broke with food stamps

Commented on February 18, 2015
Created March 13, 2013 at 7:38 PM

I am extremely poor/broke and am a struggling mother/nursing student so i can not afford to go and buy the expensive grass fed at whole foods stores because i do not believe they accept food stamps, is it going to completley screw up weight loss and health benefits of this diet if i can only get regular meat from the regular grocery store?


on February 18, 2015
at 08:03 PM

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on February 18, 2015
at 07:27 PM

You can do it.  See my answer.  You go girl and don't come back without the sheepskin!



on March 13, 2013
at 09:34 PM

Can you find a butcher in your area that accepts your food card?

Medium avatar


on March 13, 2013
at 07:49 PM

Nope; conventional meat and potatoes are cheap and will produce the same weight loss results. If you can spare any money, you should buy a magnesium glycinate supplement though.

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9 Answers


on March 13, 2013
at 07:43 PM

No, it's not going to screw up anything. I don't buy or eat organic, yet paleo and/or LC principles work perfectly well.

[asbestos suit]"Organic" is mostly a scam to raise prices, anyway[/asbestos suit]

...grins, ducks, and runs away... :-D



on March 13, 2013
at 07:41 PM

I feel for you. Don't give up, you can still eat Paleo style buying and choosing wisely. Grass fed meats are definitely put at a premium, but if you can't afford them, I would go for fatty lamb.



on March 14, 2013
at 12:48 AM

You can do this with CAFO and conventionally grown if you have to. It will still be better than SAD.

Some farmer's markets accept EBT cards, and you can get produce very inexpensively if it's in high season and especially if you go later toward closing when they may not want to haul it back home. Get to know some of the vendors, and if they know of your situation they will try to help you out with extra when they can.

Never buy what you can make from scratch for less money--e.g. yogurt (if you do dairy) is much cheaper to make than to buy (only cost is milk and your first small yogurt to innoculate the first batch).

Don't forget the bulk bins at stores--things are cheaper in bulk where you don't have to pay for packaging.

If you can, even if it's just in a pot on a windowsill, try some planted herbs or veggies--those are things you don't pay much for.

Freeze everything before it can go bad. When you collect enough you can make soup.

Organ meats like liver are really inexpensive, and you might even be able to afford grass fed at Whole Foods for that. Highly nutritious for very little money.



on March 13, 2013
at 11:36 PM

I like Robb Wolf's "Hippy Excuses" stance--just because money is tight and you can't afford organic-grass-fed-happy-cow beef doesn't mean you won't reap some benefits from eating real food. Do the best with what you have, and you'll be doing better than a LOT of people out there. :)




on March 13, 2013
at 10:18 PM

You definitely can do Paleo with conventionally-raised meat/dairy/eggs.

That said, Whole Foods does accept food stamps/EBT cards. And they often have really good deals, if you subscribe to their e-newsletter.

Many larger farmers markets and even some farmstands now take EBT cards.



on March 13, 2013
at 09:40 PM

Not sure if Whole Foods accepts food stamps or not, but you'd be better off getting more bang for your buck, and Whole Foods is nicknamed Whole Paycheck for a reason!

I, too, am pretty broke though I don't get food stamps. I eat conventional meat (THE HORROR!) and conventional veggies, no problem. IMHO, eating grass-fed and such is more of a moral/ethical issue of animal treatment and economic liberties and all, rather than a dietary issue. When I can afford to support my local farmers, I will. In the meantime, I shop at Kroger and grow my own garden. The only thing I refuse to skimp on is wild-caught fish.

Eat whole foods first. Worry about the source second. A meal of conventional but fresh, unpackaged meat and veggies is going to beat the pants off organic processed food any day.


on March 13, 2013
at 11:44 PM

Eating real food, whether grass-fed or not, is better for you and your child. The processed packaged foods are NOT good, not nutritious, fattning, and should never be allowed by food stamp programs. I was a food stamp mom when my oldest was small and I learned then to buy fresh and on sale. This will keep you eating the veggies that are in season and real meat, not packaged or processed. Take your time, cook your meals and you and your children will be happier and healthier in the long run for it.


on March 13, 2013
at 11:25 PM

I wouldn't get too hung up on grass-fed, it is better for you but also expensive and hard to find. You might try to see if you can buy it in bulk (in conjunction with friends and family perhaps). But if you're really up against it financially (and believe me I've been there), just look for fresh, lean meats (find a place that sells a lot of meat regularly and so turns over its inventory fast, Asian markets are good in my area) and do the best you can. The cheap cuts tend to make good stews and braised dishes, sometimes you can find it for $2-3/lb and feed yourself for a week on $10.


on March 13, 2013
at 10:55 PM

I try to buy pastured when I can, but it is very pricey. I have been fine on conventional meats. I'm in Canada, though, which might make a difference, I don't know.

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