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OK, I took the challenge. I went to the food store armed with a list and the strict budget of a SNAP recipient. The results were surprising.
I was surprised that I was able to get a sufficient amount of food and foods that were relatively healthy too.
Of course, I wasn’t going to buy pantry items I have on hand, and I’d suspect most households no matter what income level, have on hand as well. These would include, at the very least, oil, flour, sugar, oatmeal, margarine/butter, some form of pasta and a couple of cans of condensed soup and salt & pepper & the like.
I did a majority of my shopping in ShopRite, then a couple of other local stores. I live in a rural area where I must drive in order to shop. Also, shopping centers seem to be congregated all around each other, therefore I made sure to hit every store on my route without unnecessary driving–I planned my trip.
Rather than take $3-$4 and try to shop for one day, I multiplied that and came up with a weekly allotment for a family of 2 originally. However, when I saw what I could get, especially bulk packaged, I extended this for a family of 4 because what I bought would indeed feed a family of 4 for one week. No, you couldn’t “eat like there was no tomorrow,” but you would not starve and you’d be relatively healthy. I spent a total of $54 on this food. Here is the food I got for this total:
|These items from various stores totaling $12|
|What I spent in ShopRite|
No child in this country should ever go hungry. Our children are our most precious resource. Please take 30 seconds to go to this website and encourage Congress to pass anti-hunger legislation. Please understand this is not political in nature. No matter what our individual politics are I think we can all agree that no child should go hungry or wonder where their next meal is coming from.
So here is a recipe using what I bought on my challenge shopping trip. I had some pantry items that I had on hand like the soup, the celery, a few leftover baby carrots and traditional seasoning.
This meal is hearty and filling. The chicken thighs were huge. I made 2 portions since I don’t have a family, however doubled, it’s a complete and relatively healthy meal for a family of 4.
|Tasty and economical|
Please remember to observe proper sanitation when preparing raw meat, and especially chicken. Wash and disinfect all surfaces the poultry came in contact with.
Chicken with Creamy Brown Rice
- 4 chicken thighs or any other parts
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 20 oz 2 10 oz cans cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the brown rice, the soup, the water, sliced vegetables and the 1 tbs olive oil. Mix well and add to prepared baking dish.
- Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place on top of rice mixture in prepared pan. Brush each piece with the 1 tsp olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper & thyme and distribute over top of the chicken pieces.
- Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until rice is tender and chicken has an internal temperature of 185 degrees (or juices run clear)