I’m going to be very honest with you. Today we failed the Hunger Challenge. Every Tuesday morning my husband meets his small group at Starbucks for coffee and an oatmeal. I figured I could budget that in without problem. Then, every Tuesday night he takes our kids along with another dad and his kids spending time doing something fun and finishing it off by going to out to dinner. I forgot this was happening tonight and didn’t budget for this.. crap. When they were leaving for their special night out, I reminded them to find somewhere cheap to eat because of Hunger Action Week. I honestly believed they were going to spend around $15 max. Upon returning home I discovered they spent $25 on dinner – not okay with me. But the reality is… people make choices. Tonight I feel as if our family (Rob) made terrible choices with our food budget which will effect how we eat the next few days. Not the end of the world, but certainly not a good day for us. Ironically, while everyone was enjoying Chinese food I treated myself to top ramen with egg. Not because its cheap to eat, but because its one of my favorite foods to eat when I’m home alone. Thank God for top ramen!
Yesterday I posted how I believe limited amounts of money can cause anxiety in people. Well guess what? I’m feeling a wee bit stressed. I wanted to approach this challenge not fearing how I was going to stretch each dollar, but given what has happened tonight I feel less empowered and more concerned about the next few days. We have three days left to go and I need to go grocery shopping one more time before this challenge is over.
Hunger Challenge has a way of always bringing back childhood memories in a not-so-good way. Our family grew up poor. I recall several times being at the grocery store with my mom and watching her disposition change on her face when the cashier would total our bill. She would mentally scan all the groceries figuring out which ones would have to go back. One item after another was subtracted from our bill until the total amount was within the amount of cash she had on hand. Always going through my mind was this, “Would we have enough money or wouldn’t we?”. When we did have enough money to pay our bill, a big sigh of relief immediately followed. For families struggling today this scenario is reality and so is hunger.
Here’s a breakdown on what we ate and spent.
Total for the day = $38.94
1 cup of soy milk ($.32)
2 cups regular milk ($.36)
2 bowls of Cheerios cereal ($.40)
1 piece of toast ($.10)
1 cup of oatmeal ($.13)
Starbucks oatmeal and coffee ($4)
Lunch = $5.30
Adults Lunch: Chicken Curry Salad With Couscous and Lettuce
Kids Lunch =$2.95
2 granola bars ($.50)
3 pbj’s ($1.20)
2 oranges ($.66)
3 snack pack sized pretzels ($.60)
1/2 batch of oatmeal bars ($1.75)
Chinese Food ($25)
Top Ramen plus an egg ($.26)
- Hunger Action Grocery Budget Totals
- United Way Hunger Action Week Opening Thoughts
- Hunger Challenge Day 1 $20.03
- Hunger Challenge Day 2 $38.94
- Hunger Challenge Day 3 $8.15
- Hunger Challenge Day 4 $16.44
- Hunger Challenge Day 5 $18.19