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Food Stamps, SNAP Benefits: What You Can Buy for $23 Under Thrifty Food Plan

Food Stamp SNAP Benefits
SKOKIE, IL - JUNE 24: Older, traditional food stamps are displayed June 24, 2004 at an Illinois Department of Human Services office in Skokie, Illinois. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has announced all 50 states and the U.S. territories now provide Food Stamp Program benefits with EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards instead of the traditional paper coupon stamps. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits have dramatically grown in recent years. This is partly caused by the increased cost of living and changes in how benefits are calculated. Millions of Americans still experience food insecurity, even though poverty and food insecurity have decreased as a consequence of increasing SNAP benefits. Hence, some depend on food stamps to buy what they need.

The minimum monthly program benefit for the majority of one- or two-person families stayed practically unchanged from the previous year, at $23 despite the U.S. Although the Department of Agriculture increased the annual SNAP benefits in 2023.

Food Stamp SNAP benefits

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 11: Harlem residents pack free groceries at the Food Bank For New York City on December 11, 2013 in New York City. The food bank distributes dry, canned and fresh food to needy residents and works with community based member programs to provide some 400,000 free meals per day throughout the city. Need increased in November when 47 million low-income people nationwide saw their food stamps cut as the federal SNAP program expired. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Food Stamps and SNAP Benefits: How Thrifty Food Plan Your Benefits

As GOBankingRates reported, the most recent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for fiscal year 2023 increased SNAP participants’ benefits by 12.5% as a result of the TFP’s higher cost. The maximum SNAP benefit for a family of four in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., is $939. The SNAP increase became effective on Oct. 1.

This year’s high inflation rate, which has been one of the biggest sources of hardship for many people, will be somewhat mitigated by the hike. A USDA report noted that the cost of food consumed at home rose by between 11% and 12% in 2022, while estimates for 2023 indicate a rise of up to 3.5%. 

Following a recent USDA evaluation, the TFP’s purchasing power grew by 21% for the first time since the plan’s 1975 introduction. The most current revision took place in 2021. The USDA must review the Thrifty Food Plan by 2022 and then every five years after that, according to the 2018 Farm Bill.

ALSO READ: SNAP 2023: All The Updates You Need To Know

What To Buy With $23 in SNAP Assistance

$23 might not seem like much if you’re an elderly person on a fixed income who is eligible for the minimal SNAP monthly stipend. However, every dollar you receive in SNAP benefits might help you pay for healthier food. And even little adjustments in food and nutrition can have a number of positive effects on one’s health. 

National Council on Aging has shared some suggestions for maximizing your minimal monthly SNAP benefits, keeping in mind that pricing will vary greatly based on where you live and where you buy.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner = $23.34

Item Cost
(1) 16 oz. bag of ground coffee $6.47
(1) pound of 100% ground chuck beef $4.76
(3) 5 oz. cans of tuna (canned, chunk light) $2.33
(1) pound of fresh tomatoes $2.23
(1) 16 oz. loaf of (white) bread $1.87
(1) 16 oz. box of pasta (elbow macaroni) $1.43
TOTAL $23.34

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables = $22.20

Item Cost
(2) pounds of romaine lettuce $7.14
(1) 5 pound bag of white potatoes $4.74
(1) pint of strawberries $3.86
(2) pounds of navel oranges $2.97
(1) pound of fresh tomatoes $2.23
(2) pounds of bananas $1.26
TOTAL $22.20


Although food prices have increased nationwide, these sample baskets just scratch the surface of what may be purchased with SNAP. By putting some of the suggestions below to use, you could find that $23 can buy even more groceries than you initially imagined.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Is The February SNAP Payment Maximum Income Limit For Food Stamps?


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