Tim Foolery

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#SNAPChallenge Hosting Dinner

#SNAPChallenge and Dinner Party really don’t go well together.  Well, this isn’t a dinner party, it is just dinner with three friends.  I am still following the Challenge though…mostly.

For dinner I am serving a recipe from Outside Magazine that I’ve cooked before – Thai Chicken Noodle Soup.  The recipe requires things that I mostly had on hand – or purchased with my SNAP Challenge dollars.  With the Challenge you can use spices and condiments you have already, so for this soup the only thing I needed to purchase was rice noodles (which I got earlier this week), bean spouts, jalapenos, green onion and cilantro.

You may remember that I had $3.25 left over from my Tuesday shopping trip.  I had to visit three stores as the local Jewel didn’t have jalapenos and neither did my second stop. I spent $2.64 including tax at Jewel and $0.31 for two jalapenos at a local grocery store.  I still have $0.30 to spend this week.

We all know hosting dinner requires more than an entree soup, right?  Well, MS is making dessert for us. I usually never ask guests to bring anything other than a bottle of wine, tonight I asked another guest to bring some blue cheese.  I am serving as an appetizer a holiday gift from one of my vendors (a beef tenderloin).  Yes – I know this is against the rules of the Challenge.  Unfortunately tonight’s dinner couldn’t be rescheduled, so I needed to bend the rules.  I am also bending another rule – I needed more chicken for dinner for the group. I didn’t buy more chicken, I am using chicken I had in the freezer already – again another cheat on the Challenge.

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  1. David says:

    This is the one I meant to comment about. It's funny, I get jalapeƱos pretty regularly at our local Foodland store. The cashier even commented that it must be the best deal in the store, nothing else costs $0.26!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tim- I'm curious about visiting three different stores to find jalapenos… how much gas did that use, or did you ride the bus?I know that on my (below min wage) Americorps stipend, I would certainly *not* ride the bus or use the gas to go to three stores for a single item that costs less than $2.-Erin

  3. Tim says:

    Erin: I am lucky to live in an area of Chicago with multiple store that sell fresh food. I walked to each of these locations. I don't own a car and rely on public transportation every day. Part of my self imposed SNAP Challenge rule required me to take public transit or walk everywhere — and not accept rides from friends as in my mind that goes against the spirit of the challenge.These stores were each within a 7-8 minute (MAX) walk of my home. While it isn't ideal it worked for me this day and if I were juggling children as well, I probably would have foregone this last item myself.

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