Open Arms of Minnesota

JAY: A Rough Start

Last week I announced in a church newsletter article that I would be joining Kevin’s SNAP challenge to live on $27.65 worth of groceries for a week. It sounded easier back then.

I decided to start my week at 8:00 pm on Wednesday evening. That means that I can officially “break my fast” next Wednesday at 8:00, which is about the time I expect the pie fest to begin at Holy Trinity following our Thanksgiving worship service. Last night was easy, since I went out for a delicious (and probably too large) Indian meal with friends at 7:00. I had some work to do at home and an early start the next day, so I decided to pick up my Raisin Bran and lunch supplies on the way to work. There’s an Aldi on

Lake Street

close to the church, and I figured I’d be able to eat a bowl of cereal at my desk.

I pulled into the Aldi parking lot at 7:30 this morning with exactly $27.65 in my pocket (including a quarter for a cart). It didn’t occur to me until I saw the dim lights inside the building that Aldi wouldn’t open until 9:00. Already my plan was thrown off track. Heading back to my car, I considered ordering something from the dollar menu at McDonald’s but quickly thought better of it and drove instead to Rainbow, which was open. The cereal aisle didn’t offer anything near the price I knew I could get at Aldi, and the milk was much more expensive, too. So I ended up buying one banana for 19 cents. It wasn’t much of a breakfast, but it should tide me over until I can pick up some bread and peanut butter in a couple of hours.

So far, I’ve learned two important things:

  1. I’m going to have to do a much better job of planning ahead during this SNAP challenge.

  2. I’m not used to planning much for my meals.

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