Thursday, February 5, 2009
Even before the economy began to get bad, there has been a significant poverty problem in America. Last year, 10% of Americans were considered below the poverty line (defined by the Census Bureau as making under $9,393 for an individual or $14,680 for a family of three). What would your life be like if you lived on less than $10,000 per year?
The USDA has put out their cost of food report for 2008. The foodstamp allotment for a family of four (the Thrifty Plan) is $500. This is what they say a family of four could expect to pay for food and actually live to tell about it. That's about $1.39 per meal for each person.
Have you every tried eating for $1.39? With the belt-tightening we've been doing around our house, we decided to try this as an experiment with some interesting results.
But I'd like to see what YOU manage to come up with. So, here is my challenge... try for a week or two to put your food budget at the amount allowable according to the USDA Cost of Food Chart on the Thrifty Plan. It goes by age and gender. Try it for your household and see what kind of experiences you have. It's a really fascinating change in perspective and gives you an entirely new way of looking at the world around you -- for better or for worse.
The only rules are that whatever menu plans you come up with MUST be nutritionally balanced and you have to do at least three meals per day.
Here is an added challenge if you can work this into your budget... whatever the difference is that you save while you're doing this challenge -- donate it to a local food bank. You'll feel great about the good you've done with your donation and the perspective you've gained from this experience will be priceless!
And don't forget to let me know how it goes!
[photo credit: TowerGirl]