Wednesday, September 9, 2015


What do you do when you aren't on snap and you don't have any sum of money at a time to stock.
The sad truth is there are a lot of people on this world, and each one of us has a different personality.    There are two kinds of people that land on snap.   There is the person that has just lost their job, had a baby, or fell on temporary hard times, and the person that is a generational welfare person, and probably some that are in between the extremes.    I would venture to say that there will b some people that are too lazy for whatever reason to make the effort to put nutrition on the table with little resources.   Sometimes , it is because they don't know any better, sometimes it may be because of mental illness.   I won't try to address the latter, I'm no expert by any means.  If it is just because they don't know how to cook, or don't know how to find bargains, or what to buy, or are overwhelmed by the magnatide of their situation, I can at least steer people on the right direction.  

We , in this area, have a dollar tree in every neighborhood, usually next to a Safeway store or a grocery outlet.   If I was trying to save gas, or had little resources, I would pick one that was near a grocery outlet.  That would be 130th and aurora in Seattle or in Kenmore.   You can go a long way to put food on the table shopping at these two stores,matching the ads, and finding coupons.   There are coupons on the Internet, but also in the paper and even of you don't have the buck for the paper, you can probably find the ads and coupons if you ask around,  often they are just put in people's recycle and they would gladly give them to you.  

As a rule of thumb, I would stay away from ready made and processed foods.   Myself, I try to limit our intake of processed foods to once a week.   If you have an completely empty pantry, I would, however resort to some boxes.  The deal breaker for me is if a box is cheaper than I can make it from scratch.   If a recipe calls for an expensive item ( a special sauce or creamed soup for example) I find a way to substitute.   Cream soups can be substituted with a cream soup base mix you make yourself, Google "taste of home/ cream soup mix.".

That being said. There are things at the dollar tree that can easily make a meal on the cheap.  

Top ramen is 5-6 packages for a dollar.  There is also bags of frozen stir fry vegetables and vegetable oil or a olive oil blend.   You can stir fry vegetables mad add the cooked noodles.  Save the flavor packet.

Add the flavor packet to some milk and flour and make a thickened sauce.  Dollar tree has tuna and noodles for a dollar a piece.  

Uncle bens rice mixes are a dollar.   There is a coupon for 1.00 on four .  That makes them .75 each.  

Grocery outlet has cheese for a buck for 8 ounces  often.   You can add cheese to any starch and add protein.  

With a coupon, pepperoni is  .50.    Even without it. 1/2 a dollar bag of cheese, a dollar pepperoni, and a dollar pizza crust from the dollar store will make a pizza .  Add part of a can of tomato paste, or there is pizza sauce at the dollar tree.  Use part of it for a pizza and add the rest with cheese and macaroni for a casserole.   I have got mixed peppers for as low as fifty cents at grocery outlet.  

Bread is a dollar, peanut butter is a dollar.   jelly  is a dollar also.  

For a treat, there are chocolate striped shortbread cookies!    Cereal is a dollar, try for the least sugar coated one,   And juice drinks are four for a dollar.  As well as applesauce.  

Oatmeal is cheapest on the canister at grocery outlet.  

I got a bag of Foster farms chicken tenders cheap at grocery outlet.    They can be cubed , cooked, and added to any casserole.  

I have gotten pancakes , just add water, for fifty cents.   And sometimes you get is near the pull date and can be had for pennies.  

Being flexible and having a watchful eye for bargains can go a long way to put food on the table for pennies, even of you don't have a lot of money at a time.  

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