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“My dream is to have a career that allows me to support myself without having to pinch pennies every month — the same aspirations as everybody.”
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Ways to lower expenses

Finding ways to lower your expenses can help you afford the things you need — and maybe even leave you with more money to save for your goals.

First, look at your expenses to see if there are places you can cut costs. Use this guidebook for cutting expenses (PDF) to help you think through your expenses and ways you might be able to lower them.

Another thing you can do is find programs that can help pay for your expenses. You might be able to get help from programs that can help pay for groceries, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Minnesota Food Assistance Program. You might also be able to get help from energy assistance and phone discount programs.

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Start saving money today! Check out this
Guidebook for cutting expenses (PDF) »

SNAP is a food supplement program that used to be known as food stamps. SNAP won't meet all of your food needs, but it can help you stretch your food budget. Whether you qualify for SNAP and how much you'll receive depends on the number of people in your household and how much money you earn.

Who qualifies
The only way to know for sure if you qualify for SNAP is to complete the application process. You can use this screening tool (PDF) to estimate your eligibility, though.

How to apply
To apply for SNAP online, go to ApplyMN. To apply by mail or in person, complete the appropriate application form:

Submit the form by mail or in person to your local county or tribal office (PDF). For help completing the SNAP application, contact a local SNAP outreach partner. Find the nearest SNAP outreach partner by calling the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 651-486-9860 in the Twin Cities metro area or 888-711-1151 outside the metro area.

To learn more
To learn more, find answers to common questions about SNAP under Top Topics > Money > SNAP >>

Other options for food support might include food shelves, food banks and organizations that offer free meals. To find these in your area, call the Minnesota Food Helpline at 888-711-1151 or check the following resources:

  • Minnesota Food Assistance Program. The Minnesota Food Assistance Program provides state-funded food assistance to legal noncitizens age 50 or older who don't qualify for SNAP because of their citizenship status.
  • Hunger Solutions. Hunger Solutions Minnesota connects hungry people with local help. They also work with public and private sector partners to bring community resources to the table
  • MinnesotaHelp. MinnesotaHelp allows people to search for local options for food support. 
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. This program is open to income-eligible households living on Indian reservations or Native American households living in designated areas.
  • Commodity Supplemental Foods Program. This government food and nutrition program is designed to provide healthy and nutritious food at no cost to income-eligible adults age 60 or older.
  • Summer Food Service. This Minnesota Department of Education program provides nutritious meals to children during the summer months. 
  • Minnesota Supplemental Aid (PDF). Minnesota Supplemental Aid provides monthly cash support to help meet basic living expenses.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program helps pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified households. The state Telephone Assistance Plan and federal Lifeline programs provide monthly telephone service discounts on one landline or wireless telephone per household.

PCs for People provides affordable computers, low-cost mobile internet and affordable computer repair for eligible people and nonprofits.

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