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Food Assistance programs can be a budget saver. Many people can thrive on a low income, if they’re able to get help with groceries shopping and preparing their meals
For people experiencing financial hardships, your State may have programs to help with basic needs. These programs are for low income families, seniors and the unemployed to obtain things like groceries and emergency food delivery.
First, we’ll discuss the food assistance programs in your State from the government and many non profit organizations.
These resources include financial assistance for food, food pantries and discounts on groceries and meals.
Then, we’ll discuss things you can do at home to save money on groceries.
Last, three Mom Bloggers have shared ideas for saving money on your groceries shopping.
Don’t forget to read these moms tips under the last section. These are some of the things you can do at home to save money on a small budget.
Plus, there is a link to a Free Budget Template – bottom
How to Get Food Assistance
Food Assistance Programs
If you need food assistance and is not an emergency you can apply for one of the state government food programs for low income families, SNAP.
Each state has its own guidelines and application forms. You need to meet income and resources limits (maximums).
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You need to apply for food assistance in the state where you live.
Apply for your State’s food assistance program online. If your state doesn’t have an online application process, then call your Human Services Department.
Help with Food Assistance for Seniors
If your household has a senior member or you’re a senior, there are special rules for the food assistance program, SNAP. To qualify as senior you need to be 60 years old or older.
If you’re a senior or disabled, you must apply at your State’s office for food assistance.
How to Get Emergency Food Assistance
The emergency food assistance program, TEFAP, is targeted to families and individuals with short term needs for help with food.
The Federal government gives the states money to funds emergencies programs. These are usually Food Banks, Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries.
You can bring food to your home from a food market or eat a cooked meal at a pantry or soup kitchen.
Qualification for these programs is based on income and State’s guidelines.
You can apply at your State’s Distribution Center.
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Feeding America Food programs
Feeding America is a non profit organization that works closely with the Federal government to help feed needy families. This organization also accepts donations from individuals and businesses.
Locate food pantries near you and mobile food pantries using the website’s Food Pantry Locator by searching with your zip code. This site lists hundreds of food pantries in the country.
The Salvation Army Food Assistance Program
Free Soup Kitchens and Delivered Meals
The Salvation Army helps feed families in need. If you find yourself in a short term crisis or your income is not enough to buy healthy food, the Salvation Army food programs can help you. This organization provides food delivery for those home-bound, it also operates food pantries.
Meals on Wheels Delivered Meals for Seniors
Meals on Wheels operates in almost all the states in the country providing free meals for Seniors. Meals on Wheels works thru networks in communities and neighborhoods across the country. These are local offices with different types of food assistance.
Save Money on Groceries thru Food Discount Programs
There are other ways to save money on food using food buying programs. Seniors, college students, low income earners, teachers, nurses and law enforcement are some of the people who may qualify for discounts.
Imperfect Food Discounts -This is a business that aims to eliminate food waste by selling imperfect, but good food. It operates in many states and offers up to 30% discount on groceries thru box programs. Pantry items, produce and dairy are offered by this discount program.
Share Food Program – This organization is a charity and distributes food to needy families thru a network of organizations like churches, senior centers and schools. The states served by this program are mainly New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Charity Navigator to find Help for Buying Food – This is a non profit organization providing information and resources on charities across the country. Some of the charities found on this organization’s website include assistance for buying food for families in need.
If you’re looking to buy discounted groceries or for free food use the navigator. It lists hundreds of charities yo can contact for help with food and other needs. Help with food can include; box food, food pantries, soup kitchens, food discounts, mobile food banks.
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Other Ways to Save on Groceries on a Small Budget
Food spending can be a significant part of your budget. Getting help from government and non profit organizations can help put food on the table. However, there are also things you can do to save money on food. Wether you’re experiencing a temporary crisis or just need to stick to a budget, here are some ideas.
Coupons – Supermarkets and food manufactures offer discounts for groceries with coupons. Find these online at the stores websites and on local newspapers.
Amazon Groceries – Amazon offers discounts on groceries thru Whole Foods and other food vendors. You can become a Prime Member for as low as $5.99 a month if you quality. College students can also join Amazon Prime at $6.49 per month. As a Prime member you can take advantage of discounts and coupons that you can clip on the site to save on groceries at checkout.
Save on Food with Inexpensive Meals and Meal Prep Planning
Make the most of your food budget by using budget friendly ingredients and by planning your meals ahead.
Check out these three blogs below. These bloggers share tips on saving money on your groceries every month.
Budget recipes by Empowered Single Moms – Tamara shares 161 cheap poverty meals to eat healthy when money is tight. Save money on groceries with these recipes ideas for when you have a small budget.
Frugal meal prep by Intentional Ways – Rachel shares 10 tips for a more frugal freezer meal prep batch and free printable. Meal prep can save you money and time and Racheal shows us how to do it in her post. Plus, she has free printable to stay organized and stick to your budget.
Meal Planning Schedule by This Simplified Home – Lauren shares her tips on how to create a basic list of meal recipes around your families taste. How to plan these meals around a schedule to save time and money.
There are so many ways to get food assistance and to save money on groceries when you have a small budget or have a temporary hardship.
Find free food and food assistance programs with your States resources above. These programs are there to help low income families, seniors and persons with disabilities with basic food needs.
Find ways to make your grocery money last. Prepare meals at home, use basic recipes, meal prep and other ways to save and to stick to a small budget.
Free printable Excel Budget Worksheet
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