When I started the Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge, I posted about it all over Facebook and asked my friend there to help me keep it real. I explained that, to appease politicians, I would do the challenge with some ‘supplemental’ cash kicked in, since certain politicians insist a food stamp recipient is, by natural of the name of the program “supplemental” nutritional assistance, supposed to supplement their grocery budget with food stamps, not make it their entire budget. Well, I debunked that with the guidelines USDA has posted about how the food stamp allotment is calculated. (Essentially, the food stamp maximum allotment is figured on the USDA ‘thrifty food budget’ for a family. If you have zero income, after your deductions, they give you the maximum allotment, and if you have some income, they deduct from that allotment, award you less than the maximum, and YOU supplement the difference between that and the maximum allotment. So the point is, it’s only supposed to be supplemented with your own cash if you are receiving anything less than maximum–which means, the $6 per day figure is pretty much what you’re supposed to work with.)
So that said, I worked with it. I basically estimated a food stamp budget of $180 for the month, per person, based on the family maximums for Texas, then I added another $20 total of my own cash to the budget. That leaves us with $20 to spend on food in cash, while the rest if ‘food stamp budget’ money. That means, $20 can be spent anywhere–farmer’s markets, co-ops, etc.–and I took a chance and decided to order from Bountiful Baskets. The basket of food was supposed to be full of produce and I’ve heard mixed reports about what to expect. However, the majority of the reports said the food is really good.
When you’re on a limited budget, buying $15 worth of food that you haven’t seen and don’t know if it’s any good, well… that’s a risk. You never know if it will be worth it. Scared me a bit with the challenge, because if I got a dud basket, that would be a lot of wasted cash for stretching the budget. But if it worked, that would be fantastic!
So I took the chance. Food stamp recipients have to take chances too. It’s realistic to the challenge.Read More