Since food support or food stamps is not meant to provide the family with all of their food for the month, families are having trouble stretching food stamps to completely cover all of the month. Most do not have the income to spend their own cash on food after bills. So how does one stretch food stamps so kids don’t go hungry?
Buy seeds with food stamps and start a garden.
You may be thinking yeah right, I’ll get right on that, but you can start a container garden just about anywhere: apartments, small homes, no yard, living with a friend, you name it and it can be done.
With food stamps, you can buy seeds to start a vegetable garden. It may take a bit, but before long you will have more zucchini than you could ever use and will be sharing with friends! Think ahead to freezing and canning to also be set for the winter. This saves the food support money you would spend on tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, corn, okra, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and more! Not only does planting vegetables help stretch food stamps, but your family will enjoy the fresh tasty veggies out of your garden, more than the tasteless ones in the grocery store.
Buy cheap foods to stretch food stamp meals.
It may not be the healthiest way to eat, but rice, potatoes, and pastas will stretch the simplest meals. A bag of rice costs nearly nothing and will last months! Pastas are cheap too. Bags of potatoes usually go bad before a family eats them all. At the end of the month when you have a small amount of vegetables and meat left, put the meal over rice or pasta to make it go further. Pair it with potatoes to fill up everyone.
Make homemade versions of your family’s favorite store-bought meals.
Instead of purchasing Hungry Helper, your food stamps will go further by making your own at home. Not only will it make more for less money, but also it will taste better! Make a huge batch of it and freeze the leftovers for extra, bonus meals! Doing this, you can put your own spin on these premade meals. Just add tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, or zucchini.
If your family enjoys Stouffer’s Lasagna, have the kids help you make a homemade version of it! It will be a fun family activity and so much cheaper in the long run! Using fresh ingredients (from your new garden), you will find it is not that hard to create delicacies at home! You will be surprised at how much you save.
Go to the Food Shelf.
One reason many food stamp recipients have problems stretching their food stamps is because they do not have a well-stocked kitchen. Have you ever tried to make a recipe with no spices? To have to buy every single ingredient in a recipe can cost a fortune.
For this reason, I suggest going to a church pantry or Food Shelf for assistance. Once your kitchen is better stocked, you will be able to stretch your food stamp dollars further!
These tips are just a start. Use it as a jumping off point. How else could you make your food stamp dollars stretch until the end of the month? Could you budget out a weekly menu? Freeze meals for the last week of the month?
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