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What If We Had to Live on Food Stamps?

Last week I decided to experiment with our food budget. Not that I—or we—keep one. Formally, that is. I just figured that since we are being conservative about the flow of money out of our pockets these days,  why not pretend how it would be if we had to suddenly depend on food stamps. This is be a good time to try it, too, since our staples in both the pantry and freezer are running low.

Did you know that the monthly average benefit for a household in California is $200? Are you shocked too?

By the way, it isn't easy to qualify for food stamps. Plus, you need to have the proper documents to prove that you are eligible. And, anyone who receives food stamps, only gets them for a limited time and must meet specific conditions during that period. That said, I really don't understand why some people go insanely rabid about others who finally give in and jump through hoops with hopes of qualifying for some financial help to keep from starving. Seriously.

You can only use food stamps to purchase food and vegetable seeds and plants that will be grown for food. You cannot use food stamps to purchase liquor, tobacco, non-food items (such as toothpaste), or pet food. You also can't use them to purchase any prepared food that must be heated at the grocery store or is meant to be eaten in the grocery store.

Did you know it was only in recent years that some farmers markets started accepting food stamps? I think that is a very big deal.

The only ground rule that I've established for is that we continue as much as possible to purchase local organic produce, local eggs, wild-caught fish, and organic poultry and beef.  I plan on doing this experiment for one month, as of July 27. Fortunately, the husband is up for the experiment. He thinks that if we were to do this for real, the foods we buy would be different. I don't know. We'll see.

After nearly a week into this experiment, our food budget is already down to $73.95. I know. My head is spinning, too. August is a very long month.

To be continued. . . .

© 2012 Su-sieee! Mac. All rights reserved.


  1. It's amazing how much difference a few small changes can make, eh?

  2. If we were to do it another month, I would probably sacrifice a bit more--like no ice cream.


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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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