Cory Booker (D) did a SNAP challenge of eating via food stamps on under $34.00 per week for a single person. I see this as no challenge as I do that every month and prep as well. Oh sure it is a lot easier if you get about 6 months of stuff on hand to start but other than a first time “panic purchase” to get started I am living on about $75.00-$125.00 shopping budget with no problems and adding to my food preps each month. I don’t get EBT or food stamps with my SSD, so no “free money card” for me. Oh sure I have to budget and tend to be a little frugal and not eat out a lot, and a lot of my food is staples to make my own bread, deserts and stuff. But I can afford to buy some Rib eyes on sale a few times and I’m not even close to starving or even hungry on my budget. Hell even without my preps I could live well on $120.00 for food only via EBT/SNAP.
A food plan for SNAP could be:
- Rice, A ten pound bag offer over 90 serving and cost about $5.00 that covers all starch/carbohydrates and some veggies in the first week. Rice is a food multi-tasker and you can do everything from a quick stir fry to Gumbo or to desert via rice pudding.
- Flour: Five pounds will give you a great start for making bread for a month and give you plenty for a loaf per week of bread which is more than enough for a single person. One 5 pound bag will cost about $4.00 or you could buy a 25 pound bag for about $8.00 if you can store it for a month or more. You can see how buying in bulk gives you a lot more bang for the buck!
- Now you need a little protein to be healthy so beans tend to give you the most bang for the buck and about 8 servings per pound. So for a single person figuring lunch and dinner. You will need 2 pounds of dried beans per week and if we go with the expensive 16 bean mix at $1.40 per pound, So buy 2 pounds of beans and round up to $3.00 . We have spent about $13.00 for the first week.
- Now add 1-2 dozen eggs for your breakfast and a great protien multi tasker and we are all the up to $15.00 for the first week.
- We need some veggies and fruits and if you don’t garden you may have to use canned or frozen but lets say 5 pound of frozen veggies will cost about $1.00 per pound and give you plenty of vitamins as well as three 4 oz. serving per day. Or you could add a few fresh veggies like potatoes or cabbage as long as you stay under $5.00 per week for $135.00 per month budget.
- Wow we are all the way up to $20.00 for a week’s worth of food and we still have a bit to spend. You know I love my coffee so I’ll get a big can for around $6.00 and will last a month even for me. We will use about $4.00 for yeast, oils, butter and salt.
- Now we have spent about $30.00 in total but quite a few of the food Items we have bought will feed us longer than a week and we still have almost $4.00 leftover from the EBT budget of $135.00 per month or $34.00 per week . So let’s add in 2 pounds of some cheap pork and a big whole chicken to roast on Sunday and we will make several meals from baked/fried chicken to boiling up some stock for soup.
- EBT is loaded once a month so you actually get the $137.00 to start so you could get plenty of other items for your month of food. Such as adding in Oatmeal or grits for breakfast or additional meats, cheese, milk or fruits & veggies for the month and spread your purchases over two shopping trips. These goombas always avoid using SNAP as the first letter stands for Supplemental it never was intended to buy everything you needed it was supposed to assist you paying for good food.
Now we have only spent about $35.00 for the first week but several items will feed one person for over a month with just a little work baking and cooking from scratch. The second week you would not need to buy rice, flour or coffee and if you bought some cheap beans you still have some money leftover and now you can invest in some more canned goods, pasta and sauces or other items you want on hand. Like some quick and easy meals via canned soup or grilled cheese sandwiches. This is about you and what works for you! But I do get a bit peeve about the pinheads that say they are suffering with the “peasants” for a week. You will have to work at making good food choices and taking advantage of sales. But living on a food budget of $137.00 per month for someone on SNAP does not mean it has to be a great hardship and is very doable to prepare as well as eating a healthy diet.
UPDATE: The food stamp allotment is much higher than I thought for 2013 it is a maximum of $200.00 per month The mayor’s “challenge” obviously should have been how to get by on $46.03 a week. That’s easy, especially for a vegetarian like Booker: http://pjmedia.com/blog/cory-bookers-food-stamp-falsehoods/2/