NWA Poverty Challenge Mid-Week: Melody Timinsky

Thank goodness for Walmart! With a budget limited to $25.00, I headed to the one place I knew would help me maximize my purchase power. While I was able to create a meal plan that was healthy, it provides little variety. My shopping list focused on frozen chicken and vegetables, eggs, milk, bread and pasta. The “always low prices” at Walmart allowed me to expand my shopping list to include fresh fruit. I was able to purchase four bananas, three apples, two oranges and a lemon – YEA!! My total bill was $24.73.

I am only a couple of days into the challenge, but I am already more grateful for the food I have. Though the meals are simple, I find I am enjoying and savoring each bite. As the challenge continues, I’m interested in seeing how the lack of variety affects my enjoyment level. Prioritizing nutrition over caffeine, what I miss most right now is my morning mug of tea. It just didn’t fit my budget.

Melody Timinsky


This brings up a good question–how many things that are often considered “necessity” like coffee, tea, or even fresh fruits, veggies and meat become luxuries when living in poverty? When living on $25.00 per week for an indefinite amount of time quantity quickly becomes more important than quality to so many families. Click here to learn more about the SNAP benefits program here in Arkansas.