I did. To write my current MSN Money column, “Three meals plus snacks for $4 a day,” I was asked to eat on what the government considers a limited budget:
- The average weekly food stamp benefit of $33.34 per person per week, plus
- Another $20.52 for the 9.8% of net income that the average American spends on food, based on the income that qualifies a person for food stamps (130% of the federal poverty level)
I had no trouble doing it; in fact, I spent about 52% of my allotted funds to produce three meals a day plus snacks. I bet some of you could do it for less. In fact, I could have, too – but I was trying to show a varied diet vs. the usual one-pot-glop on which I often subsist.
I’d be interested in your feedback, as it were.
In other news:
I’ve also got a column up at Get Rich Slowly. “Discounted gift cards: The new coupon” explains how to use plastic scrip the same way you’d use cash. The big difference? You’re getting an extra 3% to 40% (or more) off every time you shop.
These cards are easy to get and never expire – and they’re not just for cute shoes and bonbons. Got a dog or cat? Look for cards for stores like PetCo and PetSmart.
Working on your house or yard? Save with cards for Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears and others. Committed techie? Go with Apple, Best Buy, Dell, Radio Shack, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot…
The column explains how to get the cards and how best to use them. Again, feel free to leave your thoughts, either here or over at GRS.
Finally: There really was a winner in last week’s giveaway. I just neglected to publicize it. Carson, the one whom the random number generator loved best, scored a $25 Office Depot gift card.
This Friday’s giveaway will be a book. I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities. Stay tuned.