When your budget is tight, it can be very hard to even think about trying to live green as you are often in “survival mode”. This is actually a perfect time to be as sustainable as possible and find ways to reuse items, do for yourself and become more independent. Living green is a very frugal thing to do, after all! If your budget is super tight right now, here are some tips on how to live sustainably on food stamps.
How to Live Sustainably on Food Stamps
Grow your own food. Did you know that SNAP (food stamps) can be used to also purchase seeds and even seedlings and plants of different kinds of produce? It's true! If you can eat it, and you can grow it, you can buy it with SNAP dollars. Not all places that sell seeds or seed starts are approved to take SNAP, though, so make sure to ask before you shop. Not only will you be growing your own food, but your plants will probably produce more vegetables than you could buy at a store for the same price. This is something that can even be done when you are living in an apartment or another space where you don't have access to a garden. Many plants, including tomatoes and lettuce, do well in pots.
Make your own green cleaning supplies. Did you know that 3 of the major ingredients in green cleaning supplies can be bought with food stamps? You can buy baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice all with your food stamps. Other things that you may be able to use for green cleaning supplies (or even homemade beauty products) that can be bought with food stamps include apple cider vinegar, olive oil and coconut oil.
Buy in Bulk. Many people don't realize you can buy bulk items with food stamps. This is a greener option because you are not buying wasteful packaging and often the foods in the bulk section are organic.
Buy organic when it makes sense. There are some organic products that, depending on where you live, might actually be close to the same price as non-organic ones. Additionally, some things, like milk, last longer when they are organic, so if you find yourself tossing out milk before it's gone, it might save you money in the long run to buy organic.
Support your local farmer. Buying as local as possible is one of the best ways to support sustainable living. One way to do this and still stay in budget is to shop at farmer's markets. Many states now allow you to “cash in” your SNAP dollars for tokens that can be spent with merchants at these farmer's markets or even spend them directly with the farmers themselves. Check with your local office of public assistance to find out if your state offers this option.
What are some ways that you live as green and sustainable as possible on a very limited income? I would love to hear your tips in the comments!
Looking for more ways to save money on your tight budget? Check out the links below!