June Food Stamp Challenge — Day 20

by Katy on June 20, 2010 · 6 comments

Today is day twenty of the June Food Stamp Challenge, and I am still up in Seattle visiting with my sister’s family.

We threw a huge 40th birthday party for my brother-in-law yesterday and the amount of food put out, and then put away afterwards was insane! I don’t think that they’ll have to food shop until mid-summer. Seriously.

The ability to accurately estimate how much food to shop for and prepare is both an art and a science, and both were an epic fail.

Very little food was not able to be stashed back into the refrigerator, but I am highly doubtful that my sister will be able to avoid significant food waste. She only has a small above-the-fridge freezer, which was already fit to bursting. This morning’s breakfast incorporated as many leftovers as possible, (fritatta with pico de gallo, cut up pieces of focaccia, somewhat flat seltzer and great quantities of caffeine) but the task is almost burdensome.

My sister’s family is not participating in the Food Stamp Challenge, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t try to keep her family’s food spending under control.

I have developed a second sense through the years that keeps me from amassing more food than my family can eat, but it took me awhile to get here. And parties can certainly throw this skill out the window.

I’ll be back in Portland tomorrow, as I’m working tomorrow. And I’ll get back to writing more in-depth columns. There’s only ten days left in the challenge, and there’s still a ton of stuff I have yet to address.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

The Saved Quarter June 20, 2010 at 10:39 am

Parties do have a way of throwing a wrench into food plans! I know I end up wasting more food when we entertain, and run out of things, too. I’m really good at judging what my own family can and will eat, but friends and other people? I overestimate. I am, however, really good at Freezer Tetris and can fit a LOT in that little box!

For the Food Stamp Challenge, I’m up to $226.96 out of my $389.00 SNAP budget, plus $80.26 from WIC. I’ve posted everything I’ve purchased so far on my blog. With 10 days left, I don’t anticipate that I’ll go over budget unless I go on a wild shopping spree, which isn’t in the plans.

June is a good month for fresh fruits and veggies, and I wish that our local farmer’s market accepted EBT and wasn’t crazy expensive! I used to be a frequent shopper at the farmer’s market but I can’t make it work with my current finances. I miss it, though. I know some markets accept EBT, and one in our area did last year, but I haven’t found any this year offering the service. Has anyone else had luck with EBT at their farmer’s market? Know where to find markets participating in the program?


Rebecca June 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Ooooooo! Freezer Tetris! I just played a quick game of that!


Rebecca June 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

One thing our extended family does at any large gathering is bring containers to take home leftovers. The host family keeps what they want and everything else is up for grabs. This works great to cut down one the food waste.


Terri June 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Why not call any local family and friends to see if they want the food before it goes to waste? In this economy, I am sure there is someone that could not only use the food but would be extremely grateful.


WilliamB June 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm

One way to help deal with this is to plan foods that you can use up later – use a lot of, freeze, can, whatever. So lots of hummus and chicken, not a lot of prepared sandwiches.

And yes, encourage guests to take food home. So much better than wasting it.


Klara Le Vine June 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

ditto about giving out to friends and family – and to local soup kitchens. I’m actually surprized Katy that we didn’t read the long list of what you gathered to take home.


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