Food stamp challenges across the United States have prompted many to look at their own budgets and the cost of food. There are many ways that people have been able to maximize their monthly food stamp benefits in this economy. High unemployment and limited job sources have made it nearly impossible for most Americans to find a job in order to pay their own bills, much less provide the basics like food. That’s why it’s important to stretch food assistance and make the most out of monthly benefit programs that allow for America’s neediest individuals and families to get a decent meal. These are some of the methods that food stamp recipients have managed to maximize benefits and make funds stretch just a bit farther.
There are some things that you simply can’t buy with food stamps and other things that you shouldn’t buy when on a budget. A caseworker can give you an approved list of items that you can purchase in your state, or you can look at our front page to go directly to your state’s restrictions. However, you want to stay away from purchasing hot meals. In addition, you can find other ideas on our blog or in our article database for cheap food recipes, coupon ideas and other recommended dishes that are under $5.
Once you get on food stamps, you need to know how much you’re getting every week and plan your month’s food according to this budget. If you have extra money to go towards groceries, include that in your budget. You need to create a grocery list with the necessities as well as weekly meal plans that will prevent last minute rush to the store or just impromptu purchases at the store that may end up costing you more than you like.
You also want to make sure that you look online and in the store for deals and coupons. These can help you save a lot of money at the store. Usually there are weekly and daily deals at the grocery store that may allow you to buy one get one free or find cheaper cuts of high quality meats. You want to also sign up for email newsletters from major brands and look for other deals in the weekly newsletters from your town’s grocery stores.
In some cases, you can find cheaper fresh food at farmer’s markets and co-op grocery stores. In any case, these places may also sell cheaper organic ingredients. You can look online to find a farmer’s market near you. One tip is to go later in the day to a farmer’s markets, when prices are cheap because food is set to sell.
You should always stock up on items that are on sale in bulk. You should look for staple items like peanut better, rice, dried beans, pasta, boxed and canned goods which can last for a long time and come at a cheaper price. In addition, look for recipes that you can freeze and reheat for eating all throughout the week.
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