An open lesson for and to Gwyneth Paltrow on her now-failed attempt to take on the "Food Stamp Challenge." That is, living on $29 per week.
A not particularly shamefaced Gwyneth Paltrow has admitted she failed to survive for seven days on $29 (20 quid) for food as part of the #FoodBankNYCChallenge, which invites participants "to walk in the shoes of 1.7 million New Yorkers who rely on SNAP (formerly Food Stamps)."
So here's the thing. Here's what Ms. Paltrow should have done if she wanted to survive on a paltry $29 per week worth of food.
Consult someone who does it.
That is, get with some man or woman---likely a woman?--who's been doing it. They could tell you how.
Throw all the ideas about elitism or freshness and fresh vegetables and gourmet and/or healthy this or that out the window. It just isn't going to work.
Here, then, is what you do in order to make a $29 budget work for one person for one week.
Go to a "box store." Preferably not Walmart but pick one. Aldi's or Food for Less (also known as "Fight for Food") or wherever. Pick one. Again, if you don't know where to go, ask the person already doing it.
Buy fourteen of these:
Yes, that's right. TV dinners.
They can be had for 98 cents each. That's just about 14 precious dollars total. That covers every lunch and dinner for all 7 days. That's making it work. And they have this, of course, with a turkey dinner and a salisbury "steak" dinner and spaghetti with meatballs and all kinds of things so you can get some variety. Again, it's not gourmet--or fresh--but that's not what you get on $29/week, is it? No, it's not.
Buy 7 bananas and a half gallon of orange juice. The bananas will set you back about one dollar, give or take and the orange juice, $2.00.
So you still have $12 left for week.
You could buy some coffee and filters---again, not the gourmet variety but coffee--and/or other things, to make it work.
So you see, Ms. Paltrow?
It can be done.
You just have to try.