What would I do with $526/month in food stamps?!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-01-2008
What would I do with $526/month in food stamps?!
12
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 12:23pm

Since I was laid off last month, I applied for food stamps - not realizing what an exorbant amount they would give me. My caseworker called today and said we've been approved for $526/month. Umm . . . wow! For me, DH, and DD, we've averaged $335/month this year (up a little because we've been eating out less). I estimate we spend anohter $105 on our foster son (but we don't get food stamps for him - we are reimbursed through the county a daily rate). So even with the 4 of us, I'm estimating $440/month.

I know I could just shop like normal and have a surplus (it's good for 12 months) - and if we don't use it, we don't use it - but I'm also considering a slight change in my purchasing habits. I certainly won't buy just name brands or refuse to shop at Aldi/Save-a-Lot b'cuz that's silly, but I'm thinking we will eat a little more fresh fruit (I've been trying to get DH to change his eating habits anyway!) and also possibly buying some organic stuff. I've never bought organic food before mainly b'cuz it's so much more expensive - but I'm considering it.

I'm just so surprised by the amount we're receiving.


Photobucket<

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2003
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 1:31pm

I would buy more fresh fruit and veggies if possible

also I would stock up on a good meat sale when possible

Becky
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2009
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 6:54pm

in my state, they take the oldest stamps off first, so if they give you $500 this month and you have $200 left over, you'll use that $200 next month before you start on next months stamps, so you'll have a bigger balance. In the end, you'll have a surplus like you said, and you'll have to get it spent over the next year. I carry a balance over every single month, knowing that when I no longer qualify for food stamps, there will still be some on there to get me through a few months.

Here's something to think about. There are a LOT of 3 person families that get the same amount as you and never have enough to get through the month. They buy only name brand, best of the best, not on sale, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 3:37pm
I didn't know it carried over. When we first started on DH heard the rumor that if you didn't use it all they would adjust how much they give you so I always make sure to use it all and just stock up at the end of the month. I agree they give an insane amount and I have no clue how some families getting 300-400 can not have enough. I can't believe we still qualify after DH's raise. I'm going to see how it goes and probably will just not reapply when the next 6 month review happens.
Photobucket
Avatar for kathy_s14255
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 3:40pm

Wow!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2004
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 4:18pm

We got about $650 a month for the four of us.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 6:11pm

I have never been unfortunate enough to have to receive food stamps to feed my family. I know that when times are tough people need help and if you have children, I feel the money in food stamps is well spent if the money is used wisely. I do not believe in the mentality that because you get food stamps you can now afford the higher priced foods and meats. Families can be healthy without organic or gourmet type foods.

The other day, while grocery shopping, I noticed a family ( great grandmother, grandmother, father and two grade school children) shopping on the same aisles as myself. Their cart was piled high with the $1 frozen dinners, big box of sausage biscuits, pizza rolls and tons of other processed frozen junk. They paid with food stamps. I just think to myself how much food and stock up this family could have if they would buy fresh meats, produce, rice, potatoes and other more unprocessed foods and prepare and cook themselves.

I was laid off from my job two years ago. I pick up bookkeeping jobs wherever I can now that I do not receive any unemployment payments. My husband works hard for his paycheck and I feel it is my responsibility to spend this money wisely. I wish more people on food stamps and other programs would feel the same way. If it were me, I would rather stay with my frugal ways, cook from scratch and

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1997
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 8:01pm

Boy could I stock up good on that per month.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2009
Thu, 10-07-2010 - 11:21pm

"and if I had money left over, I would buy foods that I could donate to my community pantry or a family member in need who can not qualify for food stamps."

I believe in most, if not all, states, doing this constitutes fraud. The food stamps are for use to buy food only for those listed on the food stamp application. Many people do not live by this rule. Some buy food for others in exchange for cash for those "flashy amenities" like toilet paper and tampons, or cash to get their kid a birthday present or for something else (some do it just for cash to spend). Some spend food stamps wrecklessly, like the family you described. The biggest problem becomes that people who spend like that never learn to budget, so then when they no longer qualify for aid, they struggle with real world money availability.

Avatar for sweetviolets
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
Fri, 10-08-2010 - 9:37am

I would spend as you normally do, but maybe supplement by adding more fresh veg/fruits and fresh seafood.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Fri, 10-08-2010 - 11:33am
Yes, you can buy soda with food stamps and here in MI they pay the deposit on the cans. So you can buy the soda and still get your deposit money back. I completely disagree with that, candy and pop should not be allowed on food stamps.

And yeah my biggest issue with the program is that it doesn't do anything to teach people how to budget and shop to make the most of the money. I couldn't believe how lazy I had gotten when we were getting $350 a month, there is no reason we need to spend that much on food.
Photobucket

Pages