SNAP Challenge 2015: Day 4

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My 25 cent oatmeal.

For breakfast this morning, I departed somewhat from my previous shopping list. Instead of using the groceries I purchased this weekend, I had some oatmeal. Oatmeal is a good storage item, and it’s certainly within my budget, so I don’t consider this to be “cheating.” The particular oatmeal I ate was Quaker Pumpkin Spice Instant Oatmeal . I had it in the house, and had actually purchased the 8 pack about a month ago at WalMart as a closeout item for only 25 cents. So my total expenditure for the two envelopes as 6-1/4 cents.

But since I didn’t buy the oatmeal during the SNAP Challenge period, it’s not fair to use 25 cents as the price. Instead, I’ll treat it as an expenditure of $1, since oatmeal (both instant and regular) is always available at the Dollar Store. Therefore, my total expenditures are now up to $27.99.

For lunch, I finished the chili from yesterday.

For supper, I used the tortillas and can of refried beans for burritos. I made seven, four of which I saved for later. After viewing my unusual looking food, my wife took pity on me and prepared the burritos. I could have done it, but they wouldn’t have looked nearly this good. As you can see, I finished up the blue Kool-Aid and am now working on the pink Kool-Aid.

The canned beans and prepared tortillas are certainly suitable items for medium-term storage, since the tortillas had an expiration date a few months away. So they’re both good items to keep around the house. But for long-term storage, there are even better options.

First of all, normal dry beans are cheap and will keep basically forever if properly stored. The disadvantage, of course, is that they require a fair amount of preparation and actual cooking. Another excellent option is the Honeyville refried bean flakes. These are dehydrated refried beans. You simply add hot water, and the result is refried beans which are indistinguishable from (or even better than) the canned variety. The cost is basically comprable to canned beans.

While tortillas will last a long time, the basic ingredient for corn tortillas, Maseca, will last basically forever if stored properly. The only other ingredient necessary to make tortillas is water, so this is a good choice for emergency food storage. It should be available in most Supermarkets, including WalMart.
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Of course, one must know how to make tortillas. It’s not particularly difficult, but it does require some practice. And it’s made much easier by having the proper tool, namely a tortilla press such as the one shown here. They’re available at Amazon, WalMarticon, and many other places. If you can’t find one locally, you can order at WalMart online and pick it up at your local store.

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