With talk of cutting food stamps and cutting ssa and privatizing Medicare, a lot of people are feeling the pinch or will be if the government as we know it gets their way. Starting to adjust spending habits now will stave off the shock if it happens. If you are on snap. Start being diligent about where you buy your food and what you pay for it. If you pay half price for food and store one away you will have a stockpile and bide yourself time. It just makes sense not to waste. There is a certain sense of security knowing you have a pantry and you know where the next meal is coming from.
The last month I have spent thirty dollars a week and replentised stock. It is doable. It takes some effort. My mantra is that I can spend more time planning and shopping and less time cooking and make good meals happen for a limited amount of money,
My average for three of us last year was 72.00 a week. That is 1/2 the usda statistics for low income for our family. So far since Christmas it has been less than thirty dollars a week.
- Shop sales. Only buy things if they are in a real sale -- know your prices and only buy at the lowest price. Know the prices of the things you buy on a regular basis that are shelf or freezer stable. Buy low, eat high. The same mantra as a stockbroker. If you can get two for the price of one, you can use that one and set aside the other. That builds a reserve. In other words, if a ,!,! Storm happens , you've got your back.
- Plan meals and plan for any leftovers or bits left on a can. Waste not, want not. Planning meals saves time and money. Kitchen management makes best use of your time and resources. If you notice you aren't eating some thing, incorporate it into a recipe. Make something and freeze it if necessary, Mymfamily has,nit eaten the eight pounds of oranges I bought for five dollars. I will grate the rind and freeze or dry it and make orange juice. Having dinner half done just means that when dinner time is hectic, you can simplify the process.
- Establishing a stockpile now can mean that if you loose your job or funding, you can cut back and survive on less money. I decided to experiment and find out just how much we could eat well and reduce using a stockpile and adding to it. Tough times will require tough measures, Portion control is important. We don't want to starve ourselves, but we don't need to gorge ourselves either. There is no reason why anyone needs to eat an entire regular sized pizza or eat the majority of a two pound roast.
- Re work leftovers. Last nights chilli can be put over rice or used on nachos. Incorporate leftovers in another meal, freeze, or use for lunch the next day. If a family member doesn't like leftovers. Be creative and incorporate them into something else, or freeze and introduce them the next week.
- Buy meat in bulk. Set a dollar limit on what you buy. Orotein has to cost less than two dollars a pound to make it on a snap budget. It is not hard to see that if you have three hundred dollars a month to eat on, you can't spend ten dollars for dinner a day. Either you are going to run out of money before you run out of month, or you aren't going to eat lunch or dinner. Fortunately that can be a average. The PNW has so,e of the highest prices on the nation. I watch a lot of grocery hauls from all over the United States. I can find: 1) 7 percent fat hamburger for close to 3.28 a pound. Eggs are a dollar. Whole or half a Pork loin is anywhere from 1.49-1.69. Chicken breast can be 8.00 a pound, but Foster farms split chicken breast is 2.28 and it is easy to de-bone it and cook the bones for chicken meat and stock. I can get whole chickens s for a dollar , or sometimes less. Pinto beans are .67 a pound at the dollar tree and they are no gmo and grown on USA. Pepperoni is to be used on moderation, but with coupons it is .50 at dollar store instead ofm1.69 elsewhere. Jimmy Dean sausage is 8.00 for three pounds at Costco, or sometimes less with coupons at a regular store.
- Buy meat or protein in bulk at the lowest price . Rotate the so called loss leader by week, buy enough to feed the family as many times as you will eat that meat. If you eat beef once a week, you want four portion controlled meals. Cook or butcher it if appropriate and oration control. Freeze. You can get a months worth of food on a regular refrigerator freezer. Save time and money.
- Find quick and easy scratch recipes. Make your own mixes and slice blends. Make a real effort to buy any appliances you can that will make your time on the kitchen more efficient, Mixers, food processors, and electric pressure cookers ( new ones) can save a lot of time and energy. You can sometimes find them at estate sales or save up. Beans can be made in a slow cooker. A insta pot is about 80.00 and so a rice cooker, a slow cooker. And a pressure cooker. If you only have a limited time to spend on feeding the family, spend more time planning a shopping trip and meals and less time cooking, You can shop and plan with bits of time- when you are on hold making a phone call. Waiting for th school bus or the carpool, at two on the morning when you can't sleep! Engage children early, My sisters and I were baking at nine yo. My granddaughter was helping at three. Now, she is able with supervision. To butter and make"garlic" bread, roll pizza dough and fill it. Count as we put ingredients on a bowl. Anything that isn't sharp or hot. I don't let her deal with raw meat. It's a good way to teach kitchen heigene and counting, and kitchen skills. By the time she's 10, she should be able to put a simple meal together.
It's doable, it just takes some effort, The rewards are remarkable,