Week 1 | Pantry Challenge on a Food Stamp Budget

5:18 PM | |
pantry challenge food stamps

I feel like I kind of played myself by committing to doing a Pantry Challenge. No goodies that I really want, but I know in the end it’ll be all worth it.

Our family has been on government assistance for the past few months. During our period of being homeless we automatically qualified for public assistance. At first, I was only receiving $600 in food stamps per a mistake they did on their part. Once everything was fixed, we got bumped to $800. Now that I’m bringing in consistent income every month, it has dropped to $500 a month.

I’m thankful that I do have this to help me feed my family. At one point, we were just eating ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If you are wondering why I’m doing a pantry challenge. You can watch this video and this video to see the once a month hauls I did to keep us stocked up for a few months. By doing this once a month hauls, it allows me to have things on hand so that I don’t have to run to the corner store. The corner stores tend to charge way more than the actual grocery stores does around here. So if I can avoid making trips to the corner store and save my food stamps then so be it.

Myth: If you don’t spend your food stamps they’ll think you won’t need it and you’ll lose your rollover and benefits.

FALSE! Most states allow your benefits to be active on your card for up to 12 months even AFTER your benefits have been canceled. So if you only spend half of your benefits for one month, you can allow your balance to roll over to the next month without the fear of losing your benefits if you don’t spend it all up in one month.

Most of my shopping trips are done at Sam’s Club. Since I didn’t need to stock up the pantry. I decided to go to Walmart. Sadly, Walmart was extremely packed and the shelves were bare. I would’ve been better off just sticking to Aldi’s and Sam’s Club. I wasn’t able to grab eggs, bread, grapes, toilet paper, and a few other odds and ends.

I spent a total of $338 and my current budget is $500. The rest will go to the basics like eggs, bread, and fruits or veggies that I will need for meals every week. I honestly would’ve spent less if I didn’t buy more than what my shopping list was. I definitely went over my goal for this week, but what I did buy should last us for the whole month.

I prepped my meals by printing out a printable pantry challenge worksheet that can help me write down what I already have in my pantry, fridge, and freezer. This helped me figure out a grocery list and menu planning for the week.

My main focus is to use the bone broth and the beans that I bought a few months back. Now that I have the Ninja Foodi that allows me to pressure cook so many different things. I can utilize it to make our own beans instead of buying cans. I just need to find a way to store it without it taking up my fridge space. I actually did a first impressions video on what I think about it. Since buying it, I have made tons of meals in it.

Menu for Week 1

I used the Ninja Foodi about three times. Think of a slower cooker, but cooks in the fraction of a time. Even if the food is FROZEN!

  • Baked Chicken Parm with Rice & String Beans
  • Kids Requested: Mac & Cheese with Hot Dogs, Yogurt, and Orange
  • *Beef Steaks with Gravy, Cheesy Broccoli Rice, and Cornbread
  • *Baked Chicken, Rice & Beans, and Hawaiian Bread
  • Leftovers/You are on your own
  • Homemade Hamburger Helper
  • *Pork and Sauerkraut with White Rice

I have found a ton of recipes to make with the Foodi. I’m also thinking about making yogurt, baked goods, and fruit leathers!

If you are doing the pantry challenge. Be Sure to let me know in the comments so I can shout you out and link to your blog or channel.

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