This became more evident than ever when the movie star-turned-healthy-lifestyle-author came out with a cookbook and diet plan that costs $300 a day to follow. Talk about steep—amiright!? Knowing what Ms. Paltrow typically spends on her daily eats, we were pretty shocked to learn that she agreed to participate in New York City’s Food Bank Challenge. The rules are simple: Participants must eat on a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) budget of $29 for seven days, which translates to $1.38 per meal. Accepting food from anyone else or eating anything that’s already in the house is not permitted, however, using spices and condiments already in the kitchen is fair game.
Congress has cut funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program twice since 2013, and the challenge aims to raise public awareness about the struggles families living off food stamps and advocate for continued funding for the program. Last week the actress tweeted a photo of the groceries she bought for the week:
This is what $29 gets you at the grocery store—what families on SNAP (i.e. food stamps) have to live on for a week. pic.twitter.com/OZMPA3nxij
— Gwyneth Paltrow (@GwynethPaltrow) April 9, 2015
There’s a lot of money-saving savvy to be learned from Gwen’s loot:
Nix pricy protein: Eggs are one of the cheapest sources of protein out there. When shopping on a budget, opt for eggs over more expensive proteins like steak, fish and poultry.
Ditch canned goods: To stretch your dollar and cut back on your sodium intake, opt for dried beans over the canned varieties.
Opt for fresh flavors: You can typically buy a few limes or lemons for a dollar or two. Add them to your cart and use them to add low-cal flavor to rice, bean and veggie dishes. This is much cheaper—and healthier—than buying bottled marinades and flavorings.
Gwen’s $29 Shopping List:
1 dozen eggs
1 bundle of shallots
1 ear of corn
Gluten-free corn tortillas
1 sweet potato
1 bag of dried black beans
1 bag of frozen peas
1 bag of whole grain rice
1 bundle of cilantro
Looking to save even more money off your weekly grocery bill? Check out our report on The Cheapest and Most Expensive Supermarkets in America to plan your next calorie- and cost-saving trip.