Tuesday, November 1, 2016

CWJ Food Bank Challenge: Overview

I was chatting with the President of my local food bank a couple of months back and he mentioned that the average person who is accessing the food bank has only around $4 to spend on groceries per day.  That got me to thinking - could my family survive off a mere $4/person/day? 
The town I live in borders a resort town (Jasper National Park) and isn't exactly known for it's cheap groceries.  In fact, many online debates point to the groceries here being ridiculously expensive.  I've had moments when purchasing simple ingredients such as milk, bread, and eggs and being left with very little change from a $20 bill.  I've since learned to sale shop, cook more from scratch meals, and essentially work my hardest at getting the biggest bang for my buck.  
This experiment is going to be me, living in an small town without access to giant chain grocery stores, cooking 100% from scratch and surviving off a $4/day budget. That's only $120 for an entire 30 day month supply of food. 
My husband has agreed to join me on this challenge so we've pooled our resources and have $240 to go shopping with.  In some ways having an extra person to feed makes this challenge easier.  We can pool our money and purchase bigger items and make them stretch longer.  On the flip side, he works in a physically demanding job and as a result generally has a huge appetite at the end of the day, so he tends to crave extra animal protein, something I don't eat a lot of and an item that easily rings in as the most expensive grocery item on my list. 
It will be a really interesting experiment and I will be documenting the entire process here on the blog, as well as on my social media channels (you can find me across the board as @CookingWithJax).  I'll be sharing the recipes that I cook each day, grocery lists, how much I spent, and how much I have left over. 
I'm doing this not only to prove that you can eat nutritious, homemade meals for cheaper than you think, but also to raise awareness for my Local Food Bank, and Food Banks of Canada. Consider contributing food, money, etc. whenever you can, because they truly make a difference in the lives of those who use their services!  You can donate in person at your local food bank, or online directly to Food Banks Canada HERE.
I am not being paid or compensated in any way by Food Banks of Canada - I just truly believe in the cause and think that this will be a really interesting experiment! 


  1. WOW now thats a challenge !!! i will be watching everyday to see how you do this WHAT amazing way to bring awareness GOOD LUCK !! :)

  2. Thanks Debbie! I'm glad that it's inspiring people!

  3. We did our math recently and we're ringing in between 1.50-2$ per meal per person in our edmonton household, not including breakfast. It's a tough one but it's possible!

  4. I was impressed at your IG photo of your shopping trip a few days ago. I am inspired to see what I can do with a tight budget. I live in a small town and look forward to see how far I can make a dollar go.

  5. I've always been tempted to try a challenge like this. Vegan eating can be very affordable so I'd be interested to see how that would work out. I'm really looking forward to your posts (checked out the first 3 just now!)

  6. If you have any types of special needs in your family as far as food is concerned, you should also consider those when planning your meals. ES zone


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