In total, I managed to follow the Food Stamp Challenge rules about 2/7 days. Not the greatest track record. It's hard when you work long hours and don't have extra money for snacks. It's also hard to stay on track when working at a job where they all but throw free food in your face. Even so, the exercise was an interesting one. On $31/week one can either eat very unhealthily (ramen every meal) or spend all of your time planning ahead with a slow cooker (rice and beans every meal). In order to have a well-balanced diet it helps to have more than one family member to pool resources (allows the flexibility to buy fresh fruits or vegetables).
At the very least, I have a better appreciation for just how well I can eat. I love being able to walk downstairs to the cafeteria in order to buy a bag of swedish fish or a latte now and then. I love going out to dinners with friends and family and not having to worry (too much) about my budget. Most of the world does not eat the kind of variety of foods we enjoy in the U.S. As someone who likes to eat something different every meal, I'm definitely spoiled when it comes to food.
And now, about that latte...