There are two parts to being successful at this challenge: changing buying habits and changing cooking habits. Honestly, this is what happens when the challenge isn’t taken so seriously.

Knowing what I do now about living off $4.90 a day, it should have been obvious that it is crucial to shop smart rather than just buy less. Through lack of planning, I made it even harder than it was to begin with. I would say that, while far from ideal, it is possible to live on such a tight budget and still get the necessary nutrition. Plus, as part of the challenge, participants are not allowed to accept free food, something that many people including myself do.

I highly encourage Sacramentans to take this challenge. Make a bet with friends or go it alone. It’s an eye-opening experience that not only gives a new perspective on food stamps, it’s also an opportunity to see where that weekly grocery budget can be trimmed down.

To learn more about the CalFresh program, please visit:

http://www.calfresh.ca.gov/

(featured image, “Fresh produce at the Byward Market”, courtesy of Jamie In Bytown under Creative Commons)