Food Stamps

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Due to the economic crisis and lack of jobs, food stamps are becoming used more often than ever before. Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) as they are now called, is a federal assistance program for individuals and families unable to work or not earning enough money to feed their family healthy foods. With SNAP benefits, you can buy essential food items like meat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. However sometimes you don’t get enough benefits to properly feed your family for the month, so you will need to get creative in order to maximize your food stamps.

What you can purchase

First you should be clear on exactly what you can purchase with the food stamps and the appropriate cost of each food item. The SNAP program currently allows you to buy dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese, bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, meats including seafood and poultry, and seeds to grow your own produce. By combining these food items with other ingredients, you can make homemade meals that will sustain your family for the month.

Plan your meals

There is no way around it – you have to meal plan. And not just writing down what you can purchase, but creating full meals to feed your family, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks if you’re able. Try to come up with homemade dishes that go a long way and choose food items you can buy in bulk that will last a long time. For example, buying a bag containing 12 chicken breasts is expensive, but those will last longer than a smaller, less expensive bag and in the long run, you will save money to buy more food for your children and spouse. Create a budget of what you can spend, both from your food stamp benefits and other money from income.

Clip coupons

Another way to save money aside from purchasing items in bulk, is by clipping coupons. The Sunday newspaper is the best way to get coupons that you can use for saving money. Look for the items you have food stamps more to save on the items you will be purchasing anyway. You can also find online couponing sites that allow you to print coupons for free. Become educated on which stores take double coupons save twice as much money.

Grow your own produce

Food stamp benefits also allow you to use your benefits on seeds for growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Use this to your advantage by choosing seeds for produce or herbs you will use in your family’s meals. Depending on your location in the US and what kind of soil you have, you can grow fruits or vegetables indoors in containers or outdoors in a small garden.

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