Technically there were a bunch of pantry items from the list left but I didn't eat them. I can see myself bartering these foods to others for things that I do want, and I know that happens. There is a lot of emotion that can get stirred up from food insecurity. It can be depressing, which is why I think it can be useful to do this challenge to see what I can learn from it and bring to the table.
What I learned:
- I learned which stores have the best deals! I took notes while shopping. I even found a better place to get birdseed for my parakeets.
- You can get more meals out of a whole chicken. I will take advantage of this. Homemade chicken broth is delicious.
- Organic food costs a little more per pound but if I wanted that on my budget I had to eat less or choose from the Clean 15 list.
- After looking at my nutritional profile I might have to find some pantry foods that would help me fill in the gaps or take a multivitamin. Calcium and iron are challenging even without the budgetary restrictions. It is better to get vitamins from whole food.
- I was able to continue exercising. It helped keep me going.
- On a tight budget the initial grocery and menu planning takes a lot of effort and hunting for the best deal. After that, I stopped thinking about food. There was not much to think about because I ate the same thing every day. It's hard to get variety into your diet and it's not very exciting, It's just about getting through the day and focusing on other things. After a while I might get creative and resourceful and try some new recipes.
- It would be best to buy food with the whole month's grocery money rather than just one week. This would give me a little more room to add variety, spices and buy in bulk on some things which is less expensive in the long run.
- Though I'm not wealthy I can definitely afford to share a Meal a Month. It is something I can do for my elderly neighbors that I see standing in line at the church around the block to get food.