Saturday, the one day a week that I get a hot cup of coffee! Its beautiful and peaceful here, and I have to do the business books and get the clothes replaced for the boat. My husband emptied the chest of drawers to be washed . I have gone down two sizes since last summer, so I have to restock from home and wash what I can still wear. I batch cooked all yesterday morning into the afternoon. Our meat is cooked and ready to go and plenty left over for the house sitter. Batch cooking means that dinner will be a snap tonight.
My daughter thinks I should address the issue of special diets. I think the first question is , are you on a special diet because it is the "in thing" to do, or is it because the doctor says you have an health issue.
Most of the time, you can buy regular food and make healthy choices to accommodate your diet. healthy doesn't have to be expensive. I buy whole wheat products, and defat my meat, and live on a low carb diet. Low sugar, low fat, and low salt doesn't mean that you have to buy all the items in the grocery store that claim low xxxxx. Some of them have chemicals that aren't good for you in the first place. It's clueless to me why if something is the "in" diet, suddenly everything has No xxx. On the label even if it never HAS had that xxxx in it. They use it to raise prices. If it is special, it must cost more.
If you are a vegetarian , you don't have to buy the vegetarian equivalent of meats. Our doctor would prefer that the baby not have soy based equivalents. Soy is one of the crops that failed, and is going to continually get more expensive as we work through the effects of the drought. My fear is that after the drought, the suppliers will assume we are used to paying high prices and inflate the prices for more profit.
There are grains and rice and beans that make for whole protein. If you insist on buying the fake stuff, PCC is less expensive than some other stores, probably because they have more volume. if you can make do with things from the chain stores, you will be better off if you are trying to make it on SNAP. Quinoa ( I'm probably spelling it wrong) is at Costco and is a whole protein. Rice and beans make a whole protein. Eat a lot of fruits and veggies and supplement. My daughter eats a lot of Mexican.
There is a web site that has coupons for alternative foods. Stacy talks about in her video. Stacymakescents,com.
I have to admit, I am clueless on gluten free. I assume that you can just eat no bread or pasta. We pretty much lived on meat and vegetables when we were kids, Thats what my dad liked. If you avoid bread and pasta and get your starch from rice? And buy a minimum of alternative thickening agents etc. Obviously, the least amount of specialty products would keep your costs down. My normal budget is about half of the normal amount of the SNAP base for thrifty cooking. That leaves you a little wiggle room.
Basicly, SNAP is based on regular food for a minimum cost diet. They are talking meat, veggies, and grains. There is no room built in for specialty foods at an inflated price. If you choose or your health issues dictate you eat a specialty diet, you have your work cut out for you. I balance the vegetarian and my diabetic diet, but my daughter buys her own fake food. There are some meals that she can eat too, or that I can make and pull her portion out and add our meat.
I'm not trying to be mean, the reality is , if you are on SNAP, your budget has no room for specialty foods. you are going to have to work hard to incorporate regular foods that meet your criteria into your meal plans and use a minimum of specialty foods or find them at a reduced cost. Most diets can be adjusted by using regular foods or some specialty items are the same price. As a diabetic, I just eat foods that aren't on my diet in moderation. It s not what I can't eat, it's how much of it I eat... A full serving or a teaspoon! LOL.
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