Does anyone have any advice on how you can fix 3 meals a day for a month on $152.00 in food stamps?
Janice from Somerville, TN
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You didn't say how many people you feed for your $150 but I routinely feed my husband and myself for around $110 to $120. We like oatmeal so we eat that every day for breakfast with an apple cooked in along with brown sugar and cinnamon. We also have eggs, waffles, or pancakes for variety. I buy cheap fresh fruit like apples and bananas. Lunch is usually homemade soup or homemade leftovers from the night before. I fix the following menu for supper: Saturday: Homemade pizza, Sunday: Baked chicken with veggies and potato: Monday: Homemade soup and popovers: Tuesday: Wild game or fish we've gathered: Wednesday: Stir-fry with veggies and rice: Thursday: Chicken with veggies; Friday: Spaghetti and veggies. I also grow a garden and my husband hunts birds. He also has a hunter friend and we trade garden produce for venison. I also bake four loaves of bread at time. In general, I find fresh fruit, veggies, rice, meat are the cheapest things to fix. It's the processed foods that waste your money such as pop, boxed foods, candy, chips, etc. Good luck!!
Watch for specials and compare prices. For instance, often a bag of Russett potatoes will be half the price of red ones and vice versa. Sometimes it's cheaper to buy in bulk, but not always. Take a calculator.
Avoid prepared foods and junk food. Cook from scratch. There are many ways to fix potatoes, rice, beans and macaroni...pasta of any kind.
Buy "in season" fruits and veggies. Make your own soup. Canned soups are very spendy and they do not have the nutrients or flavor that homemade does.
Watch for meat specials. You can get very good buys on turkeys, especially right now. If you freeze the leftover turkey in broth it keeps well and can be used for hot dishes, salads, sandwiches, etc. The bones make soup which can also be frozen. Cheaper cuts of meat, like a round roast, are good if they are cooked in a crock put. Leftover roast can be fixed in a variety of ways. I like to shred the meat and mix it with barbeque sauce.
Old fashioned oat meal is very inexpensive, is effortless to fix in the microwave...the directions are on the box, and you can add fruit or raisens to make it just as good if not better than instant.
Eggs are a good buy. Some of the least expensive foods are carrots, onions, potatoes, rice, spotted bananas (bananas with a few spots on them are sold for a lot less a pound...ask your grocer), peanut butter and jelly, whole chickens...cut them up yourself, and dry beans.
Eat less meat and more veggies. In other words, go back to basics like our parents and grandparents did and do. It doesn't have to be boring or flavorless...be creative. You and your family will even feel better physically!!!
Try the Angel Food Ministries. Food boxes for $25.
I once had to feed 2 adults and three school age children on $88.00 in food stamps. This was during the 80's and food prices were constantly rising. I learned that beans and rice, and potatoes and all of the bulk foods really fill up a family, also, make sure that the kids take advantage of the school breakfast programs, and if it is not enough also give them oatmeal or grits or toast and milk until they get to school and eat again. I also made a lot of stew's and corn bread and biscuits from scratch.
I know that you can get through this until things don't seem so bad. We all hit a rough patch in this walk we call life.
Do what my husband and I do/look up Angel Food Ministries. For $25@ month you can get a terrific amount of first quality food items for your family.
This is a Christian based organization and you do not have to meet any requirement other than you must have $25.
Hope this helps!
Yeast--$1.25 for 3 packets. You don't have to have a bread machine-just cooking oil and flour (but read the directions on the back to make sure) and it sure does smell and taste better than store-bought. That's just one suggestion but 3 packets make three loaves.
ANGEL FOOD MINISTRIES HAS A VERY LARGE PACKAGE OF FOOD FOR ONLY $25 AND IS OFFERED AT MANY LOCAL COMMUNITY CHURCHES. HERE IS A URL FOR THEIR HOME SITE. YOU CAN FIND THIS MONTH'S MENU AND A LIST OF SITES WHERE THE FOOD CAN BE PURCHASED. THEY DO ACCEPT FOOD STAMPS.
I agree with everyone else, but remember, it takes a while to change eating habits,so be patient. Don't buy junk or processed foods; cook from scratch; plant a garden, can and/or freeze surplus; locate mark-downs in stores; check out food warehouses, surplus stores, outlets, etc; buy from the Angel Food Ministries or the Share Food Program if you have either in your area; buy yeast from an outlet or warehouse store, or sometimes the school system cafeteria will sell it to you in bulk--much cheaper than those little packets; eat wild game if you are able; expand your horizons and try different things (my family won't eat hot oatmeal, but loves hot kasha); use a price book to make sure you're buying at the cheapest prices you can; start a food stockpile/pantry--something you can start on a small amount of money if you're a bargin hunter; check out cookbooks/internet, etc, for new ways to fix staples. Realize that you can't do everything the same and save money too--you MUST change some things. Most of all, don't get discouraged--it is done by lots of us, and we don't feel a bit deprived.
You dont say if this is for one person or for a family. However, I think it can be done... I would rely on oatmeal for breakfasts. Lunch would be leftovers or soup and sandwich in the winter and salad and sandwich in the summer... Supper would be a dish that relies on grains and veggies ... like chili, homemade soup, casseroles. You'll become healthier in the process... and maybe even shed a few pounds, if needed. shop the reduced produce and dented cans bin... use coupons. Make it a game.. It can be a wonderful hobby... Best of luck,
FIXING MEALS FROM SCRATCH IS A MUST. THINGS LIKE GOULOSH,CHILI,HOMEMADE VEGETABLE SOUP,PORCUPINE MEATBALLS, CHICKEN AND NOODLES, BEEF AND NOODLES ALL ARE VERY CHEAP AND FILLING MEALS TO MAKE. I ALSO MAKE HOMEMADE MASHED POTATOES.
MAKING COOKIES AND CAKES FROM SCRATCH ARE AN EXTRA THAT WE DO NOW AND THEN JUST TO HAVE SOMETHING SWEET
PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST ARE FILLING AND NOT EXPENSIVE AS IS OATMEAL.
IF YOU HAVE AN ALDI'S OR A SAVE ALOT THEIR PRICES ARE REALLY GOOD. ALDI'S HAS A POUND OF TURKEY BURGER FOR ONLY 79 CENTS. WE HAVE USED THIS A LOT INSTEAD OF HAMBURGER
GOOD LUCK. I KNOW IT'S HARD TO DO
I'VE BEEN THERE BEFORE MYSELF
How many are you cooking for? Aldi's is a great place to shop. Very cheap. .69 for a loaf of bread, pack of hamburger or hot dog buns (and in other stores, you can pay up to 2.00 or more!)
They carry a pretty good selection, and if you are creative, could do very well for your $150.
I have a husband and two small children, and on a month's average, we spend about $100.00
We buy powdered milk, which for 6.99 makes 20 quarts. Here, milk can go for up towards 5.00 a gallon for name brand, and Wal Mart's milk a gallon (1%) is about 3.20
Soups, pastas, sauces are reasonable. They also have snacks, fresh fruit and veggies, fresh potatoes, as well as flakes. Cereal is 1.69 or so a box. Some things like gallon milk is about what you'd pay for off brand at Wal-mart within a few cents (lately milk at aldi's goes for 3.09/gal.) but you get those tubes of buscuits for as low as a quarter. Just go. Even if you have to drive a few miles out of your way. I looked it up, and there are about 20 locations in TN. I don't know where in TN you are, but it is well worth the effort to look it up www.aldi.com and if it saves you money, even better!
One more thing. Like all the others before me have said, 'be creative' If it is just you, make dinner of leftovers on Fridays. (most food should not be stored in the fridge longer than three days, I have read). If there are kids, especially small ones, make lunch out of leftovers. Using broth where water is called for (like in potatoes, or flavoured rice) is alot better tasting than just water. Good luck. I know what it is to live on a buget that penny pinching is me being loose. But I gaurentee it, if I can do it, anyone can. Good, good luck.
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Join a frugal moms group on yahoo they have lots of people who have learned to do frugal shopping such as this. I have my shopping down to 272 a month and going down every month. Its worth it for the recipes and help they can give you.
Definately look into an Aldi's close by and the Angel Food Ministries! Also cooking from scratch helps a lot!
We went from 2 incomes to 1 (we had a baby and could not afford to have child care- even with help from a state agency). I joined a food bank (which also helps at Holidays) and starting shopping at an Aldi's. My husband packs his lunches and the kids and I have simple lunches (school age child qualified for discounted lunch- which is cheaper than packing a lunch). And at least once a week I make breakfast for dinner - hubby does not care for that too much- he is a meat and potato kind of guy. I on average spend about $140 a month on groceries. One thing for sure if you have a little bit extra to spend- stock up on pantry items like canned vegetables and the like- those canned vegetables add up quick (sometimes a local store has them on sale for 25 cents a can). Never underestimate the power of Libraries- our local library has a bin that people put their unwanted coupons in- usually I will find a few things that my family likes and lastly scope out your local grocery stores ads- sometimes they will have a great sale on something that you may have a coupon for!
You must have a child, because I know of no state local social services worker that would give a single woman or man that much in food stamps/benefits unless they had diabetes. You can start with going to the cheap non name brand food. If you have a family choose the family size non-namebrand in other words store name brand. Get veggies from Farmers Market. The farmers do take food stamps, but they don't take the card unless they have the machine for it. I would also say stay away from the junk food as that will eat up your food stamp fast, quick, and in a hurry. I talk from personal experience. My daughter is grown now, and I can't get food benefits for her on mine, but she gets them for herself. I now get anywhere from 5 to 30 dollars a month depending on my income. Well good luck. I would also check out the library for recipes on bulk cooking, so you can freeze and eat it later what is left, or extra if you are alone. This works for single parents too, even a couple.
We do a lot of hunting and fishing so that helps out with the food bill alot. We have our own meat grinder so we grind out deer meat into hamburger and to me it tastes the same and is much lower on fat. We grow a garden in the summer and freeze alot of the veggies up for winter and make alot of sauces out of the tomatoes and what not. Good luck.
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