SNAP to it Food Stamp Challenge–Day 18

By Sharron R. Blezard, June 18, 2010

Less than two weeks to go with the SNAP to it Food Stamp Challenge! The end is in sight for me; I’ve crested the hill and am on the downhill side of June. Theoretically, I can step off this train at any time and spend what I want on groceries; after all, I’m not really on food stamps. This is just an exercise for me, right? The reality is a little more complicated. Because I am currently underemployed, even the SNAP budget is more than I NEED to be spending on food right now. Nothing is more draining than watching the cash flow out without a greater amount flowing in.

One thing I am appreciating about this challenge is the lesson in how very much I have taken for granted in the past. If you have read Amy Dacyczyn’s book The Complete Tightwad Gazette or Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, then you know what I’m talking about. The difference between need and want becomes most clearly delineated when the resource flow is reduced. The value of a dollar has much more attached to it than its face value.

How much does one need to spend on food? Just because one is able to spend as much as one wants, does that make it wise or right or just to do so? What is gained? What is lost? What stands in the way of good decisions and sound judgment? How do the issues of pride and shame play into our monetary decisions? What does our need to be happy contribute, and why do we ever think that spending money equates to happiness? These are questions that each person must answer for him or herself. What I determine is right for me and my family may not be the same for you and your family. Tomorrow, I’ll try to spend some time thinking about that last question and the strange relationship between money and happiness.

If you are partaking in this challenge, what are you learning? Even if you are not, what lessons have you learned about life, money, and the pursuit of happiness?

State of the Pantry

Nothing spent today! The last of the leftover grits and biscuits, along with fruit served as breakfast. I fixed roast beef and cheddar sandwiches for my daughter and her friend to eat on the way home. I ate triscuits, cheese, banana peppers and an apple. Supper was roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans—again leftovers. Snacks were grapes and granola bars.

Website of the Day

Want to make a difference even when surfing the web? Then click here to check out Goodsearch, a search engine founded by Ken Ramberg and JJ Ramberg in 2005. The company donates 50 percent of its sponsored search revenue to charities and schools designated by its users. For example, I could help relieve hunger by designating the Chattanooga Community Kitchen or Lutheran Social Services or Lutheran Disaster Response or many other worthy programs. There are more than 91,000 charities from which to choose or you can add your own. What a great idea knowing that you can make a difference by doing something simple that many of us do each and every day.

Photos by nDevilTV and laffy4k used through a Creative Commons License. Thanks!

About the Author

The Rev. Sharron Riessinger Blezard is an ELCA pastor currently rostered in the Lower Susquehanna Synod. She came to ordained ministry after teaching secondary and college English, working in non-profit management and public relations, and moonlighting as a freelance writer. See more posts by .

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