Eating and prepping on less than $130.00 per month

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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:

11 Responses to Eating and prepping on less than $130.00 per month

  1. Karen says:

    Such an excellent post! The key to eating good and healthy on a budget is cooking and baking from scratch! Problem is, I think this might be a foreign concept to many. My church has a program-‘Bag Hunger’, where we provide a bag of groceries towards the end of the month when people are running low on food. Instead of the choices you’ve outlined here, we’re told to donate heat and eat stuff-canned spaghetti and such. :/ Really-people can’t boil spaghetti? This drives me nuts!

    • Jamie says:

      Karen, I’ve offered to show my own family members how to make no-knead bread and that is to difficult for them to learn.
      There are 2 food cooking channels on Dish network that teach all kinds of cooking absolutely great for learning to cook.
      Perhaps with Hostess going out of business they might find the motivation to learn to bake just to have “Twinkies” on hand. LOL
      Did you get to do your stir fry and have it work? I don’t think I told you about rinsing your rice before cooking. That makes a huge difference in the taste of your finished rice.

  2. I read the news story about what Booker was doing, and thought it laughable. Heck, if he’s a vegetarian, I’d like to see him FORAGE for his food for a week in the late spring or early summer. That would send a positive message. And wouldn’t cost anyone a dime. 🙂

    • Jamie says:

      Wild the whole stunt was to build a case for more money for food stanps and let booker get a little face time. Heaven forbid we actually try and really help people

  3. riverrider says:

    j, “paranoid gun crazed prepper” is being used to describe the shooters mother. they will be coming for us next. act accordingly. out here.

    • Jamie says:

      river I know. They also worked in homeschooling to bad they couldn’t add in being a veteran and tea party member The MSM could have hit for the cycle.
      I’m not shutting myself down because of these idiots. I have decided already this is where I make my stand.

      • riverrider says:

        roger that. my source says the NG and PD is largely with us. i have drawn the line in the sand and put a stack of sandbags on it. i will retreat no more, forever. may god be with us, if he is with us who can prevail against us?

  4. Karen says:

    Good for you-we MUST make a stand! Also, I followed your directions to a “T” and the stir-fry has been coming out perfect!

  5. rose says:

    Every household should have the basics on hand. The first word in SNAP benefits is “supplemental.” It is not meant to be the entire source of food income for a person or family. Learn to cook and bake, and be creative. The entitlement society we live in is growing by the minute.

    • Jamie says:

      rose I agree 100%. It seems a few people are calling “shenanigans” on Mr. Booker on how he went without coffee and had “cafeine withdrawl” hedaches. My poor old heart just pumps beet juice for Mr. Booker’s struggle!

%d bloggers like this: