If you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and have a green thumb, you can make your dollars go further by using your SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to buy seeds and edible plants.
All SNAP retailers, including eligible farmers’ markets, can sell seeds and plants to SNAP participants, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. Growing your own food is a surefire way to stretch your money.
The USDA estimates that for every dollar spent on seeds and fertilizer, home gardeners can grow an average of $25 worth of produce. Growing food from seeds and plants helps SNAP benefits last longer, which allows recipients to increase the value of their benefits over time.
Supplementing SNAP with homegrown food also makes it possible for families to buy food products that they wouldn’t normally be able to afford. This is especially true during times of high inflation (like now), when the prices of produce items such as peas, spinach, carrots and broccoli have been on a steady rise.
Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs also encourages a healthier diet.
SNAP recipients who are new to gardening should visit the USDA’s SNAP-Ed site, which provides links to numerous resources that can help you get started.
Starting a vegetable garden on a budget is no problem as long as you take the right steps. As GOBankingRates previously reported, you can start one at home using seeds from the produce you bought at the store — growing everything from bell peppers and onions to potatoes and avocados.
You can even start a garden indoors, using hanging baskets and containers placed near windows or on windowsills. Tomatoes, dwarf peppers, beans, peas and salad crops are all good choices for indoor containers.
Before buying seeds and plants, make sure your EBT card has been reloaded. If you aren’t sure when your state reloads the card, check out this guide from GOBankingRates.
More From GOBankingRates