$25 Grocery Challenge–Early Observations




By Ed Nicholson
This week, I’m participating, along with several others in Northwest Arkansas, in the $25 Grocery Challenge, designed to show how difficult it is to live on the weekly amount typically provided to food stamp recipents.
Because of something I have going next Saturday, I too started on Saturday. I did, however, do most of my shopping on Sunday, stopping at the "W" store, as well as the "A" (discount & surplus) store. Some early thoughts:
  • Oatmeal, cheap raisin bran, budget bread, peanut butter, ramen noodles and processed cheese slices early in the day can put one into the price range of a modest, but decent dinner–if you don’t mind spending a little time in the kitchen.
  • (one that might not be politically correct at work) If people had to live on $25 a week, I’d be out of a job. One simply can’t buy much meat protein on this budget.
  • (and one that won’t be PC in other circles) Locally-grown & organic? That’d be a tough one. Even imported fresh veggies (some of which I bought) push the envelope quite a bit. In our market, this time of year, frozen and canned are much more practically nutritious.


4 Replies to “$25 Grocery Challenge–Early Observations”

  1. Ed Nicholson

    Comment from Ed: 

    Thanks, all. 

    Faith, you’re exactly right. I had Raman for the first time yesterday, and gained back a pound of the two I’d lost the previous two days.  Plus my fingers swelled.  Definitely not a healthful option, and I’ll be trying to avoid it.  But it does certainly help understand what many trying to live on this budget are doing.   Really appreciate the excellent recipes you all posted on http://hungerchallenge.blogspot.com


  2. Faith Kramer


    Good luck.  We here in the SF Bay area know it can be done, having done it ourselves.  I have to say, though, wish you had an option other than ramen noodles. It’s cheap, I know, but you pay a price in salt, fat and chemicals.

    my vote, make up a big batch of veggie and cabbage soup and nuke some in the office for lunch instead.

    It was great how Tyson helped us raise all that awareness (and chicken) for the SF Food Bank.

    Take care,





  3. Deborah Smith


    Love what you are doing. Is it any wonder obesity is such a problem among the poor? Organic? forget it. You’re lucky to buy generic Mac and cheese and frozen veggies.

  4. Kim/hormone-colored days

    Here via Twitter.

    I’ve read about others doing this type of experiment and heard the same thing in regards to meat, poultry, fish as well as fresh veggies and fruit. Keep tweeting updates; this is really interesting. Good luck!

Comments are closed.