If you are receiving SNAP benefits or food stamps, these budget tips for food stamp recipients will help you to stretch your food budget even farther. While many look at receiving these benefits as a bad thing, the reality is that our economy makes it harder and harder for hard working families to afford to put food on the table. While you are receiving assistance, you can use these tips to not only feed your family all month long, but maybe even take advantage of deals to put food back for a rainy day.
Budgeting Tips For Food Stamp Recipients
Don’t forget to use coupons. You can use coupons with food stamps, however in most states that charge sales tax on food purchases, when you use a coupon, you would have to pay the sales tax on the amount of that coupon. This is usually a very small amount of cash out of pocket (under $2-$5 for purchases of $200) in most cases. Combine sale prices in store with the coupons and you may even be able to get some of those items for free stretching your SNAP benefits even more.
Stock up on sale prices items. When something is at a deep discount, go ahead and spend a bit more that month to stock up. This is especially a good idea for seasonal sales on things like turkeys around the holidays, hamburger or chicken during barbecue season and fresh produce during the summer months. Fruits on sale can be sliced and frozen. As can many vegetables. Meats can be cooked and portioned, or even portioned and frozen raw.
Menu plan to utilize the benefits better. Making a menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even desserts can make your food budget stretch a lot farther. Especially when you can buy things to fill in at multiple meals when they are on sale. Buying a large package of ground turkey on sale can be great for tacos, spaghetti and even seasoned and used as breakfast sausage. There are many ways a menu plan can help you know when to buy select items in bulk, and the result is lower prices overall. This also helps you to easily use up what is in your pantry or freezer.
Shop at discount stores when possible. While you may not think about buying food at a dollar store, there are often great deals on specific food items. Avoid too many overly processed food items, but consider things like canned and frozen vegetables and fruit. Pasta, pasta sauce and some snack items like peanut butter and crackers are all much cheaper at your dollar store or discount store. Most chain dollar stores accept EBT cards.
Check farmers markets for EBT acceptance. One big way to make your food stamps go farther on fresh produce is to shop at a farmers market. Not all vendors will take EBT or SNAP benefits, but many will. It’s well worth the time to ask and find out so you can get even better deals on fresh produce to feed your family. I love hitting a farmers market in the last hour they are open, because many vendors want to discount their items left to get rid of stock before they go home for the day. That means even better deals for you!
These budget tips for food stamp recipients are easy to manage no matter how little or how much SNAP benefits you are receiving. Stretch your SNAP benefits much farther just by paying attention to a few simple things as you shop and plan your menu.
Do you have any other tips to share?