Gent Family, Prep for the Challenge


ROUGH CUT – observations from a privileged family of 5 living for a week on a food budget of $105 in Vancouver, BC

When I got home from work today, I heard the story of how my eldest daughter, Lu, saw blueberries on the counter when she returned from school, and inadvertently had a bit of a feast, as she often does, without realizing that this fruit was to be part of our food allowance for the ‎entire week. A treat in what will otherwise be a fairly meagre selection of food.

Her sister (the middle one, Amelia, always counting who gets what) read her the riot act. Those were our welfare fruit!!!!‎

We now have to decide if she gets a mulligan, waiting for the official start date tomorrow, or make them suffer the consequence of an impulse snack, trying to make real the reality that we’re trying to simulate. Makes us think, reflect, and is part of the learning process here.

Jen’s already on edge. Amelia’s pissed right off. Lu is now at soccer practice. Gus is now home from parkour and emptying the fridge of all our “regular food” that won’t be available tomorrow. I poured the last scotch I’ll have for a week, and tried to be a calming influence. #$&@!!

The “welfare food” is all in a segregated blue rubbermaid now (normally reserved for our weekly home delivery of fresh, local organic food from SPUD – no order this week, I wonder about the accessibility of local, healthy options that I most often feel really good about. Much to reflect on. A good exercise.

READY FOR BED – We start tomorrow!!!

Photo of the Gent Family and groceries for the 2014 Welfare Food Challenge

FOOD BUDGET – FAMILY OF 5 – First Purchase

item Quantity (gms unless otherwise) price
Pasta Penne 454 1.67
Pasta Rotini 454 1.67
Pasta Spaghetti 454 1.67
Split Pea Soup Mix 1000 3.50
Apples 10 lbs 5.00
Onions 3 lbs 2.00
Margarine 454 2.00
Porridge 1000 2.17
Mango Jam 235 4.00
Salt 300 1.87
Popcorn 1000 2.49
Eggs 18 4.79
Pasta Sauce 680 1.67
Pasta Sauce 680 1.67
Flour 2500 3.50
Yeast 3 pkg 1.89
Carrots 10 lbs 4.00
Cheese Whiz 450 5.49
Rice 2 lbs 2.00
Chickpeas 400 1.39
Red Lentils 4 lbs 3.40
Tuna 2 cans 3.00
Milk 4 L 4.89
Frozen Veg (mixed) 750 2.99
Frozen Blueberries 600 5.00
Bouillion powder 100 0.36
rice wine vinegar 355 2.99
bananas 850 1.31

TOTAL – Initial shopping trip                                 $78.37

Remaining Budget – to be used for mid-week top up     $26.63

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