Special Blog Post By: Lisa Mazzocco, Stanford Graduate School of Business Class of 2016
We learned that fifteen students from Stanford Graduate School of Business took on the SNAP Challenge in April – they wanted to experience what it’s like eating on the equivalent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (i.e., food stamps). Encouraging others to take on the challenge with them, students wrote a series of articles sharing logistics, tracking tools, and menu planning.
Interested in taking on the SNAP Challenge? Lisa Mazzocco’s lays out the challenge and why it matters.
Why the SNAP Challenge?
Because you’re reading this, we bet you have an interest in healthy living, and maybe even in helping others achieve that. Fortunately and ironically, though, few of us can say what life’s actually like at the neediest level. So we thought – why not find out? Let’s…
I’m in! How does this work?
Your SNAP shopping list and meal plan: How-to
$4.50 a day doesn’t sound like much. But with some smarts and planning, it can go a long way. Here’s how to shop:
Step 1: Get sales flyers from local grocery stores and find the deals that week.
Step 2: Plan your menu for the week, using the deal items and your own nutritional needs as inputs for meal selection. Round out your shopping list with other necessary items*, and before you head to the store, see where your total comes out. Lucky for you there are oodles of great resources to help plan meals, including:
*Remember, you CAN use items already in your household, as long as 1) you account in your budget for how much of them you eat, 2) they are items that someone on SNAP could reasonably purchase.
In addition, consistent with what SNAP users have access to, the following do NOT count against your $4.50/day budget:
Step 3: Go shopping! Buy in bulk where possible, weigh your produce, use coupons, choose store brands, and watch the checkout to make sure items are charged correctly.
Step 4: Test your meal plan and track your spend in our handy budget tracker, accounting only for the amount you consume.
*** Are you taking on the SNAP Challenge? Share your experience with us on our Facebook page.