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Hop in the City & Hunger Challenge Day 1

Posted Sep 18 2011 5:34pm

Hope everyone had a great weekend! We had a lazy Friday evening and a busy Saturday afternoon, with the Slow Food St. Louis $5 Challenge picnic and Schlafly’s Hop in the City. Both were great events and left us too tired to do much of anything on Saturday night! A few photos from Hop in the City , a fantastic beer event hosted at the Tap Room :

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Now, onto the week ahead. Just a reminder – this week will consist of many Hunger Challenge posts. I hope you’ll follow along and comment as per usual. I’ll be posting any recipes I use as well as my feelings behind the challenge on that particular day. Thanks for being great readers!

Today, Sunday September 18, is day one of my Hunger Challenge . All the groceries have been purchased. All the meals have been planned. It’s now up to execution and mind over matter.

My first challenge was truly grocery shopping. I typically love to grocery shop but today I was almost dreading the trip. I’m typically a pretty budget-minded shopper but this time, I had to be extra careful, and it wasn’t as fun as my usual grocery store romps. I added prices up as I went along, careful not to go above the magic number: $60. I sacrificed when I had planned to splurge (if by splurge, you mean spending an extra $.50 for name brand), to ensure we’d have enough food for the week.

My food came from three sources: the local farmer’s market, Schnuck’s, and Dierberg’s. All items purchased are all natural or organic, even store-brand items, with the exception of the Cracker Jacks and Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Here’s what I purchased from each store:

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Farmer’s Market:

  • Bell peppers (5) - $2
  • Onions (1 lb) - $2
  • Red potatoes (6) - $2
  • Green beans (1/2 lb) - $1
  • Sweet corn (2) - $1
  • Jalapeno and poblano peppers – $1
  • Eggs (2 dozen) - $6
  • 1/2 head garlic – $.50
  • Grass-fed ground beef (not pictured – 1/2 lb) - $2.50

Notes: The ground beef was already in our freezer, purchased at $5/lb. Similar prices could be found for regular beef at the Dierberg’s and Schnuck’s butcher, where you could purchase however much you needed. Eggs were another food option I wasn’t bending on, and I got great deals on the peppers and other misc veggies!

IMG_5530   IMG_5533 IMG_5531

Schnuck’s:

  • Organic diced tomatoes (2) - $2.26
  • Organic tomato sauce (1) – $.68
  • Organic crushed tomatoes (1) - $2.26
  • Nature’s Pride bread (1) plus 1/2 loaf already purchased - $3.09
  • Schnuck’s brand whole wheat pasta (1) - $1.00
  • Schnuck’s brand pasta sauce (1) - $1.39
  • Schnuck’s brand creamy peanut butter (1) - $1.67
  • Organic strawberry jelly (1) - $2.69
  • Organic chicken broth cans (2) – $.86 (grocery distressed!)
  • Schnuck’s brand whipped butter (1) - $1.78
  • Prairie Farms sour cream (1) - $1.18
  • Cracker Jacks (1) - $1.00

Notes: All Schnuck’s brand items are all natural and contain no artificial anything. I wanted to buy all organic dairy but it just wasn’t possible. I would have preferred organic peanut butter and pasta sauce as well but again, not possible on this budget. The Cracker Jacks were on sale and something sweet for after dinner, and the clearance organic broth was a lifesaver!

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Dierberg’s:

  • Borden block cheese (2) - $4
  • Daisy cottage cheese (1) - $2
  • Heritage Organic milk (1) - $5.59
  • Jiffy corn muffin mix (1) – $.50
  • Mom’s Best Honey O’s (1) - $1.75
  • Mom’s Best Oats and Honey (1) - $1.75
  • Bananas (4) – $.93
  • Bulk organic black beans (1 lb) - $1.70
  • Bulk organic pinto beans (1/2 lb) - $1.05
  • Bulk organic popcorn (1 lb) – $.92 (cheap snack!)
  • Bulk organic quinoa (1/4 lb) – $.92

Notes: The bulk bin really saved my budget! Also, this Mother’s Best brand of cereal is always a really great price and 100% all natural. I splurged on the milk – found out when I got home that it’s not even a full gallon! More like 3/4 of a gallon. Expensive but something I didn’t want to bend on.

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Grand total: $58.97

Under budget! The $1.03 leftover will be used to cover any emergency bread/PB/pasta purchases towards the end of the week.

I was proud that 98% of my purchases were all natural. I have told people from the beginning – all natural is first and foremost. If you can afford organic, more power to you, but all natural should be a priority! I think I did well keeping that in mind.

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Tonight we’re having a basic chili recipe for dinner (posted tomorrow). We’ll see how the rest of the week goes! I do have to admit we have one change of plans for the week – weeks ago, I inadvertently bought St. Louis Cardinals tickets for Friday night, and had planned to visit Taste of St. Louis beforehand for dinner. We are still planning to do so, but will add an extra dinner likely Sunday evening.

I’ll keep you posted!

Question: Do you think this challenge can be misconstrued as offensive? Why or why not?

(See some of my thoughts on this in my last post )

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