We do delayed/selective vax, and while I've had to explain myself on many visits, my WIC ladies have been very respectful of our decision. (They're a pretty crunchy bunch, though. They promote co-sleeping as a way to encourage breastfeeding, even though they aren't supposed to. Shhh!)
I get a massive WIC package. It's me, DS (who's still EBF) and DD, age 3.
Every month we get:
7.5 gallons of milk
3# whole grain bread/tortillas
2 64oz. jugs of juice
3 12oz. containers of frozen juice concentrate OR 48oz. cans of V8
3 doz eggs (I use WIC eggs to make mayo)
72 oz. cereal (usually 5 boxes)
3 jars peanut butter
6 cans tuna
$16 for produce
And once DS is 6 mos. old, we'll also get 4oz. jars of baby fruits and veggies, and 2oz. jars of baby meat, as well as rice cereal.
Up until last month, we got 8# of cheese per month. It was crazy. We couldn't eat it all. We got a bunch of mozzarella, shredded it, spread it on sheet trays to freeze, and then bagged it. We have enough frozen pizza cheese to last us a year.
We also get $40 in vouchers to use at the farmer's market. It's called Project Fresh, and can only be used for in-state produce. Around here, some Upicks accept Project Fresh vouchers, so this year we spent $20 in vouchers on Upick strawberries and came away with 25#. We ate them until we were just about sick, and then froze the rest for winter smoothies.
Last year, we picked 25# of strawberries and made so much jam (we also used the rhubarb in our backyard) that we're still eating it.
Rather than dry or canned beans, we always get peanut butter with WIC, as 18 oz. of pb is $1.50-$2 (the stuff we buy, anyway), and 16 oz. of dry beans are $1. So we just pay cash for the beans, to save a few cents.
The other $20 in vouchers we are using toward 50# of potatoes to go in the cellar.
There is no way we can drink 7.5 gallons of milk every month, so I learned how to make kefir, yogurt, & ricotta. The ricotta can be "creamed" with yogurt to make cottage cheese, and the yogurt can be strained to make Greek style yogurt, which is a very good sour cream/cream cheese substitute. Greek yogurt also makes fabulous tzaiki and chip dip. I also combine Greek yogurt with homemade mayo (free again, from the WIC eggs) to make lowfat mayo that is free for us and real food, none of the fillers and crap that's in commercial low fat mayo. Other than the minor cost of the yogurt cultures (maybe 25 cents?) and the oil (another 25 cents?), WIC + a little effort = free mayo. (In turn, the free mayo makes fantastic ranch dressing.)
This is much less complicated than it sounds. I spend about an 90 minutes a month doing it. You need the cultures, a thermometer, a heating pad, a stock pot, white vinegar, salt & some towels- so stuff that most houses have kicking around. Check out Hillbilly Housewife or PM me for instructions.
Before, we were also getting 8 46oz. juice every month, about 4 more than we could drink, so we have a massive frozen/V8 stockpile. Which is nice, because now I can just say, "Oh, when the WIC juice is gone, it's gone". We don't need to be drinking more than WIC gives us, but this way we won't feel deprived, either, as we work our way through the stockpiled stuff, too.
We bake our own bread and make our own flour tortillas, so we use the bread allotment on corn tortillas. Frequently, these get made into chips. Homemade chips with homemade salsa is a mainstay snack at our house.
We get so much tuna, that, even after the BFing mother package ends when DS turns 1, we will have a stockpile that I bet lasts us another year.
As for the cereal, you can only get certain kinds. I never get the hot cereals they offer, since they area always the nasty instant packets. (When a huge container of real oatmeal costs $2. I don't get it.)
I have a system- I don't get any WIC cereal that has a generic equivalent. So I get Life, Kix, Quaker Oat Squares, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Banana Nut Crunch, then I grab one or two big bags of generic Bran Flakes, Rice Crispies, Corn Flakes, or Frosted Mini Wheats. These are about $3.50 each. The WIC cereal plus 1-2 bags is enough to get us through the entire month, even though we eat cereal daily. (Cereal is another of our mainstay snacks- DH works a very early third shift, and is home by 1:00, so a late lunch is our main meal. DD and I usually snack on cereal after DH is in bed.)
So yes, I have found WIC to be well worth the minor hassle. Though I wouldn't buy all that milk (I'd just make more soymilk instead), nor name brand cereal, and I'd probably buy a little less juice than WIC gives us, our WIC purchases routinely total $150/mo, so I imagine it saves us a minimum of $100 a month, probably a little more. Like all grocery shopping, there are methods you can use to make it stretch a little farther. I hope this post helps you to devise your own.
Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.