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Food Stamp Challenge with a twist: Day 1

I was patting myself on the back this morning. I was out of town and had not taken any of my food with me. I knew I could make it back to St. Joe without any problem because of the Jolly Ranchers I had in my purse and the large glass of water I had in the car. 

Well, there is this little thing called habit. On Sunday’s my husband likes to stop at the convenience store to buy a paper and me a soft drink. Not even thinking, I got my drink and he paid for both the paper the drink. We got back in the car and he started asking me about the challenge: how does it work, what had I bought, how much had I spent ($26.58) and was I going to like cooking nightly instead of weekly?  All through this conversation, I am sipping my drink. Then the big question: can I give you money to help you through this?  No, this is all on my own – my spending, my shopping, my cooking. What about that Coke I just bought you?  I did not get off to a great start because of a habit. A regular Sunday morning, this is what we do moment.  So I’m adding $1.07 to my spending which leaves me with $27.65 spent this week. I have a grand total of $.35 left. I really hope I do not need anything else because I am done. 

Last night I cooked my lunch for today. I would rather eat a big lunch than any other meal. There are days I would be very happy not eating anything other than Fritos all day but you can't live on chips, at least not every day. Tonight I made my version of The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s Cajun Chicken Pasta. Here is the recipe:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/09/cajun-chicken-pasta/  I did not have any tomatoes (too expensive) nor do I keep wine in the house. Since I am doing gluten and dairy free, there is almond milk instead of heavy cream and a little extra of the chicken broth I found in the refrigerator. I did not make enough for the full recipe but only enough for me for one meal. I want some variety this week even if it will be chicken every day.

Here is Ree’s version of Cajun Chicken Pasta.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

My version of Cajun Chicken and Rice or will be when the rice is cooked.

Vicki's Cajun Chicken Pasta

I used one of my chicken breasts, a green pepper (red is more than twice the price of green) and half an onion. Since I was cooking the pepper and onion, I put half aside for another meal later this week. The use of the almond milk (vanilla) really left my place smelling good.

Today I will find out if my substitutions taste good.

Posted by Vicki Berg, Director of Finance and Adminstration - Monday, 03/19/12, 09:30 AM - Comments - Category: Food Stamp Challenge 2012


Comment by Stacy on March 19, 2012 - 10:01 AM

Vicki, You are an amazing cook. I'm so inspired by your recipes so far. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

I found your Coke story very interesting. I understand how hard it is to break habits though. It's so hard to get out of those ruts.

Good luck with the Challenge. I know it will be a true process and a great learning experience. I look forward to following your journey.

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