We (myself and DD) survive on roughly $300 in SNAP benefits every month. Literally $0 spent on eating out- unless a friend treats me to coffee or local ice cream or something of the sort. I am veg, try to eat mostly vegan, and DD is being raised lacto-ovo veg. Luckily, at 15 months, she is still nursed about 8 times a day- which saves a lot on our food budget. Due to food allergies, I have to buy lots of special products for myself. Due to my LO's developmental delay, I have to buy lots of special foods for her- lots of freeze dried fruits and veggies that will dissolve in her mouth, as she has issues with chewing. I do not use the WIC program because my daughter and I would not be able to eat over 90% of the food it covers. (The cost of the food I would get with WIC does not cover the cost of getting over to the WIC office). Fresh food is a luxury for us. We do not have it in our budget to join a CSA, nor do we have the land or space inside to grow food. I make sure to get a variety of foods for my daughter, while I eat lots of beans& rice style dishes. In order to get my veggies, it's canned or frozen for me. I would love to do all local, organic, join a CSA, grow my own food... yeah, when we win the lottery! I was hoping to get DD to feed herself from her first taste of table food, but alas, she is 15 months and still figuring out a pincer grasp.
When I my stamps hit, I spend about $75-100 at the beginning of the month on dry bulk goods- buckwheat, lentils, nuts, beans, rice, hot cereal, etc. I spend about $35-50 on special allergen-free products for myself, then about another $30-40 on special freeze-dried finger-foods for the LO. The rest of that money has to last throughout the month. LO has begun to chew a little better, and can finally eat some of my bean& rice style dishes for dinner with half a jar of 2nd stage baby food added.