Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

July 24, 2013

The thrifty food plan

I have been thinking about budgets in general, and food budgets in particular, a lot lately. The biggest reason for my obsession is that what I had anticipated as two college students away at college is, in reality, two college students living at home and commuting to college. I love having them home with me, but they do tend to eat on a regular basis.

I don’t think I spend too much on food, but I went looking for cold hard facts just the same. What I found was the USDA list of Official USDA Food Plans. This chart includes four levels, from the Thrifty Plan to the Liberal Plan. The middle two plans are Low-Cost and Moderate-Cost. I used my family’s information and came up with a food budget range for the five of us from $184.30 to $360.40 per week.

I am pleased to report that I currently only exceed the Thrifty Plan by $16 per week. The Moderate-Cost plan would give me $236.50 each week. Incidentally, the Thrifty Plan is the one used to determine the amount of SNAP (food stamps) a person will receive if they are eligible for that program. I have seen websites where bloggers take a food stamp challenge and write about how difficult it is to live on the amount allotted each week. I have always wondered if I could do the same and, if so, how much my family would object. Turns out, they probably wouldn’t even notice, which is good. Of course, we live in the Midwest, where costs are more moderate. I bet it would be a struggle to feed the family on that same amount on either of the coasts.

Even with the help of our friendly geographical location, my mother would be proud of my money-saving food skills. She fed our family of six on a budget of $140 per week back in 1974. Of course, her expenses included gas to haul her four children to and from activities, as well as the occasional trip to Bernice’s on Main Street for fabric to make us clothes. She also had to buy school lunches and fund our extracurricular activities with those dollars, which probably left her with substantially less than $140 each week. Thankfully, she could stretch a food dollar.

Text Only
Commentary
  • Teach children to contribute as well as receive I receive a lot of emails and phone calls from parents facing difficulty in their parenting. Often parents ask, “What do I need to give my child? What do I need to do for my child?” While there are many moments we as parents need to give or do something, sometimes the answer lies in expecting from our children.

    July 23, 2014

  • Momma wasn't a sissy My mom was on a medical downslide for the last 20 years of her life, and I always wondered how she managed to keep going. She always said she was probably already dead but just too stubborn to lie down.

    July 23, 2014

  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

    July 23, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Exercise helps body resist injury I hurt myself last week. It’s a good one too. Low back, below the belt, all the way across. Hurt. When I get hurt, I am instantly grateful for the strength training and body care I do every week and the knowledge I’ve gain from moving my body regularly.

    July 23, 2014

  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

Order Times Sentinel photos


Photos from July 2014

Facebook
Twitter Updates
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide