It may seem like buying organic food is financially out of reach if you are currently receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps.
However, even with food stamps, you may have several resources available to you that sell organic produce, and other items, to fit your healthy lifestyle.
While these organic items may be more expensive than other choices, you can use money-saving grocery shopping strategies to ensure you stay within your financial means.
Reviewing strategies for obtaining free groceries and other benefits can help you afford organic purchases, while still buying enough to feed your family.
It is important to have a financial plan and budget in place before going grocery shopping, in order to ensure you utilize your food stamps efficiently.
Find out more about how to obtain free food coupons and eat healthy using your SNAP benefits by reviewing the sections below.
Where to Shop for Organic Food With Food Stamps
Before you can scout for free coupons and other money-saving tactics to use with your food stamps, you must identify the stores that will accept these vouchers as payment. It is important to first review a list of local supermarkets and retailers that accept SNAP benefits in your area.
In most cases, these local retailers will have organic options that you can purchase using food stamps. You may also have access to local farmers markets that accept food stamps.
Additionally, you may be able to take advantage of free groceries delivery using your benefits. If you have this option with an approved retailer in your area, you can use the store’s online system or app to choose the organic products you want delivered.
No matter where you shop for organic food with your food stamps, it is important to only choose items for which your benefits can be utilized.
With SNAP benefits, you are authorized to purchase:
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Dairy products.
- Meat, poultry and fish.
- Breads and cereals.
- Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Plants and seeds that will produce edible vegetables, fruits or herbs.
While food stamps can help you to obtain free groceries and expand your grocery budget, there are certain items these benefits will not cover, even if an approved retailer carries these products in-store.
For example, you cannot use food stamps to purchase:
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Vitamins, supplements or medicines.
- Hot or pre-prepared foods.
- Pet foods or cleaning supplies.
- Live animals not meant for immediate consumption.
If you are unsure how to eat healthy, and if you should focus on obtaining organic grocery items with SNAP benefits, utilize the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) educational resources.
The Department specializes in providing educational materials that focus on the importance of eating healthy, and the differences between organic and non-organic foods.
Strategies for Getting Free Groceries
If you plan to shop for organic groceries, your grocery bill can be higher than if you were to purchase non-organic items. Therefore, it is important to review strategies for obtaining free food coupons, so you can stay within your grocery budget on your next shopping trip.
Taking the time to clip coupons before you visit your local grocery store can save you money, as long as you are willing to sometimes compromise on specific products and brands.
You can find these free coupons:
- In your local newspaper.
- Throughout your grocery store’s weekly catalog.
- On your retailer’s website.
- Through food coupon blogs or sites.
- With retailer email subscriptions and offers.
You may also obtain free groceries using your SNAP benefits by investigating your local retailers that accept food stamps. Doing research on when these local retailers have sales can help you to save money on your grocery bill.
Many retailers offer money-saving sales, such as “buy-one, get-one-free” or reduced clearance items.
Learning about when these sales take place and planning your organic grocery shopping trips around them can save you money. If you can also plan to use your free coupons in conjunction with when the specific products are on sale, you can save additional money on your grocery bill.
While this can take some pre-planning on your part, it can be worth it, especially if you can stock up on the item for future use.
In addition to free food coupons, many retailers offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points toward grocery items. By signing up for your preferred retailer’s free rewards program, and simply presenting your rewards card with each grocery purchase, you can earn points on your account.
In addition to food stamps, you can cash in on these rewards points to save money on your grocery purchases.
Additional Tips for Buying Organic Groceries With Food Stamps
When buying organic food with food stamps, it is crucial to plan ahead, so you can ensure you stay within your monthly grocery budget. One of the best ways to guarantee you utilize your SNAP benefits wisely is to plan out your meals for the week, before you go shopping.
By listing out the ingredients you need, you can keep yourself from buying excessive groceries or items that are not necessary to feed your family healthy meals.
In addition to attempting to obtain free groceries through coupons and other deals, you can also consider growing your own food at home. Plants and seeds can be purchased using food stamps, and can usually successfully grow inside or outside.
While the gardening tools, pots and other planting accessories may be an investment, the food these plants may provide can be abundant and healthy.
It is important to remember that organic food does not last forever, and that proper storage is key. Freezing excess foods, or keeping them in air-tight containers, when appropriate, will allow them to last longer. This can prevent food waste and a higher grocery bill.
Free grocery delivery is also available in select areas for food stamp recipients. If you live in a qualifying area, you can use a retailer website or app to order healthy grocery items, and have them delivered to your door.
This method of grocery buying also prevents you from overspending. If you can make your meal plan and grocery list, and only order what appears on your list, you can avoid buying items your family does not need.
This ensures you stay within budget, while still buying healthy ingredients to make your weekly meals.
In most cases, you can still use free food coupons when ordering grocery delivery. By ordering only what you need online or through a mobile app, you can allow your SNAP benefits to stretch throughout the month.