For the SNAP Hunger Challenge, I cut out a few coupons from the Penny Pincher coupon book that I had received in the mail. I picked the cheapest items from the coupon book because I would have had to make the food I bought from the grocery store last all day. Plus, I would think that using coupons during the Hunger Challenge is reasonable because a lot of people who are on SNAP benefits rely heavily on coupons on a daily basis.
My experience changed a lot once I actually entered the grocery store County Market. Immediately upon entering the store, I was greeted by a table right in front of the door that had peaches and bananas for sale, however I still couldn’t afford it with the budget I had already set. I intentionally brought only $5 in cash with me so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy more than the SNAP Challenge limit of $4.50.
To be honest, the shopping experience wasn’t very pleasant. I wouldn’t even consider it shopping, it was more like a scavenger hunt for the items listed on the coupons that I had brought. I tried to ignore looking at other foods because I knew I would want to buy it but couldn’t afford it. I looked in vain for cheap salad dressing for 50 cents, but the cheapest dressing they had was in powder form that required mixing into sour cream, which I couldn’t afford. I came across some really cheap Pistachio pudding that I could afford if I traded out my apple juice for the day and drank water, but the pudding required milk, so I couldn’t even buy that even though it was only 69 cents.