Wednesday was hump day in the SNAP Challenge. Each day seems to get a little easier when it comes to thinking about food. However, the side effects of lack of food are starting to set in. Jeremiah and I don’t feel as focus at work as we should be. While folding laundry, we noticed I put a number of articles in the dryer I normal wouldn’t have. Clearly, I was so focused on my hunger on Monday that I wasn’t paying attention. We are also so tired in the evenings.
For breakfast, we each ate our pancakes. They seems to hold until 11 – 11:30 AM. For lunch, I sprinkled a little Italian Seasoning in both our hummus containers. Jeremiah is begging to add oil to his dish for Thursday.
For lunch, I continued to eat a tuna sandwich. We had enough leftovers so Jeremiah took a serving of red beans and rice to go with his sides.
During the day, I got to go to an open house in the SNAP Department. They had samples of recipes others can make on a SNAP budget during next week’s challenge. Since I am doing the SNAP Challenge this week, I couldn’t sample any of them. They aren’t in my SNAP budget. They also asked clients to share their stories. The stories are documented and displayed on paper plates. I was touched by so many of them. Pregnancy, a workplace injury, cancer, and minimum wage jobs are just a few of the reasons these people are turning to Harvesters for help. I feel guilty that at the end of this week I know my budget will increase for food.
When I come home, Jeremiah is eating some crackers. I asked if the lunch had held. He said it did until he got to my house. I understand the cravings you typically get while cooking dinner. Normally, I would eat a few crackers or M&Ms myself. While eating Chicken Penne Pasta with Salsa con Queso and corn bread leftovers, Jeremiah’s eye catches the bananas hanging on the counter. He say, “I will skip a banana for lunch if you want to split on tonight.” He immediately realizes how hungry he is and that he has never done this before. I tell Jeremiah about a banana, brown sugar, and butter recipe I saw in the SNAP cookbook that I want to try. I show him a picture on my cell phone and realize it takes two bananas. Sure, we could half the recipe but what if it is terrible? Then, we just wasted a banana and extra ingredients not originally in our budget. I convenience Jeremiah to wait until after our Financial Peace University class. If we are still hungry, we can eat it then. With eight cookies left, I tell Jeremiah we have enough for two each tonight. What a splurge!
While driving to class, we discuss the foods we are craving. I told Jeremiah that I wanted a hot chocolate. Jeremiah mentions just how much he is craving his grande Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. He also wants French fries. Now suddenly, I am craving these from the McDonald’s across the street from my apartment. Jeremiah says, “They are on the dollar menu.” That’s when I have to remind him that McDonald’s doesn’t take SNAP so we can get any before Saturday.
When we get to class, two of the groups had brought snacks. There is hummus from the Holy Land Cafe that looks so much better than ours with fresh veggie and crackers. Someone else has brought cookies. We skip the table to sip on the water bottles we bought because it isn’t in our SNAP budget. Throughout class, their is discussion about the food for our last class next week. Our mouths are watering at the pork loin description.
The class this week is on home buying. This is something we would both like to have in the future. In some of the examples Dave shares, they save all of one spouses income to buy a home with cash. That’s funny because Jeremiah and I have talked about just living off his income and saving mine. We are dreaming of the days in retirement where we can travel and not have to worry about money to pay off debt. We think this is doable. Even in doing so, we know we won’t have to live on a SNAP budget for food.
I also share with Jeremiah that I think we are spending too much money eating out. We agree that one week we can do a nice sit down and one week we can do fast casual (Chipotle, Smashburger, pizza, etc.) Jeremiah also throws out that if one of us suggest going out to eat more than once a week, they have to put $45 into a saving jar. Sadly, this is the average cost of us going out to eat one meal. But this week, it’s all the money we have for 30 meals. We haven’t determined yet what we are going to do with the money.
While driving home, I comment on how I haven’t been enjoying the pasta dish as much as I usually do. I think it taste weird. Jeremiah says he is thinking the same thing. I asked it the salsa con queso was expired and Jeremiah says no. He ask it is the pasta. I said that it is the pasta I normally use. But then I realized, we had regular pasta on Sunday night and barely any sugar since. I bet whole wheat pasta is more noticeable then.
We retreat to my apartment. It’s only 9:15 PM and we are so tired so it’s time for bed.