Can you live on a food stamp budget?

United States
July 19, 2008 8:45pm CST
I was looking online and I found this site a little late but I was going to do the challenge with my famiy anyhow and see if we could do it. I know that I am a little budget crazy but I thought this would be a challeng and something that we could learn a lot from. Teach us about how people live with different challenges. The website posts a guideline of what you can spend each week for your family size. Keep in mind that the site lists the maximum ammount and the average is more like $20. http://www.harvesters.org/_FileLibrary/FileImage/ParticipationGuidelines.pdf Our familys budget is already set at $60 a week, many times we dont spend that. The difference is that we have a great supply in our pantry and when sales come up we can buy large amounts in bulk and save more. If I dont spend the $60 for the week we put 80% into a budget to spend later so we can make bulk purchases if we want to. The other 20% we do what ever we feel like as a reward for living in out means. We will be starting from scratch and not using the pantry beacuse many families live like that and going off the $80 level ( We are aimimg for the $60 we have set but I want to be realistic just incase. ) What do you think? Will you take the challenge? What is your current grocery budget?
7 responses
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
20 Jul 08
We have been trying to cut back and some weeks we do really good and others we don't. Really depends on where we shop. If we go to Walmart, I can get 3 weeks worth of groceries for about $150, that much doesn't go as far for the higher quality grocery stores.
• United States
21 Jul 08
I am a closet Walmart fan. When I go in to our local store the people that work there seem so put out to let me shop there, customer service leaves a lot to be desired. The company its self has left me a bad taste for what I have learned in the news. With that said I shop there a few times a month. One stop shoping and being on the way home I go in. They often havve great prices on food items, when they have what I am looking for. I am a slave to me budget more then I care about being offended time and time again.
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I really don't like going to walmart for food. I try to stay out of there when I can. We are lucky to have one really awesome locally owned grocery store here that is always having specials. Today I went in there and they had whole chickens .69lb and homemade sausage .99lb. However, it is one of those places that you have to watch what you buy, their sales are great, but some of the regular items are over priced (like cereal - We buy organic only there is it over $4 a box, which I refuse to do)
• United States
28 Jul 08
Organics are so pricey. We try to grow what we can and by organic when we can afford it. It is amazing how fast being health concious can add up in the bills.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I try to live on food stamps, $138 a month for one person in Massachusetts. I don't usually make it, especially this month when I have no paycheck and therefor no money for cat food and toilet paper My check is very late. And so, as I don't want my cat to starve I got him 9 cans of tuna. I had no choice. I'm sure this wasn't the plan of the food stamp people. I get extra food from this place called the Survival Center should I mean it.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I met to say need not mean.
• United States
28 Jul 08
$138 a month would be a lot harder to live off of. I understand needing the tuna to feed the cats though. What else can you do? Have you looked into the free samples that some places send out. I got a few small bags of cat food and I think I saw that walmart.com had that again.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
24 Jul 08
we have a family of 4 and spend about $160 every other week on groceries. we get our meat from a butcher and go to a no frills type of grocery store that doesnt give you a lot of choice. this saves us money!
• United States
28 Jul 08
I think where you shop can make all the difference in the world. A few pennies less on everything adds up to a lot when the bill totals out.
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Wow! We could absolutely live on that! Just Sunday s/o and I went shopping together for the first time in a long time. It was a store we'd never been to before, they had some good sales and were comparable to the stores we usually use. Since I wasn't on my usual budget of whatever is in my pocket after buying gas a diapers, we bought whatever we needed. The total for a cartload that will last 2 weeks was $183...just under the weekly maximum for 6 people...we're feeding 7.
• United States
28 Jul 08
It almost seems like the more people you have the easier it is to feed them all. My hubby and I struggled but now that there are two more mouths to feed I can make it work because I have to.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
20 Jul 08
Mine is a one person household. I could eat very well on the $38.75 a week they list, and could do ok on $20. If I were in Missouri, I could do even better, because food prices are lower there than here. Food stamps are generous and some people who get them eat better than those who don't.
• United States
21 Jul 08
I think that Food Stamps many times go to families with young kids and they cost a little more just for formula and diapers. I have young kids, one in diapers at night, but we still live well under the limit. I am trying not to judge the amount they set. Im sure they have some reason to have set the numbers as they are. I wish I was more informed about all of it. I could eat better on their budget than mine, but I eat well as it is.
• United States
20 Jul 08
As a single person, I never spend more than $80/month on my groceries; actually, I don't even spend that. I think that, most of the time, it is more like $50/month.
• United States
21 Jul 08
Wow, that is a great budget. I could learn a lot from you. We are a family of 4 and we spend 60 a week so we spend 60 per person a month and that is tough for me to do. It also has to be easier to save when I am buying in bulk like I can for 4. You truely have a tallent we could all benifit from. Any tips for us?
@snowy22315 (52841)
• United States
20 Jul 08
I dont really have a grocery budget but I dont spend vr=ery much on groceries becsue alot of time I'm the only one here. I can even go to the dollar store to get food if I want to. Last time I went to the store I went to Food Lion and only spent abot 37.00. I thought that was pretty good. I probably wont get any more groceries until next week some time. I usually buy generic. That helps to save money.
• United States
21 Jul 08
I am a numbers cruncher by habit. I need to know where all the money is going so I can feel secure. Im sure it is some sort of OCD but so far Ive been living with it okay so why pay the thrapist if I dont have to. I love generics. My Dad worked for year in a food supply company and he told me that most of the generics are made side by side with the name brands and just a different label put on. That was about 5 years ago so things might have changed but I still feel okay about it all.