Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Buying Schwan's With Food Stamps

People using food-stamps are limited to what they can buy and where they can buy it. First they can only purchase food, no TP, no shampoo, no hygiene products. Each state administers their program and may allow some "food" products and not others. Some allow only the purchase of beverages that are milk and juice - no coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Of course no alcohol. Some states allow purchases of food from the deli departments of supermarkets, some don't. Within the guidelines people using food stamps are allowed to choose which food items they want to eat. Of course the best thing to do would be to purchase staples such as rice, pasta, dried beans, canned fruit and veggies, frozen ground-meats, and powdered milk. But people are mostly allowed to choose from any of the food items in the supermarket. Yes they can pick out a frozen pizza or Hungry Man TV-dinner if they want. Not everyone can cook so the options of frozen entrees and even the deli section are open to users of food-stamps.

However, participants in food-stamp programs are generally forbidden to purchase meals in a restaurant. Grocery stores have to be approved and certified to be in the program, most of them are. Schwan's Foods has apparently been through the approval process and qualifies to sell "food" to people in the food-stamp programs. Schwan's is not a restaurant, they are a mobile grocery store.

Are Schwan's prices really that much higher than a supermarket? I don't think so. Price competitiveness and convenient delivery are part of their marketing plan.

I am not a big fan of Schwan's and their product selection. Plus I don't want to eat a bunch of pre-prepared frozen foods. I don't buy that type of stuff from the grocery store either. I prefer to cook!

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