This morning, I was lamenting about the amount of money that I spend on food each week. I try to control my habits, but I can always be found grabbing a Chipotle here, Dunkin’ Donuts there, and a happy hour cocktail there. Of course, these “baller” cycles are related to pay periods…The days right after getting paid? I’m making it rain. The days right before getting paid? I’m the biggest cheapo.
Everytime I go on these binges, I tell myself that I’m wasting my money and I need to do better about saving it. The point is that I’m fortunate enough to have the money to make these purchasing decisions. But, what if my food/drink budget was set by a third-party and it was meager at best?
Well, a group of folks in Maryland are asking themselves, “Could they live on $30/week for food?” That’s the average food stamp allotment in Maryland, where one in seven Marylanders reported having a difficult time affording food at some point in the previous twelve months.
They are calling this the “Food Stamp Challenge.” I love the concept behind it because many of us don’t really think about these things when we (myself included) are grabbing a $7 steak burrito for lunch. The stories from challenge participants really highlight some of the challenges that we take for granted. For example, the participants are not allowed to accept meals from family and friends. So, that dinner date? Consider it canceled unless y’all are going to Burger King.
The Challenge week is going on right now, but I missed the beginning. So, I’m going to do mine from January 31 – February 5. Looking at the rules, I think this will be tough, but I’m always down for a challenge.
So, could you do it? Could you survive of $30/week for food and beverages?