Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is it really that hard to eat on $25 a week

Some folks in Illinois tried to eat on $25 a week to understand the plight of the food stamp-users. And then they whined about how hard it was.

Listen folks, my first year in college (98-99), I lived on $27 per week. Not ate, lived on that money (which I made babysitting for a family near the school). My scholarship covered rent, utilities, tuition, and books, so we'll ignore those expenses, and my parents were generous enough to cover liability insurance on my $400 dollar car, but everything else came out of that babysitting money. We're talking food, clothing (well, that kind of grungy look was still in, so thrift stores got a lot of my business there), gas, household items, makeup (again, relied on the grungy look), entertainment, booze (it was college, after all), and anything else that happened to come up.

I ate a lot of tuna fish, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, eggs, and generic everything, but I always had plenty. Yes, I very rarely had good quality meat (the occasional chicken breast when they were on sale), but it's hard to cook good quality meat for one in a college student's kitchen, anyway. (Plain Spaghetti-Os were something like 50 cents a can; the ones with meatballs were a dollar and a few cents, so I used to get both and combine them, that way I could get 4 meals with meat.) And I rarely had treats like sodas or ice cream. But I got by just fine. (And now, am a fabulous cook!) These people can, too.

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