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Old 02-03-2009, 12:21 PM   #41
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What kind of wine would be in this budget?
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:27 PM   #42
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:31 PM   #43
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And the milk products that can't be broken down in your intestine will be removed by simply increasing your fiber intake.
So either way, you would end up with gas

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

No, I actually didn't know about this.

Interesting.

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Old 02-03-2009, 01:27 PM   #44
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Last time I looked, Two Buck Chuck is now Three Buck Chuck.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:45 PM   #45
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Last time I looked, Two Buck Chuck is now Three Buck Chuck.
Here in sunny Cal it's still Two Buck Chuck. If you're paying Three it's probably because of markups or state sin taxes.

Our tastes have upgraded. We are now drinking wine that costs $4.99 a bottle, recession be damned.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #46
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Wow, we spend so much more than the norm on this board that it is scary. For the two of us we probably spend about $800 a month on groceries and at least another $400 dining out.

We are not extravagant eaters, but I do tend to buy a lot of organic products and we mainly eat fresh. Never buy steaks, but lots of fish. We spend at least $150 a month on fresh organic blueberries which we have for breakfast every day - they were $5.99 yesterday for a small punnet. We only drink organic milk which is about $4.89 a gallon. Last week when I purchased organic apples it was nearly $7 for 5 apples. If I buy ground beef (maybe once a month) it is always the 7% fat or less if available. When we buy cheeses it is usually imported, because we prefer the taste.

I haven't used coupons for a while as I found they were mainly for processed products we would not eat.

When it comes to paper products I only use Kleenex toilet tissue and facial tissues, I refuse to use the cheaper, rougher products. I wonder if the $176 figure includes these items and household cleaners?

I would imagine that people on food stamps may not have access to transport to farmer's markets etc to access cheaper products and maybe their diet staples are different to what the general population eat.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:49 PM   #47
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From this link Eligibility -- $176 is the maximum monthly benefit for 1 person. That will be reduced by 30% of "net monthly income", since they figure a family should spend (up to) 30% of its income on food -- a figure I think is derived from a survey in the mid-1960s.
You're making an excellent point Robert. Most seem to be missing the fact that folks who get food stamps are poor. There is no fully equiped kitchen, cabinets full of paper and cleaning products, staples and condiments, etc., to bring your purchases home to.

Try imagining moving into a subsidized apartment with a small box of pots, pans and utensils. No food or cleaning products in the place at all. Then put together your shopping list. Makes it a lot more interesting!
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:59 PM   #48
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Most seem to be missing the fact that folks who get food stamps are poor.
Which posts led you to this conclusion?
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:06 PM   #49
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Which posts led you to this conclusion?
People mentioning preparing bulk foods in their well equiped kitchens using already-on-the-shelf spices and condiments.

Planning a budget for how one of us would live on less than $200 a month for food is different than planning a budget for someone who has no stock of basics and no/little kitchen gear to work with.

Additionally, there is that intangible concept of accounting for why folks are poor. Frequently people who qualify for maximum food stamps are extremely poor and issues of physical health, mental health, disabilities, etc., are part of the problem.

Roberts post reminded me that folks that qualify for max food stamps as a single are probably pretty far down the scale of resources, both personal and financial. It doesn't seem very relavent to compare how they'd eat on $174/mo to one of us, at least not to me.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:42 PM   #50
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We are not extravagant eaters, but I do tend to buy a lot of organic products and we mainly eat fresh. Never buy steaks, but lots of fish. We spend at least $150 a month on fresh organic blueberries which we have for breakfast every day - they were $5.99 yesterday for a small punnet. We only drink organic milk which is about $4.89 a gallon. Last week when I purchased organic apples it was nearly $7 for 5 apples. If I buy ground beef (maybe once a month) it is always the 7% fat or less if available. When we buy cheeses it is usually imported, because we prefer the taste.
That whole paragraph is extravagant. You must live in So. CA.
$150 a month for blueberries.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:50 PM   #51
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Wow, we spend so much more than the norm on this board that it is scary. For the two of us we probably spend about $800 a month on groceries and at least another $400 dining out.

We are not extravagant eaters, but I do tend to buy a lot of organic products and we mainly eat fresh. Never buy steaks, but lots of fish. We spend at least $150 a month on fresh organic blueberries which we have for breakfast every day - they were $5.99 yesterday for a small punnet. We only drink organic milk which is about $4.89 a gallon. Last week when I purchased organic apples it was nearly $7 for 5 apples. If I buy ground beef (maybe once a month) it is always the 7% fat or less if available. When we buy cheeses it is usually imported, because we prefer the taste.

I haven't used coupons for a while as I found they were mainly for processed products we would not eat.

When it comes to paper products I only use Kleenex toilet tissue and facial tissues, I refuse to use the cheaper, rougher products. I wonder if the $176 figure includes these items and household cleaners?

I would imagine that people on food stamps may not have access to transport to farmer's markets etc to access cheaper products and maybe their diet staples are different to what the general population eat.
I don't eat "organic" labeled anything.

I buy whatever fruit I can buy that is less than $1 per pound. This usually includes bananas, oranges, apples, and pears. I sometimes splurge on strawberries or grapes, both of which run about $2.50 per pound.

My milk is the generic fat-free, which I believe runs about $2.75 per gallon.

I buy Tillamook cheddar cheese, which is $5.99 for 2#.

I very rarely use coupons, and only do so when it's easy. I've probably saved $10 in the past six months.

My expense figure I quoted above *does* include toiletries, household cleaners, etc.

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Old 02-03-2009, 03:51 PM   #52
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Most seem to be missing the fact that folks who get food stamps are poor.
"The poor, who need money the most, are the very ones that don't have any."

Don't recall who said that.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:03 PM   #53
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"The poor, who need money the most, are the very ones that don't have any."

Don't recall who said that.
Yoggi?
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:37 PM   #54
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I found this topic interesting and tried to put a grocery list together to see what I would be able to have based on 3 local grocer weekly flyers and PeaPod for the remainder. Would need to go to Burger King and get some salt and pepper packets as well as the ketchup.

Next I have to update for the amount of calories and fat content.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:59 PM   #55
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You're making an excellent point Robert. Most seem to be missing the fact that folks who get food stamps are poor. There is no fully equiped kitchen, cabinets full of paper and cleaning products, staples and condiments, etc., to bring your purchases home to.

Try imagining moving into a subsidized apartment with a small box of pots, pans and utensils. No food or cleaning products in the place at all. Then put together your shopping list. Makes it a lot more interesting!

That would be difficult, however you are assuming that the recipient is living alone which is usually not the case.
Resources get pooled in order to make ends meet.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:20 PM   #56
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1. I love fresh fruit as much as the next person, but that blueberry post is amazing.

2. How much more do you need than a few pots, pans, and basic spices? It's nice to have and it surely increases your range of cooking options but you don't need a kitchen full of gleaming copper clad pans and a spice rack stocked with things like star anise and lemon grass powder to cook good food.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:43 PM   #57
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Try imagining moving into a subsidized apartment with a small box of pots, pans and utensils. No food or cleaning products in the place at all. Then put together your shopping list. Makes it a lot more interesting!
Not much more interesting; spices and condiments are ultra-cheap. How much does salt, sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder cost? How much for a tin of decent quality olive oil? Not much. Probably less than two day's worth of junk food I've seen people "buying" with grocery orders paid for (in part or in full) with food stamps.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:13 PM   #58
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That would be difficult, however you are assuming that the recipient is living alone which is usually not the case.
Resources get pooled in order to make ends meet.
People only getting $176/month or less in foodstamps are living by themselves. or if they have a roommate it's someone not related to them and they will also only have the $176 for food and likely isn't going to be sharing their food.

If they have kids or a spouse they are going to get more money in foodstamps.

You only need a couple pots and some dishes which can be fairly cheap at second hand stores, but spices are expensive. Almost any recipe you want to make is going to require $15 in spices, which even eating that same meal every day for the month means you've just spent 3 days worth of food money for a little spice.


Not to say it's really that difficult to eat on that much. When I was in college I had about $60/month for food because I didn't work enough hours to get foodstamps. My roommate that did get foodstamps was living pretty high on the hog compared to what I ate.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:25 PM   #59
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You're making an excellent point Robert. Most seem to be missing the fact that folks who get food stamps are poor. There is no fully equiped kitchen, cabinets full of paper and cleaning products, staples and condiments, etc., to bring your purchases home to.

Try imagining moving into a subsidized apartment with a small box of pots, pans and utensils. No food or cleaning products in the place at all. Then put together your shopping list. Makes it a lot more interesting!
I don't think you can use food stamps for paper and cleaning products--I'm seeing this federal info repeated for several states in a google search:

"Benefits may be used to purchase most foods at participating stores. They may not be used to purchase tobacco, pet food, paper products, soap products, or alcoholic beverages."

I don't include those in our food budget, which is well below $176/mo/person.

I think the biggest problem for people receiving food stamps might be just getting to well-stocked grocery stores. I have a lot of sympathy for people who must rely on food stamps.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:47 PM   #60
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I spend on average $350/mo on groceries, which includes ancillaries and cheap wine. Perhaps another $50 eating out. This doesn’t include bar tabs which I account for as “leisure”.

To do it this cheaply I buy stuff on sale- almost never buy a veggie or fruit or meat that is not on sale. My neighborhood is well served by supermarkets.

What I don't do is go to Costco and buy in bulk, as I don't have the freezer space and I also don't like to spend time at something that for me is wearying. However I experienced trips to Costco or to a food co-op as pleasure when my kids were still around.

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