Oh, SNAP: A $20 grocery challenge

Meijer grocery receipt
This is the actual Meijer receipt from my personal challenge to get as many healthful grocery items as possible — for $20 or less. Photo by Peg McNichol

Ever since Gwyneth Paltrow got into hot water earlier this year for attempting the SNAP challenge, I’ve tried some extreme-grocery budgeting. (While I don’t think she did such a terrible job — too many cities are effective food deserts for low-income families, who have little to no access to fresh fruits / vegetables.)

Today a childhood friend shared some of her fiscal challenges, which included trying to get decent groceries. I told her I could spend $20 and get enough fresh fruits and vegetables for a few meals, along with some other groceries.

“How do you eat? WHAT do you eat?” she said.

Tonight, I showed her, hauling in 12 items: a mini-banana bunch; a gallon of milk; a handful of summer squash, four cucumbers; five oranges; two pints of blackberries; two dozen eggs; 32 ounces of plain yogurt; one pound of unsalted butter and, in honor of Ms. Paltrow, a bag of limes.

A photo of what the groceries looked like and how they’ll be used in the next blog post.

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