There were a lot of things I’d have liked to have purchased –particularly produce, spices & condiments — but I couldn’t justify the cost of those things and decided to do without. We also had difficulty finding proteins that would fit into the budget and that we could agree upon. We bought lots of tuna, some tilapia that was on sale and 4 dozen eggs. I also got tea bags because I felt coffee was too extravagant.
What I realized is what being on that budget REALLY means: you can’t just run out and get things on a whim. This week, I needed some items (both food and non-food) that I hadn’t previously planned on purchasing. To me, it wasn’t a big deal to run to Kroger and Walmart to get these things. However, when I was paying, I realized that what I spent on these 2 spur of the moment trips was more than the allotted budget for a couple for the week! While none of the Walmart trip was for food, it still cost almost the entire SNAP allowance. People on such strict budgets would have to forego purchasing these items (all pharmaceutical in nature) or give up some of their own food money in order to take care of other needs.
– Jody Kaplan