A few years back I fundraised $635 for Live Below The Line by cooking and eating $2.25 a day worth of food for 5 days. $2.25 per day is considered the extreme poverty line in New Zealand. I came up with a bunch of simple recipes based on $11.25 worth of groceries and blogged about my experience.
I won’t lie, it was miserable. I experienced hunger and deficiencies. While I made sure I ate 3+ times a day, I felt foggy and light headed. Most days, I came home from work, ate a small, unsatisfying meal and went straight to bed. This really highlighted for me, the struggles the poor have to face daily. How can someone possibly get ahead if they feel like that constantly?
Yesterday I saw the fury of the internet unleashed on Gwyneth Paltrow when she posted her $29 SNAP challenge.
If you missed it, here it is again.
I also got swept up in the fury and I reposted it to my Facebook page. 7 limes? What planet do you live on? The exhorbant price of limes in New Zealand taunt me but maybe they’re dirt cheap where Gwyn resides. Even so, one lime a day?
I know the $11.25 haul I bought looked nothing like Gwyneth’s haul. Quite honestly, $4.15 a day seems almost luxurious compared to my paltry $2.25 a day.
So, I’ve come up with a lime free shopping list based on $29. Last time I checked, the New Zealand dollar was weaker than the US dollar giving me a disadvantage, but while putting this together, I found that the New Zealand dollar is actually stronger than the US dollar, giving me an advantage. But for intents and purposes and because the world market doesn’t effect my shopping bill, I’ll keep it at $29NZ.
If I had an extra $10 I’d add butter, flour and more vegetables.
While SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is meant as a supplemental program, and not 100% of a family’s grocery money, 20% of families on SNAP have no other source of income other than SNAP.
I love a bargain and avoid buying meat and vegetables from the supermarket where the price and quality are suspect. I always stock up when things go on sale and rarely buy things not on my list. Aside from that time for charity, I’ve never actually budgeted my list to a dollar amount. As long as I aim for what’s in season and on special for as many items as we can, I think we do OK. I feel incredibly blessed.
Have you ever had to budget? What are your tips?
What would you do with 7 limes?