7QT: the benefits of Food Stamps

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I used to struggle with spending my food stamps for anything other than the bare necessities. After a while, though, it became too much of a hassle to scrupulously separate my shopping, and I began to realize that it was all right to spend my food stamps on anything the system allowed. Here are 7 wonderful things food stamps provide, besides just nutrition:

  1. Easy meals. Some people can make healthy stuff from scratch every day; I can’t. From frozen burritos to things like pizza dough, deli meat, and bagged salads, convenience food can mean the difference between me throwing something in the oven and taking a little nap before suppertime, and me freaking out, yelling at the kids, and going out for McDonald’s.
  2. Healthy convenience foods. If you don’t have to worry about your budget so much, you can buy better stuff. Instead of the cheapest frozen pizza, you can buy bake-at-home stuff with real vegetables on it. Instead of fruit cups in heavy syrup, you can afford the stuff packed in real fruit juice. Instead of spaghettio’s, you can get the good canned soup. For your husband who always forgets to pack a lunch, there’s Clif bars and V-8.
  3. Stuff your kids will actually eat. Cherry tomatoes! Gogurts! Instant oatmeal! Cheese sticks! Clementines!
  4. Stuff you really don’t need, but every kid should have once in a while. Lunchables, goldfish crackers, those little breadsticks-and-fake-cheese-dip things.
  5. Things you can stuff in your kids’ lunchboxes. Juice boxes, granola bars, fruit snacks. These double as ways to keep your kid from screaming in the car, and ways to pack for an unexpected outing. That’s pretty darn close to a necessity.
  6. Fancy ingredients. Feta cheese, olives, artichokes, hummus, avocados, fresh herbs…all kinds of things that didn’t usually make it onto my list until I had food stamps. It’s nice to be able to vary your diet more and make any recipes you want!
  7. Ice cream.

See the rest of the 7 Quick Takes at Kelly’s!

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