The Grocery Game

Welfare Food Challenge- $26 A Week for 1 In The Grocery Budget

If you are following Canadian Budget Binder on Facebook you may have read that I have joined the Welfare Food Challenge out of British Columbia beginning Oct 15-22, 2012. Although I live in the Greater Toronto Area my mate Steve Zussino at Grocery Alerts  who is also taking part in the challenge knew I ran the Grocery Game Challenge and encouraged me to join.

In Ontario there are 2 programs Ontario Works which is temporary assistance to those in need and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) for those with disabilities. Together these programs alone help over 850,000 Ontarian’s each year.

What is the Welfare Food Challenge? This challenge was put in place to show the government in BC that of the $610 they give monthly to a welfare recipient $26 a week for food is not sufficient considering this does not include other necessities such as a hair cut or clothes.

Although Mrs.CBB and I have only $190 a month in our grocery budget outside of this challenge that leaves us $47.50 per week for us to shop for 2. The difference with this challenge is you are starting from scratch meaning you have zero items on your pantry list and you can’t use charitable donations or food from the garden.

Mrs. CBB and I sat down last night to put together a grocery list of food items that I knew I wanted to include in my weekly menu plan. Perhaps I was being optimistic that I could get all the items but in the back of my mind I thought there is no way there would be enough money in the $26 budget. Knowing your prices are key to saving money in your grocery budget along with meal planning, price matching, flyers specials and using coupons.

Mrs.CBB is not taking part but wanted to help with the meal plans. We will be using some coupons when we shop as coupons are generally available to the public in a good proportion of the country. You can find Canadian Coupons from many sources in Canada no matter who you are and how much money you earn. We also will take part in price matching so we don’t have to drive all over town as the majority of people on welfare may take other forms of transport including the bus, walk or ride a bike.

Below is our Potential Grocery Shopping list – We will do the grocery shop on Monday Oct 14,2012 and post the shop Oct 15,2012 in The Grocery Game Challenge. You will see how much we spent and where and what meals I will end up making. I will also take photos of my meals and do a follow-up later in the week with my overall feelings about this challenge.

  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Limes
  • Garlic
  • Rice
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tuna
  • Salt
  • Lettuce
  • Pasta
  • Tomato Paste
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Sausages
  • Fish
  • Chicken Broth Cubes
  • Bread
  • Dry Beans
  • Eggs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I had to think Bulk before the benefits simply because I didn’t want to go hungry. It honestly would be much easier if we could use an entire months grocery money to plan the shop so we could purchase bigger items to save money for other items i.e. a 10 lb bag of rice is cheaper than buying five 2 lb bags. I figured that what I didn’t get to purchase this week I would purchase the next and so on until I could build up my pantry. How much should your grocery budget be to have enough money to eat healthy all month-long?

Potential Meal Plan For The Week

  • Fried, Hard Boiled, Poached Eggs on Toast
  • Cereal with milk and a banana
  • Snack-Apple
  • Vegetable Rice Soup with carrots, onions, chicken cubes, beans, salt
  • Tuna or Egg and Avocado Sandwiches
  • Fried Garlic Rice with soy, and olive oil with beans and lime
  • Baked Fish, rice and steamed carrots
  • Salads with carrots, onions, salt, lemon-extra virgin olive oil dressing
  • Pasta with Pasta Sauce made with garlic, onions, salt, water, tomato paste, tomatoes and beans
  • Rice and Beans and Sausages
  • Tea with milk and sugar
  • Rice and Pasta Sauce
  • Water from the tap

Well that’s the pre-plan above and I know it’s not full of variety but for some it’s a reality. Honestly we purchase all the above on a regular basis as we eat this food weekly. We do add fruits and other vegetables and meats as well. Sticking to a grocery budget might be tough but we all need to evaluate where our money is going.

Question for my Fans

If I asked you to pick out from my list of potential grocery list items above the ones you thought were the most important what would you pick and why? What would you add to my list and why?  Post your thoughts in the comment section of this post.

Check back tomorrow to see how we made out grocery shopping. Although we don’t know what the outcome will be we look forward to this Welfare Food Challenge.

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Photo Credit: Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

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