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Food Stamp Solution

6192 Views 42 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  MikeyPrepper
I will preface this by saying 10 years ago I lost my job unexpectedly and reluctantly applied for food stamps. I was given 124.00 a month to feed myself on while trying to find a job and get on my feet again. If not for this benefit I would have been in a bad bad situation. So I am not saying food stamps are bad, I am saying this would cut out a lot of waste and stop crack heads from using our tax dollars to fund their criminal activity....

We should go back to what we used to do.... every saturday at pre determined locations, holders of food stamp benefits were given commodities.... Milk, flour, sugar, bread, cheese, beans, rice and a few canned veggies. This was enough to sustain someone, not have a party with it, but you were given basics. If we stopped giving out debit cards and started this system again, the cost of the program would decrease, people would get what they needed and fraud was almost non existent. And I think you would see lazy people or those that use the system stop using it because it would mean standing in line, and not getting what you want but only what you need.
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I don't see food stamps as a bad thing per se.

It's great for the people that actually need it. I needed it for a bit after much resistance. I got food stamps for 1 month, bought 2 months worth of staples. This all while I was clearing my yard for room for fruit trees and a garden.

I seen it as a help when I needed it. Not my lifestyle.

Now, I remember about 7-8 years ago. A friend asked me to take him somewhere. It ended up being the welfare office. I remember he went in there to get benefits. He was 18-19 and way overweight. Probably could have gotten disability. Yeah. That kind of overweight.

Anyways, I remember the social worker telling my friend "Dude. You're giving us Mexicans a bad name. You're capable of working. Go get a job."

And this was in L.A. Haha. He did get benefits though. He wasn't on it very long. We were living in a motel room in Lakewood California. Century inn. I was working a full time job, paying for the room and making a truck payment. No money for food. It was me, him, his mom and his sister and her toddler son.

I don't know. I'd hate to see people that were elderly or extremely disabled to stand in cold weather or rain/snow to prove they need help. I used to volunteer and eat at a church where they held a "feeding" on Sundays to the poor and homeless. There were people there dressed in suits, freshly shaven, freshly laundered suits. Maybe they dressed nice cause it was Sunday. But then there were people that looked like walking death. So who would you judge as really needing it?

Ps. My mom used to know a lot of homeless people. Some of the worst looking ones had apartments or rooms. The best dressed ones had encampments. The ones in tents had solar showers, composting toilets, and very nice clothes.
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It looks like 10% of food stamps recipients are single mothers. What about them, though? That's one of the big problems with blanket solutions. Sure, they could get a job, but what about child care? Have you heard of daycare syndrome? Kids don't thrive in daycare. What about the cost of daycare? I pay $10/hour for a private babysitter right now. I'd feel lucky to find a $15/hour job in town, I mean, that'd be great pay for our area. How do you make those numbers work?

Child support from the father is based on his income, so if he's a lout, that single mother bears a huge burden to provide for her kids. In my mind, that's what the welfare system is intended for. Not, of course, the ones who have babies just to get more money, but the down on her luck single mom who, perhaps, chose leaving over staying in an abusive marriage (a friend of mine is in this situation now).
Just an example. I roommated with a female who was collecting welfare. Her baby daddy, was an illegal and working under the table. They lived together. On paper, he was nowhere to be found.

Ask again about single mothers collecting from the system.

This case might be unique. Or it may just be more common than you think.

I'd take that 10% down to more like 2%
And who says that you HAVE to work to provide for your family.

I hardly work. Maybe 2 hours a week on call.

I have always found ways to make ends meet. I don't have kids. But if I did, job or no job, my kids will be provided for. Not by welfare, or food stamps.

I will do and have done what it takes to provide. I've scrapped metals, collected recycled cans, bottles, gotten free stuff off craigslist. I've even bought and sold stuff (cars, antiques, furniture, etc)

So if I wasn't working a traditional 9-5, but my kids ate, had nice clothes, and behaved, does that make me less of a parent?

I've always had the thought process that you don't NEED a 40+ hour week. If you reevaluate your wants/needs, and prioritize, you can survive and thrive on any income level.

I make ~$400 a month. But I eat, bills are paid, and I slowly get my necessities.

By all definitions, I CAN qualify for food stamps and cash aid. But I don't apply.

Truth be told, I can probably live on $100 a month. I wouldn't be able to if I didn't have my fruit trees and small garden.

I think my big advantage is that I own my home. A lot of welfare recipients either rent houses or apartments. I've rented before. The landlords don't like you doing anything in the yard besides upkeep. But that shouldn't stop someone from container gardening. It's easy, cheapish, and its basically free food. Food stamps even buy seeds, at least here in Ca.

I think that part of the problem is un motivation. Or some amount of ignorance. A lot of people that don't know how to do something don't have the drive to look it up, and try it out. Heck. Even I thought container gardening was hard. Now I have a deck full of food growing in containers.

I don't know though. I do know I got kind of off topic. But welfare is something I am a bit passionate about. I may not have a great job, I may not be in a great spot, but if even I can grow even a small bit of food, then ANYONE can. I have a black thumb. I kill more than I grow. Yet I have 55-60 food trees/plants growing in my yard. That's only the permanent plantings. Not counting the garden area which has way more.

So my question is. Do you think a majority (not ALL) of welfare recipients are too lazy to even try?

Not including the older people, the disabled people, or the under employed?

Yes there is a thing as the under employed or working homeless. I knew someone who worked a 45+ hour job, and even after downsizing and getting rid of everything he didn't need, he still ended up living on the job site in a van. No drug habit, no expensive eating out, or expensive entertainment habit. No credit card bills, etc. I think it was a bad divorce, and such. But still.
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I tried to quote kevincali but apparently I cant for some reason, look a few posts back to see kevincalis post on living on next to nothing.

Ok I have to ask..... how can you afford a house on 400 a month? Tax alone is 400 - 1200 a year depending on your house and where you live. I am not trying to start an argument or accusing because obviously you are getting by, but curious as to how exactly. You have to pay internet and power because you are using a computer to communicate with us now. If you can do it, we obviously all are not doing something right.... helll my minimum power bill with no electric on it is 65 a month and that is just connection fees and government taxes.

Seriously you need to write a book man... i woild buy it

And I mean this folks, I am not being sarcastic here, if he can do it, we all can.
House is paid off. Taxes are $464 x2.

Electric is $55. I've had to keep the flood lights on due to strangers around. Also run a space heater in just the bathroom before a shower.
I've had it down to $15
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Gas is $14. No heat and no cooking. Cooking is done over open fire. Only gas used is for the water heater
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Water is $45. Not sure why its that high. I have a drip from a spigot and a drip from the front shower. Trailer is old and am having a hard time finding washers. Only water I use is for washing clothes and taking showers.
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Trash is $20 a month or $60 for 3 months.

So utilities alone run me $130-$140 a month. I don't have home Internet. I use my phone which is ~$60 a month unlimited. So my monthly out of pocket just in utilities and phone is about $200 a month. Auto insurance is about $65 for 3 cars. I'm non opping 1 next month. So insurance should go down. Water should go down because I'm no longer using it to water the trees. My rainwater system is there for that. Gas, I can't get any lower. I've had it down to $6 before. But rates change. Rates actually went UP since it got cold. That might explain why my bills jumped.

I spend about $100 on food.

So as you can see, my budget is very very tight. Bills will be higher during the winter, and it will suck. It's hard to not just turn on the central heat. Or take a hot bath. I'm barely scraping by.

Oh. And I just paid last years property taxes. Might not be able to pay this years taxes until next year :(

So it CAN be done. But be prepared to do without. If not for my yard, I don't know what I'd do.

Some homemade lemonade. Got tired of water and picked some lemons and squeezed/juiced some lemons. A bit of water to water down and a tiny bit of sugar and it was DELICIOUS :)
Food Dishware Tableware Ingredient Sweet lemon

If I were renting, I don't think $400 would cut it. My ONLY saving grace is that I'm friends with a nursery and have been getting trees for a discount. I still pay $20 per tree versus $65 at Home Depot. And yes. I've gone hungry to buy a tree. I look at the tree as an investment. If I buy a tree for $20, it'll give me $40 in fruit over and over. If I buy $20 food, its gone in one shot.

I've also worked for trees, gotten a bunch of free stuff from craigslist, and traded a bunch of stuff. Oh, and when I first moved in, there was a palm tree here. Guy offered me $1000 for it. SOLD. I was able to catch up on bills and fix the floors in this house. That was 3 years ago. I've been on a roll since.

So ask me any questions you want to know. I'm not hiding anything. I've posted my current bills. I've put my story out there. If there is a way I can help anyone, please let me know :)
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Oh and my monthly income isn't exactly $400. It bounces around a lot. It can be anywhere from $300 to $500. Depends on if I recycle anything, turn in cans, sell stuff etc.

So some months are better than others.

And a lot of my nice stuff, I got for free/barter. My fridge was free. Works great, drips water from the inside when it defrosts. Washer and dryer were new when I got them. Oven was free from craigslist. Nice kitchen sink was free from craigslist. T.V., entertainment center, VCR/DVD player was free (needed fixed. Still doesn't read all DVDs.) Ceiling fan (cheaper than AC) was free from craigslist. I did buy box fans for the windows though. $5 from yard sales. Dining room table was free. Coffee table was free from my neighbors bulky item pick up day. I needed rocks and dirt for a planter. Free from craigslist. My bedroom is furnished with a nice dresser with mirror and matching night stands. Free. I did however buy my bed brand new when I was making money in 2006. So even my bed is older.

I've furnished my house mainly from craigslist/freebies. I don't need the best newest of anything.

And I do wait for free stuff. I need bookshelves. I keep looking on craigslist. They'll pop up sooner or later. I'm very patient.

So once again, it CAN be done. Just don't expect to have the latest greatest of stuff. I have gotten free items and fixed/rebuilt them and used them. I've also gotten free stuff and fixed/resold them for money.

Now that my income is semi stable, I haven't been stingy. I had been charging my phone by hand crank. Not any more. Cable is shut off, but cable guy didn't disconnect at the line, so I get basic. I've called them and told them, cable company comes out, and nothing changes. So I have basic basic cable. I can go back to converter box if needed.

Oh. Next step is a high efficiency washing machine, and LED tv's. the TV I'm looking at is $150 and costs $6 a year to operate. That's $.50 a month. My huge tube/CRT TV probably uses $6 a MONTH lol. Same with the washer. The cost of a high efficiency washer might be worth it if it saves water. Of course I'm looking at the long run ROI.

Maybe I should write a book lol
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