September 2015 came around and I was up for the SNAP Challenge – an eye opening experience for me last year. So, I went into it this year thinking having that experience under my belt would make it easier. Guess what –hunger is never easy to digest.
I thought the 25-cent a day increase would help. Yeah, right. The cost of food has changed way more than that year-over-year. $4.40 a day was tougher to stretch than a daily workout.
Speaking of exercise, the buddy system usually helps keep you focused. Well, this year my husband joined me and it was double the number of growling stomachs.
One thing that was a little easier was cutting carbohydrates. There’s a big “cut the carbs” craze amongst Webster bankers these days. Eliminate or severely cut back on the bread, the pasta, and the desserts. That’s a lot easier to do when you can’t afford them. I don’t know yet if I’ve lost any weight but my “skinny” pants do fit a little better now.
Something else that my husband and I did was to get more creative with the food preparation. Neither one of us follows recipes very well, but we can create some interesting combinations. Left-overs are life! I just hope we can remember what we concocted so that we can re-create it.
Another thing we were reminded of along the way is the difference between “need” and “want.” That notion first came to light at the grocery store as we walked up and down the aisles with our phone/calculator. We had a hard bottom line for the budget and we couldn’t cross it.
The question resurfaced during the week when we got a little hungry while watching the ballgame and we asked ourselves do we “need” the snack or just “want” it. We were good. We skipped it.
Finally, the choice almost came back to haunt us at the end of the challenge when we went to the movies. We knew we “wanted” a snack – because that’s part of the movie experience. Luckily, the theatre had a free promotion going on, so we had the chance to sample an item. I do social media reviews (@philofilms) and I think I liked the movie a little more than I would have if I hadn’t had something to munch on.
So in the end, it was a successful challenge. Some things got easier and some things will never change because, as I said earlier, hunger is never easy to digest