Last nigShopping Listht I set out on my S.N.A.P. Challenge shopping trip. I normally shop at Aldi’s and since they accept S.N.A.P., I figured it would be an appropriate location to shop for the challenge. I prepared for my shopping trip by coming up with dishes I could make that would carry over for a few meals. I also had to purchase items to make a dish to share at a staff luncheon on Friday—something that would be budget friendly.

Once I got to the store, my shopping trip began much like every other shopping trip I have made there. The set up of the store is basically a one way street. I noticed more so than any previous visits to Aldi’s, that the first aisle of the store was full of sugary, salty, processed foods. I knew that these items would lack nutritional value so I passed through this aisle rather quickly. I did pick up a jar of peanut butter and a bottle of Italian dressing.

Then I headed toward the coolers. I saw the eggs, then I saw the price– $2.89. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to afford them with my tight budget. So I kept moving through the store. I picked up yogurt, sour creaGrocery Itemsm and leaf spinach. I also selected canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and chili mix to make chili.

I decided I was going to make a simple poke cake for the staff luncheon on Friday. It’s pretty straight forward—cake mix, gelatin and whipped topping. I placed all of these items into my cart.

With each item I grabbed, I felt the back of my neck tightening; I was becoming nervous about having enough money to purchase everything on my list. I stopped 3 times throughout my shopping trip to add up my items to see how much of my $28 budget was left. I made my way over to the meat section. I grabbed some chicken sausage links that I could cook up and use in the chili, soup or in a spinach salad.

I made it to the last aisle of the store, tallied my purchases and decided I had enough left over to go back and get a dozen eggs. It wasn’t until that point that I realized I would need the eggs in order to make the cake for the staff luncheon. Luckily, I learned a trick many years ago that you don’t have to use any vegetable oil to make a white cake mix and you only need to use 2 eggs, not 3 as instructed on the box.

After I got the eggs, I stood in line for the check out. I had 2 people in front of me and a long line behind me. I was getting anxious waiting for my turn to check out. I started to doubt my math. I was very nervous that I had forgotten to add an item into my total. I was thinking to myself, “should I have gotten that block of cheese?” I was afraid of having to tell the cashier that I wouldn’t have enough money for my entire purchase. I would be mortified if I had to tell her I couldn’t buy the chicken sausage or cheese because I didn’t have enough money.

I watched the tally more cautiously than I ever had before. I watched it climb to about $25.00. I still had things on the belt, I had a knot in my stomach. “Oh no! I’m going to have to put things back” I thought. What I didn’t notice, as my eyes were fixated on the tally, the cashier had rang all of those items up by punching them into the computer, not by scanning them. I breathed a sigh of relief when she told me my total was $25.80. Whew!

That left me with $2.20 to spare. I’m hoping I won’t have to use this, but it’s nice to know I have a small reserve.

Now the challenge is to take what I purchased and use it to live off of for 7 days.

Here’s a list of everything I purchased. You’ll notice I didn’t not purchase milk or drinks. Milk is not a staple in my regular diet (I know, I know, it should be) so I didn’t feel I would need it for the challenge either. Also, my regular, daily drinks consist of water and the occasional cappuccino that I make from a powder drink mix. I will forgo the cappuccinos for the challenge.

Item Price
Eggs (1 dozen) 2.89
English Muffins (6 ct) 0.99
Celery 0.89
Baby Carrots 0.69
Banana 0.88
Spinach 0.99
Chicken Sausage (4 ct) 2.99
Whipped Topping 0.79
Chili Seasoning 0.49
Mild Cheddar 1.89
White Cake Mix 0.99
Yogurt (4) 1.56
Sour Cream 1.16
Orange Gelatin 0.35
Black Beans 0.59
Diced Tomatoes (2) 1.10
Italian Dressing 0.89
Peanut Butter 1.49
Chicken Bouillon Cubes 1.69
Tomato Sauce (4) 1.00
Rice (3lbs) 1.49
TOTAL 25.80


Check back for a recap of my Day 1 of the S.N.A.P. Challenge.