meMy family eats well for around $400 a month ever since I discovered how to use sales and coupons. It started out as a way to survive hard times, and now this frugal living is a lifestyle choice.

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
  • CVS
  • Aldi’s
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • Hen House
  • HyVee
  • 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.


4 thoughts on “About

  1. I can’t wait to follow your experiment. I found that a budget of $496 a month for 4 people seem very high. We spend $80 a week and that includes all of our toiletries, well absolutely everything we need. I make a menu plan, shop without coupons, as I haven’t figured that whole system out and we eat really well. We do have a garden during our small harvest season and I freeze everything from that for future use. Leftovers are never wasted as I freeze all of them also to re-purpose for future meals. Now there is only 2 of us, both adults, but every meal I make feeds 4 minimum and usually 6 to 8. I look forward to seeing how much excess you find you will have and how much under your budget you will actually come. I think at $496 you will find this very easy. Good Luck on your project.

    • I sure hope you’re right! I think the first few months may be the hardest–as my stock will not be there to fall back on and I have a lot of restocking to do on staples. But, the meal planning is a new thing for me and I do think that will balance it out. I’m jealous of your garden. I’ve tried many times to grow anything–and the only thing that likes me are chives and mint. 😦 Gardens are such a great way to save. I’m hoping to hit ups some farmers markets this summer–we have a nice one here in Olathe.

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