A Thrifty Challenge

I’ve been given a challenge.  Ok, I’ve given myself a challenge.  Is it possible to feed one person well on $167 a month?  A couple of the guys at work were talking about a news article out of Louisiana.  In it, the story talked about how a person in Louisiana at most got $167 in food stamps.  The guys were bemoaning the fact that you can’t eat for that little a month.  What?  $167 for one person?  Sure you can.  You won’t be eating steak, but you can still eat well.  I needed to bring them up to speed a little.  That $167 is just  for food.  That is not money for toiletries or cleaning products.  You’ll have to go work some fast food to get the cash for that.  This is just food we’re talking about and just for 1 person.


I currently have a relative feeding one adult and two children on a little over $400 in food stamps a month.  It works out about the same as Louisiana and I know food costs are higher here.  My relative and kids eat pretty darn good on that amount.


Now, you also have to think about how folks might be eating down south.  That’s where I’m from.  I jokingly told them a body could run outside and pull up some kudzu and cook it up for some greens.  Actually, you could.  It’s a noxious weed down south, but it is also highly edible.  And since it is taking over everything, it’s not too hard to find.


So, now I’ve given myself the challenge of coming up with shopping lists and menus for three meals a day for thirty days for one person.  All for $167.   That’s $41.75 a week if you shop weekly.  However, food stamp cards are reloaded once a month.  It can go either way.


To make it a little more realistic, I’m going to presume the fictitious person I’m feeding is new to food stamps and has a few left over condiments from pre-foodstamp days.  I’m going to go with:







Brown sugar


I already have some ideas for meals that are cheap, nutritious, and filling.  I’ll start posting my ideas after the weekly food flyers come out tomorrow.  We’ll see how well I do.  I think it will be a fun challenge.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Am I there yet?
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 04:21:34

    so how did it go on this one? i am currently facing feeding myself, my 26 yr old daughter, my 17 year old daughter and 17 year old niece with my brother eating just dinner……on $60.00 a week…..and that has to include toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc…..i am not sure i can make it…..my costco trip today took up 1/3 of it…..one 5lb bag of chips, two 3 lbs cut ham for sandwiches, 2 glns milk, one 3lb jug of chocolate powder, a 40ct pkg of flour tortillas, two 44 oz bottles of ketchup, 6 heads romaine lettuce, a 3lb bag of broc florets….i think that was it….

    already i am thinking of posting signs: only one sandwich per person per meal, no snacking in between meals, only 3 meals per day, only 1 glass of chocolate milk per person day and 2 gallons need to last ALL WEEK because no more will be bought til next payday etc etc. i have only $20 left for produce….yikes!!!! how about when my laundry soap and stuff run out????? i can see i will definately have to plan this VERY carefully!

    i’d be interested in seeing your menus/ideas on this!


  2. heavensdaughter
    Aug 14, 2009 @ 02:06:53

    keep looking….i posted my results a couple of days later; wow! that’s a lot of people on a little money; it can be done, but it certainly won’t be gourmet


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