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When your food stamps dont last all month
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amother









  
Post Posted: Fri, Aug 14 2009, 11:14 am       Post subject: when your food stamps dont last all month
we are living with a very tight budget and the food stamps we get is not enough to cover the month. most months we are short the last 10 days. how do you all survive? im asking for those who are in my situation.
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zigi









  
Post Posted: Fri, Aug 14 2009, 11:20 am       Post subject:
eggs, pasta, food pantry, see if you can get help from tomchei shabbos. good luck!
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chocolate moose









  
Post Posted: Fri, Aug 14 2009, 12:32 pm       Post subject:
"Too much month left at the end of the money "
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amother









  
Post Posted: Fri, Aug 14 2009, 4:15 pm       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
In the begining of the month when you still have money, you must already start looking for specials. when buying snacks buy the ones you get for cheaper.
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msinalaw









  
Post Posted: Fri, Aug 14 2009, 6:16 pm       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
Ok so lets say you are getting $400 a month =you have to divide this amount in 4 (four weeks in a month) so you have to be very consistent as to spending only $100 a week. Tell yourself that no matter what you can only spend this amount.
That way you will have enough on your last week and you wont have to spend twice as much when you get the money in the beginning of the new month.

Also -if you did not do so yet-apply for WIC
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amother









  
Post Posted: Sun, Aug 16 2009, 5:17 pm       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
Don't stick to just one grocery store. Buy what's on sale at different stores. Eat less chicken and meat during the week and bake your own challahs, cakes and make your own salads, dips.
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Mitzvahmom









  
Post Posted: Sun, Aug 16 2009, 8:03 pm       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
I agree with food pantries... When I was living month to month, it helped a lot. Sometimes they would even have gift cards for food places, when people donated them. I also agree with budgeting, during yom tovim the food pantries also sometimes provide meat (whole chicken) and grape juice. I always felt embarrassed having to get the help, but was grateful it was there when I needed it. It helped to think in the back of my mind, someday when I no longer need this service and I have the capacity to give back I will.
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Starhavah









  
Post Posted: Mon, Aug 17 2009, 12:30 pm       Post subject:
Too late for this year but food stamps can be used for seeds for food plants (not for containers or potting soil, etc.). Many vegetables and herbs are easy to grow even in containers, if you do not have a yard. If you have a yard but rent, ask your landlord's permission. Most will happily give their permission for you to raise a vegetable garden. Children can help with this project. Kids love watering and weeding! and it is a fabulous opportunity for chinnuch. They really understand the brachot when they helped HaShem grow the food.

Food coops are also a great way to save on fresh foods. I used to work at one in Boston. The highest level of volunteer work there was a "food at cost member". I cashiered 4 hours per week (I used to do it all at once) and in exchange got a 24% discount off of the shelf price of the food (slightly higher than a supermarket's price). So basically in exchange for 4 hours of work per week I got groceries at 20% less than they would have cost at the supermarket. This coop had the freshest produce in town, way fresher than the supermarket. It was a great deal.
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Mama Bear









  
Post Posted: Mon, Aug 17 2009, 2:51 pm       Post subject:
can you get WIC? so many staples like eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, whole wheat bread, juice etc are available thru wic.
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cm









  
Post Posted: Mon, Aug 17 2009, 6:59 pm       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
Here are a few ideas from my experience (both personal and professional) with people in your situation:

1. Your rabbi and/or shul may have a discretionary fund for congregants in need. You may need to swallow your pride, but your rabbi may be a great help to you. These things generally are handled very discreetly.

2. There may be other local programs - inquire at the Jewish Family Service, or local equivalent. If anyone in your family is elderly or disabled, Meals on Wheels may be available. While you're at JFS, a social worker may be able to help you navigate the "red tape" of both local programs as well as WIC, etc.

3. Free up some money in your household budget for food by enrolling in health programs. Your health insurance company (if you have one) may offer deep discounts for baby gear such as car seats. If you take any kind of prescription medicine, the drug company may offer coupons or other discounts, as well as patient assistance programs for people who cannot afford their medicines (you may need to enroll in these through your doctor's office). See https://www.pparx.org/ for more info.

4. Another way to make room in the household budget for food is through local utility programs - depending on where you live, electricity may be cheaper at night (so run your appliances later), or the utility companies may have a budget payment plan.

5. Eat cheap. If you haven't already done so, try to develop a taste for beans, and if you have time, bake bread from scratch. Aviod single-serving packages, disposables and prepared foods.

6. If you work for a big company, there may be a program for you - inquire at human resources.


Hope that helps. Good luck!
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alpidarkomama









  
Post Posted: Tue, Aug 18 2009, 3:06 am       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
BEANS. Lots of beans. Get very friendly with beans. We eat beans 2 or 3 nights per week. Most beans, if you cook from dried, end up costing around $0.30 per cup. A cup is a LOT of bean. 1/2 to 3/4 cup will really fill you up. Cheap bean ideas: refried beans (tacos, burritos), bean soups, black bean chili, felafel, lentils (salads, Indian recipes), bean patties.

HOMEMADE BREADS. My homemade hamburger buns end up costing $0.06 per bun. I use 2 ounces of dough, which is pretty little, squish it into really flat circles, let it rise longer than usual so it's really puffy (and much bigger than you thought at first!) then bake it. Homemade veggie burgers on homemade buns cost $0.31 per burger, including all the fixings (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, catsup, mustard, mayo). 24-ounce loaves of bread cost about $0.50 each.

BREAKFAST NIGHT. Have breakfast for dinner one night per week. We do pancakes; eggs and toast; challah french toast; omelets, etc. 2 eggs and 2 slices of homemade bread with butter and homemade jam costs about $0.30.

TVP. This is a great protein substitute. It's a soy protein formulated to simulate meat. It comes in lots of different flavors. I keep chicken and beef flavors on hand. I combine eggs, oats, water, flour, soy sauce, ketchup, and salt to make veggie burgers. Each pattie (about like a hamburger patty) costs $0.15 each. Two patties is more than enough for a meal; one will do if you make it into a whole veggie burger. One cup of tvp costs $0.69. Compare that to one cup of ground beef! Shocked

TOFU. Asian markets can have big sales on boxes of tofu. I got a great deal last month on large boxes of tofu (12+ per box) that didn't need to be refrigerated. I think the price ended up being about $0.69 per cake of tofu (14 ounces??). Plenty of protein for one meal for 3 adults. You can whiz tofu up with lemon juice or vinegar and a little salt and VOILA pareve sour cream. With no weird ingredients in it. You can also whiz it up with melted chocolate chips and sugar for an INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS chocolate frosting or mousse.

MEAT STRETCHERS. If you're on a very limited budget you won't be eating meat much at all. But if you do have some meat money, there are ways to stretch it out. You can add oatmeal or tvp to ground beef to make patties, meatloaf, or meatballs. In a stir fry, a little meat goes a long way. You can add peanuts for extra protein. If you really want to have meat more often, it needs to be a condiment rather than the main attraction.

FREE FRUIT. Depending on where you live, there may be a group that is organized to encourage urban foraging. Many of them have maps of your city with lists of where you can pick fruit for free. For $0, I have picked loads of plums (50 pounds this summer alone!), figs, rhubarb, tomatoes, various berries, apples (don't go to ones in abandoned lots or public land; they're usually too buggy since they're not properly cared for; individuals often offer up their trees to others), pears (ditto), nuts, cherries, various fresh herbs, and quince. Some of these trees are smack dab in the middle of a business park and no one pays any attention to them (until we show up, that is!).

FREECYCLE. People often advertise here asking for help in picking up, for example, all the walnuts that have fallen in their front yard.

That's what comes to mind off the top of my head. The cost calculations were carefully done and are NOT underestimated at all. I do buy things in bulk, so the initial outlay is larger, but then you get into a cycle of replacing it as you go and it evens out. If I had $10 in my pocket and needed to feed my family for the week, it would be beans and rice, hands down.
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gryp









  
Post Posted: Tue, Aug 18 2009, 4:54 am       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
Alpidarko- can you post your hamburger bun recipe when you get a chance, please?
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alpidarkomama









  
Post Posted: Tue, Aug 18 2009, 11:19 am       Post subject: Re: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
GR wrote:
Alpidarko- can you post your hamburger bun recipe when you get a chance, please?


I just use a plain old white bread recipe. I use about 1/3 whole wheat flour, but with more they don't get too puffy. I'll post it later tonight, b"n.
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Strudel









  
Post Posted: Tue, Aug 18 2009, 12:01 pm       Post subject: Re: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
alpidarkomama wrote:
GR wrote:
Alpidarko- can you post your hamburger bun recipe when you get a chance, please?


I just use a plain old white bread recipe. I use about 1/3 whole wheat flour, but with more they don't get too puffy. I'll post it later tonight, b"n.


Can you also post some bean recipies? I keep buying them, but have no idea what to do with them.
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greenfire









  
Post Posted: Wed, Aug 19 2009, 7:43 am       Post subject:
it is hard and sometimes go without for that last week - then you get to dig in your cabinets and make stuff useful

try to use coupons, get stuff on sale, and only get what you need - although mental health issues like needing a nice shabbos or treat make me splurge ...
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bbmom









  
Post Posted: Wed, Aug 19 2009, 9:31 am       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
When I was in this situation I actually paid out of pocket for my first week of groceries instead of waiting until both my pay check and my food stamps ran out at the end of the month.

Also, like everyone else said - buy less expensive foods, stay away from meat, poultry and fresh fish - those really dig into the account, and you FS money will last longer.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Aug 19 2009, 10:08 am       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
Do you use fs for non-grocery items?
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mother2b









  
Post Posted: Wed, Aug 19 2009, 10:11 am       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
above amother.. how can u do that??????
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bbmom









  
Post Posted: Wed, Aug 19 2009, 11:05 am       Post subject: Re: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
amother wrote:
Do you use fs for non-grocery items?


? Whats that supposed to mean?
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amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Aug 19 2009, 11:16 am       Post subject: re: when your food stamps dont last all month
Hey I don't mean to be rude, but count your blessings, my husband is unemployed and I don't even HAVE FOOD STAMPS.
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