#FoodBankNYCChallenge

I’ve been pretty vocal on Facebook regarding Gwenyth Paltrow and her food bank challenge purchases, and I’m not an “important voice” or anything, but I wanted to back up my bitching.

My issue is not that shes a very rich person, or a movie star or someone who would spend $27 on a teeny tiney shot of vitamin juice with no hesitation. My issue is that she purports herself to be a real cook, a food writer and I can’t see any other person I know of who is a chef or a food writer or even a real cook making those choices… so I decided to go do my own theoretical challenge.

I went on my local supermarket’s website and made a shopping list. Knowing full well that the reality of it is that you really get $119 a month, and there is more variety available especially in regard to proteins. But as I have mentioned my mother and her husband live at this level, and without our help or trips to the food bank they could go a couple of months without things like fresh limes, cilantro, kale…much less orange juice, lettuce, and cucumbers.

I KNOW THIS ISN’T THE SAME AS LIVING  IT

BUT

I ALREADY HAVE LIVED ON $25 A WEEK

AND

I DON’T WANT TO DO IT AGAIN

Chicken thighs ( about 4 thighs on sale) 2#  $       3.50
Store brand pasta 1 box  $       0.89
Egg 1 doz  $       1.99
Brown Rice 1#  $       1.19
Frozen Veg (Broccoli, Spinach, Peas) 4- bags  $       3.96
Store Brand Canned Tomato 2 cans  $       1.58
Store Brand Cheese 1  $       2.49
Store brand WW bread 1  $       1.99
Store Brand Peanut Butter 1  $       1.99
Canned Beans 2  $       1.50
Onion 2  $       1.00
Garlic 2 heads  $       1.00
Bananas 3#  $       1.47
Potato 1#  $       0.99
Oatmeal/Instant 1  $       1.59
 Tuna on sale  1  $     1.00
 $    28.13

 

Then I made a menu- figuring that I did not exist in a vacuum and so had a few things on hand already like tea bags, sugar, salt, pepper, oil & a few spices, also, much as I did when I was broke, I would have a stash of soy sauce, duck sauce & mustard packets, sugar packets, lemon juice, ketchup packets, honey packets, mayo really anything that I could help myself to (also a  handful or so of those 1/2 & 1/2 containers stashed in the fridge)

It’s pretty grim even with a goodly stash of purloined condiments (especially the lack of chocolate and coffee)

Sunday

Breakfast

1 Egg + 1 cup frozen broccoli + cheese on Toast

Lunch  

Brown Rice & Beans (1 cup each) + 1 oz cheese (onion & garlic + hot sauce)

Dinner

1 Chicken Thigh braised in tomatoes, onion & garlic + 1/4 box  Spaghetti +1 Cup Frozen Broccoli

Dessert 1 Frozen banana blended w 1 TBS peanut butter

Monday

Breakfast

Breakfast – Oatmeal w Raw Sugar + 1 little half & half

Hard Boiled egg

Lunch

“Fried” Rice – Left over rice + soy sauce+ onions + egg

Dinner

Baked Potato w/ Spinach & Cheese

+ Peanut Butter Toast

Tuesday

Breakfast

Breakfast – Oatmeal w Raw Sugar + 1 little half & half

Hard Boiled egg

Lunch

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich

Dinner

Chicken thighs (soy sauce/duck sauce/hot mustard) + Brown Rice w Onion & Frozen peas

Wednesday

Breakfast 

Oatmeal w salt & pepper + Fried egg & Hot sauce

Lunch

Leftovers from Dinner

Dinner

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup made from canned tomatoes/onion/garlic + half & half

Thursday 

Oatmeal w bananas

Lunch – Leftover Tomato Soup + Extra Veg

Dinner: 

Omelet with Onions, Spinach & Cheese & Potatoes

Friday

Breakfast

Tuna Sandwich (mayo & relish)

Lunch 

Beans & Rice w Cheese

Dinner

Spaghetti  w Garlic & Broccoli

Saturday

Breakfast

“French Toast” w Bananas

Lunch 

Toast & Peanut Butter

Dinner

Last Chicken Thigh +  Caramelized Onions with Toast + any veg left

This is just one option- there are other ways- I could have included a quick trip to TJ’s to pick up a $1.19 pizza dough, there are sales on things like yogurt ($1 each) there are $1.50 boxes of cookies and 2 for a dollar chocolate bars, and .89 Stock… and its amazing what like $5 more could do…amirite?

 

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