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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)