June Food Stamp Challenge — Day 29

by Katy on June 29, 2010 · 8 comments

Today is day 29 of the June Food Stamp Challenge and today I scored some awesome free food! Did I go foraging in the dumpster behind the 7-11 or try out my five finger discount? No way! I helped my mother clean out one of her rental cottages, and I think the tenants must have known that The Non-Consumer Advocate moonlights as a cleaning lady, because the cupboards, freezer and fridge were chock full of goodies, mostly organic.

I had my 12-year-old son with me and he was more than happy to gobble up the vegetarian “chicken” nuggets and a big ol’ bowl of Barbara’s Peanut Butter cereal with 2% milk! Poor guy was in heaven.

Altogether, I brought home:

  • One enormous apple
  • A half bag of dried fruits and nuts
  • A full container of local salsa
  • Part of a gallon of whole milk
  • Part of a gallon of 2% milk
  • Most of a container of organic half and half
  • Two packets of instant oatmeal
  • Two packets of cocoa
  • A bag of organic fruit chips
  • Most of a jar of organic blueberry jam
  • Most of a jar of organic peanut butter
  • Two slices of bread (will use for bread crumbs)
  • Most of a container of whipped butter
  • Most of a box of Annie’s “Bunny Love” cereal (Different from Hugh Hefner’s Bunny Love 😉 )

Why am I sharing this? Not because I think you have this exact same free food opportunity, but because it is my complete lack of squeamishness that allowed me to take advantage of all this still usable food. We served the salsa with our burrito dinner tonight, and I even shared the source of my riches with our dinner guest. (My husband was slightly aghast that I would spill the beans, but I’m not so shy.)

I work today and tomorrow, which greatly cuts down on my food shopping opportunities, although it greatly increases my husband’s. Even if he goes to town at Trader Joe’s, (which is his signature move) we’ll still come in under the $404.

Hip, hip, hooray! Now please pass the partially full gallon of milk, because my milk is partially full not partially empty.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanna June 29, 2010 at 5:51 am

I am so impressed you were able to rise about travel, sickness, and we-won’t-call-it-sabotaging 🙂 hubby, and still have money left over to give away. And apparently no major changes in your eating habits. Whenever I think I’m a good frugal manager and so forth, I’m going to think about how you managed this month.

I didn’t start out to participate in the challange, but I think if I add up my receipts this month I’ll be close, if not there. But my hubby eats out for lunch every day, we don’t have kids at home, I wouldn’t be counting pet food, I haven’t kept up with how much of our well-stocked pantry we’ve used versus what I have bought…lots of reasons I wouldn’t consider my month in any way a month of managing with food stamps.

However, I have learned and thought a great deal as a result of this challenge, though I started out the month thinking I wouldn’t be paying much attention to it. I’m very glad you came up with this challenge.


Jenny June 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading about your challenge. I love that you save good food from going to a landfill too. I am a bit more squeamish than you and would probably use the opened containers in a cooking recipe- like blueberry muffins from the jam or something. Good work though.


Alea June 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I am so glad that you make use of the food you find when you clean your mother’s cottages. When I travel, I find that it is healthier and less expensive to buy groceries rather than eat at restaraunts. Unfortunately this means that I often have to leave unused food behind. It is always my hope that whoever discovers it will not be squeamish and take it home and consume it rather than toss it.

That being said, the apple, dried fruits and nuts, fruit chips, Bunnie Love cereal, and oatmeal would have gone in my back pack to be eaten by family on the trip home. I only leave what I absolutely cannot take home with me.


Sharron June 29, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Way to go, Katy! You helped to reduce food waste and made your little guy happy, too. I’m right with you, and would not have felt a bit squeamish about partaking in those leftovers. Thanks for getting us all onboard for the challenge!


terilyn June 30, 2010 at 7:02 am

I admire your intestinal fortitude on this issue.
How do you know the people living there didn’t have HepC or H1N1 or something, and licked the spoon before putting it back in the jar? Or drank from the milk jug? Those are the types of things I would be so concerned about that I would never use opened food.
I would have no problem feeding the leftovers to my dogs though, or keeping new food that wasn’t opened. I admire your courage.


WilliamB June 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

There is no reason to be concerned about these specific diseases. HepC is spread by blood transmission only, flu is transmitted by nasal fluids which are unlikely to be in milk. Neither are transmitted by spit

That said, while I would happily ransack a kitchen for leftovers I wouldn’t take the open beverages and I might discard the top layer of the PB, jelly, and butter. And I’ve eaten street food in more third world countries than I can think of right now and not gotten ill.


terilyn July 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I just used those specific diseases as an example. I guess I am more germaphobic than Katy. I couldn’t do it. I’d be worrying about all sorts of germs and diseases.


Katy July 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm


Do you worry about germs when you eat in a restaurant? I consider this to be the same risk. Someone else has handled your food, and you have no control over it.

I guess I am more frugal than I am a germ-o-phobe. Nurses are either all or nothing when it comes to feeling this way. However, I am all about proper hand washing.



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