photo of Kate Kysow's 2014 welfare food challenge shopping

Kate Kysow, Day 1

Budget shopping at the grocery store! Day 1 has kicked off for the 3rd Annual Welfare Food Challenge!

This morning I woke up and went to my local No Frills as I thought they would be the best place for cheap-ish food. Before starting to choose items, I walked through the aisles looking at how much everything cost. I must have looked like a lost puppy because every time I met someone they gave me a look like ‘are you okay, honey?’ Anyways, once I started to shop I actually felt optimistic! Cans were around $1 and I got Quaker Oats for $2.47, which I think is going to be the crucial item for getting me through this challenge. I also was keeping track on my phone how much everything cost. I can’t imagine budgeting like this every time one goes grocery shopping, as it’s a lot of work. When I arrived at the till and the clerk started ringing things in, I felt myself start worrying as the total kept going up and up. Would I have enough money? My total was $17.52. I realize this is under the $21, but I figured I could go get produce tomorrow from the Persian grocery store with the rest. I’m not going to lie, I was very tempted to blow $3 on instant coffee, as I’m a bit of a coffee addict, but I restrained.

Even though I keep having thoughts like ‘Can I do this?’ ‘Will I be too hungry?’ ‘Will I be able to go to work and do well on my midterm?’ I keep reminding myself that the challenge I’ll be facing for a week, those on welfare could very well be facing for years.

can of peas & carrots – $0.89
can of maple beans – $0.80
brown sugar – $2.47
quaker oats – $2.47
coconut oil -$1.79
chickpeas – $0.88
eggs- $2.57
milk -$1.29
rice- $1.77
rice cakes -$1.25
bananas – $1.25
Total: $17.52

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