Starting on November 1, everyone who gets SNAP (food stamps) will be getting less. A family of four will get $36 less a month. Families of two, like mine, will get $20 less. My husband and I took what we called the SNAPcut Challenge to see what the cut will be like and to see if my thrifty cooking skills could help others make the transition with less suffering. In October, we lived for one week on the then-current SNAP benefit in North Carolina of $84.46 and the next week on the reduced benefit of $79.86.
Check out the slideshow to see ten ways we stayed green without much dough.
How do you rate these ideas on the yum-to-yuck scale?
I learned a lot trying to eat healthy, tasty food on a tight and tighter budget. Inflation made the SNAPcut Challenge much harder than the original food-stamp challenge I took when writing Wildly Affordable Organic. I was happy that we were still able to eat 66 percent organic the first week and 61 percent organic the second week. We also kept a significant proportion of our grocery money in our community, with 18 percent spent on locally grown food the first week and 12 percent the second. But because of inflation and the higher costs that come with colder weather, I had to plan and scrimp much more than I had six years ago.
For the October SNAPcut Challenge, I shopped at farmers markets, Whole Foods, and Food Lion. Starting November 4, we'll do it again to see what the difference is when we shop at Walmart.
Is your family using SNAP or other government benefits? Does a community or faith group help you get by? How will the SNAP cuts affect you? Share your situation and tips in the comments below.Learn more and try it yourself! If you want to try the SNAPcut Challenge for just one week, use the reduced benefit that started November 1st.
- Details on the cuts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- SNAPcut Challenge guidelines and support (calculate your budget, see my shopping list, and more)
- What we ate during the October SNAPcut Challenge