While reviewing my stats, I noticed that a lot of you were interested in my SNAP food menu. So I decided to do it again. I’m working on a menu for you right now. The average participant in Iowa receives about $120 in benefits/month, so that is what my goal is going to be. I have a family of 4, so to make it easy I’m going to assume there is an even 4 weeks in the month, and just use $120 as my # for the week.
Obviously cooking from scratch is the cheapest route. I’m home most of the day, so I can very easily prep during my downtime. Working people- not so much. But, I do encourage you to get in the habit of prepping yourself for the week (menu, shopping, snacks, and anything that you can do beforehand). An hour or two will save you a lot in the long run. Make it a family affair. My son loves to help me in the kitchen, so it is special time for us. This menu doesn’t have to be prepped ahead- except for the shopping. I am taking advantage of the specials this week. I even included some convenience foods- but will be letting you know how you can trim costs on that with a little prep work.
Here’s my menu plan
Breakfast (Mix and Match)
Scrambled or Fried Eggs
Homemade Corned Beef Hash
Toast (with butter and Jam, Peanut Butter, or Cinnamon Sugar)
Lunch (Mix and Match)
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Macaroni and Cheese
Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes
Beef Soup with Cheese Sandwiches
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce, Garlic Toast, and Green Beans
Crispy Baked Chicken Strips, Mixed Veggies, Pears
Chicken Enchiladas, Re-fried Beans, Mexi-Rice
Stir Fried Vegetables (possibly leftover pork or chicken too), brown Rice
Pork Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Carrot Sticks
Currently I am making my shopping list, and am not topping $75. I am sure that will change ( I very likely made an error in my spreadsheet, or forgot to enter something), but for now, I’m doing very well! I don’t like all the repetition, usually I freeze a few sets of leftovers for variety the next week, but another problem I am finding is that families on limited income don’t have the freezer space, or the funds to space out between weeks. I’m not sure how $ is distributed for SNAP, weekly or monthly. I think that would affect my planning a bit. I am assuming weekly for this challenge.
Share your thoughts with me. Participate with me. Ask me questions- I’d love to be able to help you manage your food budge better. (Not to say you aren’t doing a good job, but like I tell my son, there is Always room for improvement!)