When I heard about the Newark, NJ mayor, Cory Booker living a week on food stamps–I could hardly believe he had trouble with a $30 budget. It prompted me to research what a family of four receives, on average, in a month. $496 was the figure I found as an average benefit. I was astonished–this was 20% more than I budget for my family in a month.
So I started this blog to show how to live on a food stamp budget with a family of four. Not just for those families living on food stamps, but for anyone who would like to live a more frugal lifestyle. I will show you my weekly receipts and totals; give you my best shopping tips and tricks; and teach you how to use coupons responsibly and ethically.
I will officially kick off the food stamp budget challenge plan on January 1, 2013. Here are some rules I set forth for the challenge:
- Typically, I have a stock for things like canned tomatoes, cream of chicken, pasta, etc. I decided that in order to be fair, I’d donate that stock so that I was starting my very first day from scratch.
- I’m not pitching my spices and baking goods because I have only one of each–I’ll run out pretty quick. I can’t donate them, so I feel like it would be a waste to throw them out.
- I will include any meals out in the budget.
- Toiletries will also be included in my budget. TP, Paper towels, deodorant, tooth paste…we’ll work all those into the budget as well.
- I’ve thrown out my stock, but not my coupons. I will be using coupons previously obtained via printing them off online or from the Sunday newspaper.
- I will not count the cost of the newspapers I purchase for coupons.
- I will back out food taxes we have in the state of Kansas as not all states have a food tax.
- I will not exceed $496 on food in any given month. Period.
Where I shop:
My stores and market may be different than yours. I live in Johnson County, Kansas–one of the nations most wealthiest counties. So if I can do it here, you can too. The stores I primarily use include:
- Price Chopper Kansas City
- Hen House
- Trader Joe’s
Final rule: I will NEVER, not even once step foot in Wal-Mart. I personally don’t like the store very much, and its notoriously one of the worst places to use coupons.
Though they are not in my market now, Kroger/Dillons, Rite Aid and Meijer are great stores to coupon.
Disclosures: At this time, any links I give are direct, not affiliate.