I receive help also, my husband and I try to stock up on meat and vegetables. We break it down into portions and put them in a freezer bag, put it in the deep freezer this helps us to stay away from the store so much, before I would be at the store everyday buying a meal that cost 40.00 to 50.00 dollars and unhealthy and then before the month was even over, my food stamps were gone and then we would have to go to the food pantry which is great but they don't have healthy food there they have all the yummy treats and bread and if you brought the kids the kids would get goody bags full of unhealthy treats again I'm Thankful for the pantry and the churches that provide this service for those in need I just learned that you really have to be smart and budget and then even then you may still fall you have to do your homework your worth it no matter if your in the poverty level or not . You can buy healthy on a budget if you really try you can do it!! Sorry for being long winded!!
When I was single I was definitely on the poverty level. I think things like beans/peas can be used to stretch your food dollars (I was also on food stamps for a while back then), whole wheat pasta, etc. There were no stores like Aldi's in my area at the time but I have it now. I go to discount bread stores and Dollar Tree for whole wheat bread (name brand) and I'm pretty sure they take food stamps.
I use coupons to save a lot of money and you should be able to use them with your EBT card/food stamps.
Peanut butter (in moderation), eggs, canned chicken (Alid's brand especially), and veggies and fruit from Aldi's, etc. will save a lot but they are also healthy.
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I think it's possible. Eat food, mostly plants comes to mind. You can do it.
Aldi's store also has great deals on fresh fruits and vegs, many fit and active healthy different products and the even are carrying whole wheat pasta and brown rice. If you have one near you they are great,I can save 1/3 to 1/2 of what a normal store is and even more than Walmart:) Also if you live in the Mid west Kwik trip gas stations have great prices on eggs,milk,butter,breads and bananas, onions potatoes for 38cents a lb.often great prices on other fruit also.
I hope to be where you are, soon! I'm finally working towards my Bachelors degree in Human Services. I just want to get a substantial career where I can A) help others who are in the same position as me and my family and B) earn a paycheck to pay back social services while being able to support my family. I have worked before and really want to again. BELIEVE me!!!
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My husband and I are blessed to have full-time employment and insurance benefits. We don't have a lot but enough. I think you, the OP, are an inspiration! Healthy choices can be made at all income levels.
I have to disagree quite a bit with the last part of your post...about weight loss helps more than not choosing processed because of sodium. I am battling high blood pressure. The high sodium in the processed foods aggrivates the pitting edema I get behind having too much sodium. Sodium in excess such as that in processed foods, as well as sugars and simple carbohydrates such as that in white flour which converts to sugar as soon as it gets into your body, aggrivates conditions like diabetes and can even make those with diabetes insulin resistant. My father was insulin resistant, I think because he much preferred and may have even been addicted to the highly processed foods. You're right that weight loss is important, but doing it the right way, by moderating what you eat and how much of it, is just as important. I am not saying "You can't have any processed foods at all." That's just not feasible all the time, but learning how to shop and shop wisely is.
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My relatives that have food stamps, they don't worry about Organic, for one thing. They buy frozen veggies because they are on sale alot now, and just as good or better than some of the fresh stuff, canned goods are ok, too, you will lose weight eating canned veggies or fruits. It's all in how much your portion sizes are. You can eat potatoes, or starches, but not half a plate full, like you are used to. Canned meats, deli meats, eaten with the actual portion sizes will help you lose weight too, because, getting the weight off is more important than worrying about the sodium content, in the end...........the weight loss helps your body more than not choosing processed because you are afraid of sodium. And alot of those products are on sale.
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There are many stores out there with foods that offer healthy choices. U dont have to eat high fat goods while on a food stamp budget. I have monitored my intake all week and have done so on a tight food budget.
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With unemployment and the jobless now days everyone is on a tight budget. Whether you are on a limited income, receiving assistance unless you are ubber finanically set the cost of food has gone up and taxes abound.
There is a guy named Clark Howard he has a program on CNN as well has done the talk show circuit. We have a small little grocery store called Aldi. It has a variety from fresh fruit and vegetables to stapples that one can get at a comparatively lower price.
Also look at your Dollar Tree's and at Walmart and Target and at your grocery stores. We do not have a health food store in our immediate area. However; I have relatives, and people that sell fresh produce during summer nearby. As well at the supermarket. I think over all you have to to look at the foods your going to eat, plan and then shop and comparison shop.
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I know that our grocery store here (Loblaws) has discounted foods at the end of every day in the the fruits, veggies and other aisles. When I was younger my Mom used to buy the discounted foods and freeze them.
GLITTERFAIRY, thank you for posting this! I think we all fall on hard times and you're right, it can be cheaper/ easier to buy the processed junk. I think it's awesome that you're making an effort to be healthy and not using your circumstances as an excuse. Good luck!!!
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I used to live in Western Allegheny Cty in the west virginia/maryland area...Their WIC program actually requires that recipients by only certain types of food. They limit processed foods and give greater allowances for fresh and canned produce. I'm not sure how other states do it, but they should definitely follow suit!
Exactly it, Sinaed. I've been saying for a couple years now that we'd have a much healthier poor population if it was a requirement for them/us to take and pass a course in smart shopping and good nutrition. Ignorance can be deadly, especially when it comes to nutrition.
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been there and done that and although i'm now working its not much of a better income. i get around it by growing my own veggies then freezing them. In our community there is alot of people who grow their own veggies and we swap our surplus....Makes it cheaper. Unfortunately in our society the cheaper foods are the unhealthy foods and you really can't blame a person buying them. After all its a matter of survival. There is a way of eating healthy on a low income its a matter of finding it.
I know I really cannot be the ONLY person on all of sparkpeople who has to receive government benefits, or the only one that is technically "poor." Have you ever noticed how nowadays, that obesity and poverty almost go hand-in-hand? What's cheaper? Getting a pack of Ramen noodles or getting a bag of organic baby spinach? Organic Raw Sugar or super refined sugar? Real maple syrup, organic blue agave syrup, or the "maple flavored" syrup? Vegetable shortening or extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, peanut oil, extra virgin coconut oil? What about super processed as opposed to organic, whole foods? It seems nearly impossible for someone like me to buy healthy.
I am here to testify that no it isn't impossible. I am blessed that Wegman's, "my" grocery store has a vast selection of organic whole foods, and there is almost always at least something on sale. It is just important to comparitive shop, using the unit pricing as a base, to read the ingredients. Avoid everything that has lots of chemicals and additives and educate yourself about what words to look for. DO NOT buy lots of convenience foods. Get things that you can stretch with brown rice, whole wheat or whole grain pasta, vegetable stock. Browse sparkrecipes for new ideas. Use seasonings. It is all a matter of education and smart shopping. Am I totally there yet? Absolutely not, but I am working on it, and I am getting my kids involved. We read labels and ingredients together. If it has chemicals they can't pronounce, back on the shelf it goes, from our last shopping trip two days ago and for shopping trips yet to come.
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