Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hunger Action Month

Did you know that September is Hunger Action Month?

Now you do. In 2013, 20% of American households participated in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A household qualifies for assistance when the household is at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level, at this time 100% is at $11,670 for a household of one person.  Working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year equals less than an hourly minimum wage ($5.6/hour).

I knew about Hunger Action Month but I'll admit I'd never really educated myself until this year because The Junior League of San Antonio is partnering up with The San Antonio Food Bank to eradicate childhood obesity in San Antonio.

In the spirit of this partnership, Junior League of San Antonio is going orange (the symbolic color of Hunger Action Month- #JLSAGoesOrange) and challenging it's members and the community to participate in the SNAP Challenge. 

Obvious question: What's the SNAP Challenge
Answer: It's a challenge to live on $4.50 a day for food. This is per person, not household. Why the $4.50? It's comparable to the daily food budget of a snap participant $1.50/meal. 

Of course I got Justin to join me, partly cause I wasn't sure I could shop for one person for $22.50 for 5 days worth of food for just me. I'm pretty sure I spent that much at happy hour in the last month. On drinks alone. 

So $45 seemed more manageable for 30 meals. Read that again. 

Turns out there are pros and cons to buying for two. One loaf of bread is enough for 8 lunches, but I needed enough for 10, so I needed another loaf. How do I stretch that loaf out so that I'm spending my money efficiently? We're having sausages for dinner this week. All week long. So things like that would pop up while shopping.

I ended up spending $45.48 on food.  I feel pretty good about that.  I did a lap around the grocery store to assess my options because, honestly, I rarely pay attention.

And I came home feeling pretty good.

My Receipt:

What all those lines translate into:

 The fixings for our chicken salad sandwiches:

What we'll be seeing more of this week for lunch:

The menu for the week will basically be...
Breakfast: 2 eggs and 1/2 banana (Justin will likely have coffee that we already have in the house. I can go without)
Lunch: Chicken salad sandwich made with canned chicken breast, celery, almonds (I bought almost 60 cents worth from the bulk organic section) and mayo.  The sandwiches also have some mustard we already had in the fridge, a slice of swiss cheese and spinach. And a half a green apple!
Dinner: A sausage or bratwurst that will be cooked on the grill and likely wrapped in a slice of bread.  We'll split one of the containers of chopped broccoli pieces and maybe each get 1/2 slice of swiss melted on our portion.  I also have butter in the fridge, but I feel like the mustard is already a "cheat" of sorts. 
Snacks: I used the tiniest pieces of celery for the chicken salad so there's enough piece left over for us to enjoy with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter. And we have the yogurt which can be a daily snack or maybe dessert. 

I have stuff going on in the evenings on Wednesday and Thursday and then a friend coming in to visit on Friday, so I will likely eat dinner out of the house, but I went all in when it came to the grocery store trip and already know what I could have done to cut the 48 cents. I bought two 8-packs of yogurt and could have just bough two individual yogurts, but the bulk mentality that usually resides prevailed and so it goes.

While I'm excited about these tiny successes, I have to admit that thinking that hard about every grocery trip seems like a daunting task. But let's see where the week takes us. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Did I say 500 words a day...

I meant I would do some number of words a week, thus posting to my blog on at least a weekly basis. 

Cause yeah 500 words is a lot. 

Daily is a lot too. 

Especially when you spend all day at work on a computer and the latest episode of America's Next Top Model is on (Cycle 21!! Yeah I can't believe it either, but I'm still watching.) and you just discovered #OITNB and you have Words with Friends games to catch up on and are reading books before they disappear from your iPad cause they were checked out from the library. 

I mean evenings are packed. 

And mornings? Well those are spent hitting the snooze button because we'll get up early tomorrow and work out cause that ain't happening today. 

Except today is Saturday and we did get up and workout. In fact we did five miles. I did the dishes. I worked on a project for a friend's baby shower. I did some stuff for Junior League.  I caught up on the latest episode of Project Runway and even watched that awful Below Deck show on Bravo (bad TV is my opium).  

Currently, I'm cheering on the Gators while sipping a craft brew at our favorite local hangout, Freetail Brewing.

And while doing the above, I wrote this post. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Laboring on Labor Day?

Labor came at us fast and furious this year.  Not only was it the first Monday of September, it was the first day of the month too.

This means summer is basically over that many days sooner.  Yes, technically summer isn't over until September 22nd, but Labor day is typically considered the death knell for sunshiny fun.  Unless of course it's college football.

Fall means full days of collegiate gridiron action and this year is no exception, even if your team doesn't get to play because of lightening. In fact over 8,800 strikes were recorded all over Florida between 7pm and midnight last Saturday.

Even though the Gators didn't get to play we still had fun hanging out with friends and rooting for other teams to make their season openers successful.

Yesterday was a fabulous Sunday Funday and then we had today- Labor Day.  The Barbour's didn't slack off just because it was supposed to be a day of rest though. We made sure to make the most of the day off, while also trying to balance the need to get work done.

Is Labor Day a day of no work for you?  Or is a day to catch up on work that needs to get done?

This year I was doing some Labor Day social media posts for work and my social media position with JLSA and somewhat shamefully realized I didn't really know the history of Labor Day.

This holiday is meant to be a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. First proposed as a holiday in 1882, President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into law as a national holiday in 1894, just six days after the Pullman Strike. #TheMoreYouKnow

This post is 294 words (as of the end of the above paragraph), but I don't think anyone wants to know the minutiae of our entire weekend in 206 words or more. Like the fact that I got to play two board games (Clue! and King of Tokyo) with two of my favorite people last night. It was a blast and it told me I need more game nights in my life. When was your last game night?