Are you tired of my menus yet? too bad. :-D
Today we were out of bananas, so for breakfast we just had oatmeal and milk. $3.
(That's $1 for a half-canister of generic oats, and $2 for a half-gallon of milk. (In England, I could get a canister of oats at Tesco for less than $1US.)
Lunch - some had peanut butter sandwiches, some had leftover pizza and qusadillas, Bob and I split a can of soup (bought on sale, with a coupon). Then the children each had a boiled egg (our own eggs, but for the sake of argument I'm figuring them in at $3 per dozen, the going rate for organic eggs) and a cup of canned fruit at $.50 each (Tesco sold it for less than half that!). Then some had chips. I'm totaling this meal at $9.
The girls made a big batch of sugar cookies, which I'm estimating at $4. The frosting will be another $1.
For dinner we are having homemade BBQ meatballs, which cost about $8 to make. (Ground beef was $3 per pound at Sam's; I used 2 lbs, plus oats, egg, onion, and spices; then ketchup, sugar, and spices in the sauce.) If you count the full price of everything (a whole bottle of garlic powder for the 1 tsp I used), it would be $16. We will have corncakes (never had before, sounded good) at $2.50. I usually make macaroni & cheese with BBQ meatballs, but I'm out of Velveeta and we don't like sauce from straight cheddar. hmm. Maybe a salad? Green beans? I'll haul out the leftover veg from Wednesday. So, grand total for dinner is $14.
That's $31 for the day. We just might have ice cream later, at $3 per (3 qt) tub.
Now, if I was "broke" and we were trying to get by on very little, we could eat oatmeal more frequently. Protein would be limited to chicken ($2 per pound for boneless breasts) and eggs, and fruit and veg would be hard to come by. Maybe the occasional Iceburg and carrot salad; those are still cheap, but have little value.
So even with eating comfortably, we'd be $6 under for the day on food stamps, and would be tempted to spend that on some indulgence like Hawaiian bread.
Now, I acknowledge that it would be harder to meat the challenge with only 1 or 2 in the family, because smaller size packages cost more per serving, and it would be harder to have a variety of foods. We are truly blessed to be able to live as comfortably as we do.
More on the "food stamps" program, esp for Ganeida. This program is strictly for food. Other expenses are covered (or not) by other programs. I can see where it would be a good idea to set limits - this prevents people from buying cigarettes (for instance) on taxpayer money. But it also encourages a lifestyle of splurges and poverty; as you have a set amount of money, you may as well spend it; in addition, if you have any money in savings you are disqualified. Again, I see the reasoning behind that, but it is unkind to the recipients. If you just gave them the cash, they could choose to eat cheaply and save up for other needed items (or blow it all on beer!).
So, again, no solutions here, just thinking out loud.