Shopping with food stamps: 'It's a lot of Hamburger Helper'

EUGENE, Ore. -- During the first nine days of the month, Oregon Trail Cards are re-loaded with SNAP benefits.

Winco representative Mike Reed said Winco stores in Oregon see an increase in sales of up to 45 percent during the first week of the month.

"It's crazy. You're bumping into people," said shopper Stacy Schultz.

Dawn White stocks up on groceries when her Oregon Trail Card is re-loaded, but she said she still has to find ways to save money.

"I've got stuff that has coupons. Then I've got my own coupons. And then I shop to see what's on sale," she said. White also compares prices at different grocery stores.

White relies on food stamps to feed her family, and that means making some sacrifices. She purchases food on sale, uses coupons, buys mainly frozen food and basic fruits and vegetables. "It's a lot of Hamburger Helper at my house because it's usually cheap," she said.

She wishes she could purchase fresh fish, but can't afford it.

White said she usually doesn't feel satisfied after meals. "It's a lot of starch and noodles. So you might be full for 10, 15 minutes but then you're hungry again and want more."

Some shoppers have a different approach to shopping on food stamps. Stacy Schultz said she tries to be healthy buying milk, cheese and eggs.

She said she has to find ways to save money. "Don't buy brand name," she said. Schultz said she buys in the bulk section, too.