This topic has come up before, and frankly it irritates me a bit. In the past we’ve had readers and companies “challenge” us to live on a Food Stamp budget for just one month. Ha! I wish we could, according to SNAP Chart (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) our family of 6 would get $952 a month for FOOD! Can you believe that?! Our most recent budget was $75/week and that’s an increase from the original $60. Our kids are getting bigger, eating more, and going to school which means school lunches need to be packed. When I share these numbers with those that challenge us, they move right along.
So what got my juices going again on this topic? This Whole Foods blog post from a “frugal foodie” who did a guest post for them. She bet Whole Foods that she could keep her monthly budget under the USDA “Thrifty Budget” which she says is 30% higher than the Food Stamp allotment would be. (I don’t see the numbers she suggests anywhere though) Either way, she set her budget at $491.10 for 30 days for a family of 3. She won the bet and I am happy to say she donated the proceeds to a local food bank. Here is a portion of the blog…
Throughout the 30 days I kept thinking of families who were living at or below the poverty level trying to feed everyone. It was such a struggle for us even though we had done our homework and only had to do it for one month. I can’t imagine what the grind feels like after months or years of living like this.
It’s articles like this that really get to me, you see there is a working class out there that is living on MUCH less for groceries each week than any other group of people here in the US. I absolutely think the SNAP program has a time and place and is a wonderful resource for struggling families, but to be frank the numbers appear incredibly wasteful to me. I’ve had friends in the past that were receiving Food Stamps and they were eating very well, often times with a surplus to spend on extras each month. Even the USDA “Thrifty Budget” would be a huge increase for us, and we’re not eating beans and rice; or junk food for that matter.
Whew. Thanks for letting me vent. I just wish more people understood what frugal and thrifty actually meant, if they did our country would be in a much different place today. Those of you who visit here regularly are working very hard to provide for your families and to cut your budgets back for one reason or another and I applaud you. You’re doing a great service to your family and generations to come.
It is not my intention to offend anyone, these are just my opinions and the result a few free minutes this evening. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.