This time of the year the household budget always seems to be tighter than usual.  Energy costs go up, things we rely on seem to break down in the cold and are expensive to fix, and our bodies seem to need more food to keep us warm.  Below is a checklist of some things to consider saving money:

  • Foodshare. Are you eligible for FoodShare (the old “food stamp” program that helps supplement your monthly food budget)? You get a debit card that has money put on monthly for you to spend at the grocery store.  It is income based and to find out if you are eligible, call Maureen, your local FoodShare Specialist at 715-496-3121. If you have FoodShare, make sure you renew it on time, so that it doesn’t drop, and you miss a month or so.
  • Food pantry. Go to your local food pantry before you go to the grocery store. You may get things at the pantry for free and can use your FoodShare, or other monies on those items you didn’t get at the pantry.
    • Grantsburg Area Food Shelf – Thurs 9:30-11:30 (no cost)
    • ICAA at Connections in Webster – 10-3, M, Tu, Fr (no cost)
    • Ruby’s Food Shelf in Siren – 10-2pm M & Fr, 10-4 W (no cost)
    • Ruby’s monthly food distribution – for locations and times ($20)
    • Second Harvest Food Distribution at Connections in Webster 1st and 3rd Thursday each month (no cost)
    • St. Croix Chippewa Commodities Distribution in Hertel (Native America Income Eligible only)
  • The Wisconsin Extension Foodwise program. This program has a family resource page that gives you ways to eat healthy on a tight budget and has some great recipes that are simple and fast. Proper nutrition is vital to children so they can learn, for adults so they can stay healthy and work, and for seniors so they can enjoy their retirement with less chronic illnesses.
  • WIC. If you have a child that is under age 6, call your WIC office at 715-349-7600 ext. 1952, and see if you are eligible to get free vouchers for healthy food items. 
  • Energy Assistance. Call 715-349-7600 to see if you are eligible to get help with your heating bills over the winter months. 
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center. Contact ADRC at 715-349-2100, to make sure that you are in cost saving programs for your supplemental medical and prescription plan. 
  • Workforce Resource. Check in with the Workforce Resource Center to see if there are some higher paying jobs or possibly look to see what training programs might interest you for a future job change.


Other ideas can be to use your local library regularly, read to your kids, check out a movie for free, go for a walk, take an exercise class, join a new social group, reach out to a neighbor in need, take a community education class, set some personal goals and make a point to accomplish something each day!


Submitted by: Maureen Wilson, FoodShare Specialist

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