Food Stamp Budget Experiment

Several months ago, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski participated in an experiment of eating on the food stamp budget of $3/day, which represents the average benefit of an Oregonian on food stamps.  Of course, realistically, food stamps aren’t meant to pay for all your food.  It is expected that the recipient has some of his/her own money to spend on food as well.  According to this website,, if I’m on the thrifty plan, I should be able to feed my family of three on $98.50/week.  I think that is totally doable, since I live in California where fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful (think supply and demand), where there is a Pak ‘n Save and Asian markets (less expensive places to shop at) within 1-3 miles away from my home, and I’m in a situation where I have the basic skills to do appropriate calculations and have some general nutrition training as oppose to about 44% of recipients have not completed high school (the assumption is that they lack some survival skills).

The most I can receive in food stamps for a family of three is $399/month which is $92.08/week.  Because this number is pretty close to the number I mentioned above as doable, I will declare one week in September my experimental week using $63/week to feed my family.  $63/week represents $1/meal/person/day, the same as Governor Kulongoski’s experiment.  This lower figure will be more of a challenge for me, but I’m still confident that it’s doable.  After all, it’s “only” for one week!  I’ll let you know it goes… if we survive!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wilson Leung
    Aug 13, 2007 @ 16:08:00

    Is it a law that all grocery stores must take food stamps? Some places, such as small mom’n’pop joints, may not want to deal w/ the hassle of getting reimbursed.


  2. boltnut55
    Aug 14, 2007 @ 03:09:00

    A grocery store needs to be authorized to accept food stamps, so the store would have to apply to participate in the program.  I’m guessing it depends on the clientele.  A mom and pop store in a low income area probably would want to accept food stamps.  It’s all done by a debit style card now.


  3. sez_who_sez_you
    Aug 14, 2007 @ 12:10:00

    I didn’t know you had a blogsite! Welcome to Xanga!!! I am taking out a subscription to your site.
    Take care, Tracy


  4. boltnut55
    Aug 14, 2007 @ 15:41:00

    Welcome, Tracy!  I haven’t really “advertised” it.  For all the writing I do online, I really should have officially done this years ago.  It turns out I’ve had this xanga account for about three years!


  5. pattis5
    Aug 14, 2007 @ 23:07:00

    I’ll be interested to hear how your experiment goes. Be sure to post an update.


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