to eat in, which also cuts into the budget. I noticed that their meal plans didn't include any fruit. Also, the vegetables seemed minimal to me. Most of their menus included a lot of rice, beans, and potatoes, which is what I do to stretch a dollar. I was rather disappointed because I cannot lose weight on this kind of menu. I guess there is no magic menu, even from professional chefs.

Wendy Haught said...

Yes, severely limiting the budget makes even pros struggle. Emma will not be able to buy any household items with a $10/day budget. Next week I will increase her budget to $15.