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Could you do it on a food stamp budget? - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post

I don't know exactly how much we could get. I know it is based on the thrifty budget here http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodCost-Home.htm but then I think they expect you to spend some of your own money, like 30% I think I read, so you end up getting like 30% less than thrifty or??? Either way the thrifty budget comes out to $945.36 for our sized family and I think we could exist on that but that is all we'd be doing. We have tons of food intolerances to deal with here, so that is a factor, but given the amount of food the avg. person eats - 3 to 5 lbs. - and we'll go with the lower end since I suspect many Americans over eat plus we have kids too, so 3lbs. per day per person is 24lbs. a food needed per day or 720lbs. per month, which gives us about $1.31 per lb. of food to spend, not excluding sales tax which can really add up. Which means either less food overall or lots of the same thing - beans, rice, bananas, milk, eggs maybe, potatoes, celery, carrots, that kinds of stuff. No room in there for getting stuff to season the food with really.

 

So those numbers don't take into account the fact that how much you get changes by how much you make I believe or the fact that grocery costs are different all over.

 

And so many ideas on cutting costs are just totally unfeasible for families in poverty. (If I hear the idea that you can save money going to farmer's markets one more time... banghead.gif. I guess it may be true somewhere. Around here they are  2 to 4 times more, which is fine because the farmer's deserve a living wage, but I can't afford it.)

 

It is really easy to say eat more beans and rice, because yes they are cheap and yes you can survive on them but for so many adults this type of diet makes us really sluggish, slowing down productivity, and it can contribute to obesity.

Okay first, but I'd like to explain how SNAP works.

They take your income, which has deductions. I can't remember what counts, but certain bills are taken out of your income that they use to determine your allowance, Then they take that number, say you make $900 a month, take 30% of it ($270) and deduct it from your maximum allowance (say for a family of 4, using Texas's numbers because that's where I am and what I know) $668. So your benefits would be $398 a month. 

 

And fruitfulmomma, I'm so with you. The farmers market here is all organic, free range, grass fed, etc etc and it's expensive. Not to mention an hour away, gas would exceed any savings I could find. And we hate beans! We just won't eat them. So we have to ration food. Especially since we're living on about $200 a month until our SNAP kicks in. We get food from family too, but we only really eat once a day and then some biscuits if I've made some in the last couple days. ugh /vent over

 

ETA: I agree, the 'challenge' is very annoying. If you're trying to reduce your spending on food and budget, okay great, but everytime I've seen the challenge it's been...to see how lucky you have it? And how sucky those that have to be on it have it? Idk, whatever, I'm a sour puss about it. I feel made fun of. I also have sour feelings because like 75% of my friends and family would love to see SNAP and other assistance go out the window and I'm SO grateful that we will be getting it soon, I'm SO grateful my daughter has insurance. We're working to get out of this rut, but for now, I'm so grateful to have help.

post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymonkey View Post
ETA: I agree, the 'challenge' is very annoying. If you're trying to reduce your spending on food and budget, okay great, but everytime I've seen the challenge it's been...to see how lucky you have it? And how sucky those that have to be on it have it? Idk, whatever, I'm a sour puss about it. I feel made fun of. I also have sour feelings because like 75% of my friends and family would love to see SNAP and other assistance go out the window and I'm SO grateful that we will be getting it soon, I'm SO grateful my daughter has insurance. We're working to get out of this rut, but for now, I'm so grateful to have help.

I always took these challenges as an opportunity for people to see the benefit of these programs and have more understanding for their friends and neighbors who are on them, but I could see how they could be taken otherwise.

Sorry to hear that you are in this position and hope things get better soon. hug2.gif

post #23 of 37

I think I was a little too grumpy when I wrote that post. I do find it annoying but I'm not as worked up about it as I made it seem. Also, we found a way to get more food so I'm in a better mood haha!

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymonkey View Post

I think I was a little too grumpy when I wrote that post. I do find it annoying but I'm not as worked up about it as I made it seem. Also, we found a way to get more food so I'm in a better mood haha!

That's what these boards are for - venting - right? Glad to hear you are getting more food!!!

post #25 of 37

I just took a look at the list at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/ben.htm

 

We spend way less on food and food in Canada is much more expensive. 

post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

I just took a look at the list at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/ben.htm

 

We spend way less on food and food in Canada is much more expensive. 

 

I just looked at what the max amount I would receive as a family of 5(I'm also pregnant) and oh my! I spend half that much a month and I'm in Canada too and not in a very "cheap" part. The challenges we see are a lot of "live off 4 dollars a day/per person things" well I've got a family of 5 and we average no more then 100 a week in groceries usually(spending 100 a week rarely happens and if it does it means we've got extra money somehow and we are treating ourselves) that equals out to 2.85 a day per person in our family. And we eat/waste WAY TOO MUCH FOOD. Honestly I'm over hormonal yes but lately my kids are being such little jerks(I know I'm a mean mom) and seemingly just want to waste food b-c they can. It kills both dh and I.

 

I too hate these challenges. I see them and they don't make me think "god how could I survive? We need to do something!" They make me think "That person is a right idiot why am I even watching/reading this???" Sad really. I did the challenge once when our grocery bills started sneaking up(kind of like lately b-c of a really bad pregnancy) and I got our bill down to an average of $40-50 a week and one $75.00 shop a month to stock up.

post #27 of 37

The max is just a max, unless you're unemployed you don't get that much. 

post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymonkey View Post

The max is just a max, unless you're unemployed you don't get that much. 

 

Even HALF that much is still more then we spend.

 

Sure I'd love help with groceries but Canadians get way more help in other ways that I'd take over food stamps. I love my health care. This past week I was hospitalized and on I.V for pregnancy sickness and dd was admitted for pneumonia. Dh's drug plan covered most of the cost for the meds but we figure if we didn't have OHIP or a drug plan the week would have easily put us near 10 000 in the hole. Couldn't imagine.

We also get a monthly payment for every kid under 6 to help with daycare costs. And Child Tax Benefit which we call "Baby Bonus" based on your income it helps pay for diapers,food,wipes ect. It's not a lot. Most people I know get like 20-something a month. And also depending on your income you can get gst tax rebate which is a payment that comes 4x a year to give you back some of the general sales tax you spend. And a Trillium Tax benefit which comes once a month to help with heating and other subsidized things.

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by caiesmommy View Post

 

Even HALF that much is still more then we spend.

 

Sure I'd love help with groceries but Canadians get way more help in other ways that I'd take over food stamps. I love my health care. This past week I was hospitalized and on I.V for pregnancy sickness and dd was admitted for pneumonia. Dh's drug plan covered most of the cost for the meds but we figure if we didn't have OHIP or a drug plan the week would have easily put us near 10 000 in the hole. Couldn't imagine.

We also get a monthly payment for every kid under 6 to help with daycare costs. And Child Tax Benefit which we call "Baby Bonus" based on your income it helps pay for diapers,food,wipes ect. It's not a lot. Most people I know get like 20-something a month. And also depending on your income you can get gst tax rebate which is a payment that comes 4x a year to give you back some of the general sales tax you spend. And a Trillium Tax benefit which comes once a month to help with heating and other subsidized things.

 

That's not for everybody... I'm SO beyond bitter that we have to pay close to $4,000 a year for healthcare (just did our taxes so the wounds are still fresh lol), and at tax time I had to pay back that $100/m and the one check I got for the "baby bonus" because I wasn't entitled to enough for them to send me a monthly check. Our daycare, car insurance, food, housing, gas, etc is all way more expensive than in the US. I know it's not this way for everybody but I'd so take the US system for ours. The system here is very unfair to people the government considers "high income"... we end up with less after taxes than my single friend with 4 kids who doesn't work. 

post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

 

That's not for everybody... I'm SO beyond bitter that we have to pay close to $4,000 a year for healthcare (just did our taxes so the wounds are still fresh lol), and at tax time I had to pay back that $100/m and the one check I got for the "baby bonus" because I wasn't entitled to enough for them to send me a monthly check. Our daycare, car insurance, food, housing, gas, etc is all way more expensive than in the US. I know it's not this way for everybody but I'd so take the US system for ours. The system here is very unfair to people the government considers "high income"... we end up with less after taxes than my single friend with 4 kids who doesn't work. 

 

I totally do see where you are coming from!!! Dh is up for a raise in August. The amount he makes in his raise will send us right over the line and well only make $2000 more a year and make us lose out on $10 000 in other benefits. We CAN NOT afford a raise of 2000 to lose 10 000. So I do totally see your point!!

post #31 of 37
We have a family of 7(2
adults kids ranging b/w 1 & 11years) and already feed everyone a whole foods/ paleo diet on about $500 a month. According to the food stamp calculator we could receive $650 a month.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by seposte View Post

We have a family of 7(2
adults kids ranging b/w 1 & 11years) and already feed everyone a whole foods/ paleo diet on about $500 a month. According to the food stamp calculator we could receive $650 a month.

Where do you live? Do you grow your own food? How do you do it?

post #33 of 37
We live outside of the suburbs around Charleston, SC. We shop at Walmart and Trader Joe's. we do not currently have a garden. A sample day would look some thing like this ; breakfast- 2 fried eggs per person, one ham steak. Cut into strips, covered in apple sauce, lunch-meatballs with home made sauce over spaghetti squash, Dinner- baked boneless skinless chicken breasts shredded, wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves, topped with salsa. We drink mostly water. Have a bowl full of apples, oranges, bananas, etc for snacks. We buy frozen veggies and fruit for some things. We buy organic for most of the dirty dozen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

Where do you live? Do you grow your own food? How do you do it?
post #34 of 37

buy a big bag of rice big as you can afford as it's not usually covered by food stamps and pair it into other dishes to stretch it out if you need to you can do it with food pantry help my mother fed 3 littles and my dad and her on a food stamps budget or just under it if your just above the income cap it's basically less for years rice, beans buying things when they got on sale and cheap enough for her to afford fresh fruit other than 49 cent banana's was a luxury but it can be done.

post #35 of 37
We live on about $350 a month for a family of 3 (mom, dad and 2-year-old). I thought that was super frugal until i saw some of the comments in this thread. Sheesh, a lot of you have me beat! I have to admit i'm not perfect with making everything from scratch, but i do alright. We probably eat more meat than we need to and feta cheese...mmm feta cheese.

My biggest money saver is shopping at Super King (http://skmarkets.com/). I believe these markets are only in Southern Cali, but there are probably markets like it in other areas, too. It is very cheap but has good quality food. You can get a full shopping cart filled with fruit, veggies, bread, meat, trail mix, yogurt, milk, butter, rice, beans, pretty much everything your heart desires for under $200! It almost feels like i'm stealing lol.gif. We have so much food after that that we dont need to go to the store again for two and a half to three weeks. Its so awesome. The only downside is its like visiting a third world country because its filled almost shoulder to shoulder with mostly poor people (i know that sounds kind of rude but i dont know how else to describe it). Oh well, small price to pay for the huge discount you get. I would look into finding a good discount store wherever you are located, they've gotta be out there. Some are ghetto, some are nice, just do your research.
post #36 of 37

Our weekly budget just went up to the USDA thrifty plan. I was feeling guilty about spending so much but we're healthier with way less grains and beans and cheese, more meat and veg and oils. I am learning to stock up on sales better and inch it back down though. Also fishing and wildharvesting. Hard to imagine they think it's a minimum, to me it's luxury. But not one I'm willing to give up. In fact I'd like to stock up further ahead just in case (say groceries couldn't get stocked due to weather or DH lost his job but the severance didn't get paid or who knows what).

post #37 of 37

$668 is what my family of 4 could max out at. We typically spend $500-700 a month on groceries now this doesn't include eating out which we as a family typically do 2x a month.

 

Edit. We also stock up our pantry up and I am not a coupon queen.

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