The food stamps are calculated by house hold income, and once or IF you go on your own, you should ask for a reevaluation of the #. I would also apply for assisted housing. they take 1/3 of your income, and most places include utilities. there are waiting lists in most states, but many have a way to skip to the front of the line. Being handicap is one. being homeless is another, being a victim of fire/flood/storms is another. Here in my state there are NO exceptions that move you to the head of the line. you simply have to wait your turn. I would try to live near a more populated area. The benefits seem to be larger, and the wait list rolls by quicker. You are also closer to public transit and bus lines vs having to count on dial a ride to the country to come get you for appointments.
You can go to the salvation army once you get your apartment, explain your situation. They have programs in place that will allow you to pick out furniture. (not all states do this, you must ASK politely first) My sister got beds, dressers, table/chairs, coffee pots, rugs, bedding...anything she could carry out of their store.
If you collect medicare/medicaid you qualify for meals on wheels. Just call your local branch and have them set up delivery. This will save on your food bill and you will not have to cook. They ask at the end of the week for a donation, but never blink if you dont add to the envelope. My area is struggling so they only do monday thru friday and only one meal a day now. it used to be 7 days and 3 meals, but with many cut backs, they cant afford it.
PLEASE seek out a church local to the area you plan to move to. Not only can you seek social support the pastor will have a HUGE book of what services are available in your area. From rides to the MD to who to see to get on the wait list for an apartment.
Ask the makers (use their websites) of the medicines you take if they have a prescription assistance plan. they may provide your meds at no or extremely low cost.
COUPONS! many websites will let you print out coupons for free. Go to the store website and search for the word coupons. They have many. a lot of grocery stores will match or take competitor coupon. Some will even take expired ones.
use websites to find deals. Many offer shipping and handling free with many orders over $25 including amazon. oneadaydeals offer many great products for insanely low prices. Bens outlet offers expensive toys for next to nothing.
Meal plan! if you go to the store hungry, you are more likely to buy everything. Plan out what you are going to make and write down what ingredients you need. This will keep you from the impulse buy. Call your local food pantry and ask if you can apply for assistance. If you have an animal that needs care, ask if you can barter. Clean out cat boxes, or walk dogs for the cost of their vaccines.
I love barter! its a style that is coming back into vogue. If you use cash to pay, as if they discount for cash. My dentist does! my MD uses a menu style service. no insurance, but I can just walk in, get a strep test without having to pay for my BP being checked or my pulse being taken. He accepted a birthday cake for his childs party in exchange for service once. I was thrilled!
So, what can you do on that money? well...if you stretch your circle a bit, more than you think. From community gardens to food co ops to clothing exchanges. I wish you the best of luck.
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