Coupon Mom Takes the SNAP Challenge on "Katie"

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Strategic Shopping Can Feed Families a Healthy Diet on $120 or less per week, says CouponMom.com founder Stephanie Nelson

"In preparing for this SNAP Challenge, I was alarmed at the limited amount of grocery-savings information available to SNAP recipients,” said Nelson.

Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon Mom, appeared on “The Katie Couric Show” this week to demonstrate that it’s possible to feed your family a healthy array of delicious meals and snacks within the SNAP budget of $120 for a family of four. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the national food stamp program.

By planning meals, shopping sales, and using coupons, Nelson purchased $210 worth of groceries for $98.80. "If you know how to shop strategically, you can cut your grocery bill in half,” said Nelson. “But it's not just about saving money--it's equally important to feed your family a healthy diet."

The Coupon Mom's SNAP Challenge menus include at least five servings of fruits or vegetables per person each day, whole grain breads, low fat dairy products, lean meat, chicken and fish. The budget also allows for snacks and desserts, as well as coffee and beverages. Specific menus and the shopping list for the Coupon Mom SNAP Challenge are available at http://www.CouponMom.com/snapchallenge.

"In preparing for this SNAP Challenge, I was alarmed at the limited amount of grocery-savings information available to SNAP recipients,” said Nelson. “This experience has convinced me to focus CouponMom.com's 2013 efforts on educating more families on how to use Strategic Shopping to improve nutrition, fight hunger and improve the quality of life for any family on a budget.”

Nelson said if SNAP recipients learn Strategic Shopping that it can be as financially impactful as increasing SNAP benefits at no additional cost to the SNAP program. But most importantly, families will have more food and be able to feed their children a full, healthy diet.

The Coupon Mom website makes it easy for shoppers to save, because it provides lists of "best deals" created by combining sale prices with coupons available for 60 store chains across the country. Members can use their store's list each week to plan menus with sale items, print coupons, and maximize their SNAP benefits. Membership is free, and the website can be accessed at libraries and other publicly-available computer resources.

Shoppers can download free electronic books about Strategic Shopping and watch video tutorials in the "How to Coupon" section of CouponMom.com. Additional videos, DVDs and educational materials will be available at no cost for group instruction in the first quarter of 2013.

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