How To Eat And Live Well When You Are Beyond Broke!

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1. Cook at home. Never eat out. Dining out is so much more expensive than eating at home that the two are incomparable. Stay at home and make your own food rather than eating at a restaurant. It’s often more work, but it’s also money in your pocket.

2. Stews and soups are miraculous. A big pot with boiling water and whatever you can scavenge dumped in together is the staple of the poor man’s diet. You can dump in whatever you’ve got, along with those free salt and pepper packets, and turn up with something edible and at least remotely nutritious.

3. Keep a hen or two. This seems somewhat silly, but female chickens are very good at producing food. You can unabashedly feed them whatever scraps you have and they produce eggs very regularly. If you’re careful, you can keep them in a small cage in your own apartment; a friend of mine kept one in a pet porter for several months. Just be aware of the smell; you should line their living area with paper and expect to clean it a lot. You can do this by using scavenged newspapers and rotating them daily, but leave the papers that the chicken scratches together for a nest alone.

4. Dress as well as you can and keep yourself clean. If you don’t do this, you’ll feel worse and you’ll also be profiled, both consciously and unconsciously, by those around you. It’s much easier to scrape together some food if you bother to keep yourself reasonably clean and presentable.

5. If you live in an area with a recycling policy, take advantage of it. Finding four aluminum cans can quickly turn itself into a meal. Finding twenty or thirty cans can be a bonanza. States in the United States that offer cash for each returned can include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont; nations with such programs include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

6. Get some exercise. Don’t sit at home and bemoan your situation. Get out and walk around a lot. See what there is to see within walking distance. Not only might you find some opportunities for food, but you’re training your body to process what you do eat more efficiently, and most of all, don’t worry about the caloric loss, because the efficiency you’ll gain will over the long run counterbalance the excess calories you’ll burn.

7. Grow some of your own vegetables. Even when I lived in the city, I would fill up large pots with dirt and use them to grow my own vegetables. Since you’re on a rather restrained diet, foods with plenty of starch are good; try growing potatoes, as they’re heavy in starch and are very easy to grow. Just cut up a single potato into smaller pieces (six will work) and bury them deep in the soil, water them occasionally, and wait. You can find usable dirt and pots in all sorts of places if you keep your eyes open.

8. Time your visits to the grocery store for the times when they re-stock the perishable items. If you time things well and know some people, you can usually get stuff at or near expiration date for free or for a pittance. They often restock milk at two in the morning on Tuesdays near where I lived, for example, and there was a friendly guy who would look away while I grabbed a gallon or two of near-expired milk. I wasn’t alone in doing this.

9. Join a church. Quite often, congregations will have a free meal right after church and then another meal on a weeknight, usually Wednesdays. Even if you’re not a believer, you can get away with two free meals a week. If you attend two churches, you can sometimes score as many as four a week (Sunday breakfast and lunch and two weeknight dinners). I usually felt bad about this, so I would volunteer to do some minor work around the church (cleaning, etc.), but that’s up to you to decide. I might also argue the point that spiritual guidance may also help you in other ways, but I’m advising you on how to eat, not what to believe.

10. Don’t fear the leftovers. Leftovers are your savior. Don’t be afraid to make a large quantity of something and then eat it for three or four days. Also, don’t throw away even small amounts of anything if it’s still edible; you can quite often add it to a stew the next day.

11. Have friends over for a potluck dinner. Make something inexpensive for your dish for the spread. Most of the time, people will leave their leftovers behind, not wanting to deal with them, and you’ll have a wide variety of food that will last for days for the cost of only preparing one dish.

12. Don’t be afraid to swap some odd jobs for a meal. This works well in local restaurants, particularly of the truck stop or greasy thumb variety; it does not work nearly as well at chain restaurants or upscale ones. Just walk in and ask to speak to the manager, and offer to wash some dishes in exchange for a meal. This usually works best if you’re presentable; just explain that you’re really hungry and down on your luck this week. Usually in local restaurants, the manager is related to the owner (or is the owner) and, if you look decent, will usually agree to this trade. I’ve found that truck stops will regularly do this.

13. Ask for leftover bones at a butcher shop. A good excuse is to claim that they’re for your dog. Expect to hear a lot of “no,” but boiling these bones for a long time can provide a good deal of protein, particularly from the marrow.

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How Did The Holidays Get So BIG Christmas is so very LARGE NOW!

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bp103341_1107_giftwrap_xlIt all started with a few simple gifts. Families had a live tree maybe and a few simple gifts. Now if you don’t provide the moon it seems the children are very upset.

I am personally going back to extremely simple.

This year.

My grandson is 3 he is getting a puzzle and a really big box . (The really big box was his entire christmas wish list/ which I just love) I love this so much in fact he may get one gift every year packed in a really big box!

Everyone else is getting a token gift and a small gift card. The token gift cost $20 or under in many cases just $2.00 and is something that they really wanted. The gift cards are almost all to Amazon , Target , or Walmart (Walmart and Target will allow you to put as little as you wish on a gift card) ( I have a lot of $5.00 gift cards)

That’s it I put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving and hung the stockings (That is it for decor) Last week I did add bows to the front door that I made by hand.

 

I am more of what Christmas is supposed to be about  instead of giving gifts.

So this year I am done before I ever get started!

 

In addition I have one on the very naughty list this year so we will see there might be a lump of coal given out as well.

The gift might go to someone in true need!

 

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Cutting Cost At The Holidays

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christmas_treeThis year we moved half way across the country. I had just downsized into a tiny home and then health issues, I mean major health issues hit, so we moved in with my son and daughter in law. I had just given away a ton of my holiday decor and now I have grandchildren to decorate for. My son and daughter in law are just starting out so they had nothing but a tiny really tiny like 12 inch tree. So we scan craigslist and picked up a few items, went  hunting pine cones and sprayed them gold. Stopped at Goodwill after we checked out ideas on pinterest  in addition we stopped at Target with tons of coupons and used the holiday sale (Lots of Ribbon!) (We also used fresh trimmings from the yard) We now have the house decorated!

Food we have been cherry picking the stores for months we stock up on things when they are at rock bottom prices and with so many mouths to feed it has been a blessing today I bought ground beef 93% at $3.99 lb we also have 5 turkeys in the freezers we got 4 of them free with purchases and one 24lb bird that we paid $5.00 for so we will use those as the year 2015 goes on.

I am looking for an exceptional price on Potatoes today I got Ore Ida frozen fries for $1.97 per bag at Harris Teeter that is a great deal so we did as many as we could using all of our VIC cards.

We have stopped eating snacks for the most part. We only eat saltines and jam or fresh fruit right now we are working off of Apples from the Orchard we went to for Halloween we bought two bushels of apples that day for $20.00 we only have about 10 left but after they are gone I will start with the canned pineapple we got free and find a deal on Oranges soon.

I bought eggs last week for .97 a dozen We bought 26 dozen at this price so they will last us awhile.

We eat Eggs or Oatmeal for breakfast, Lunches are leftovers and Dinner I try to find Veggies at low cost in season we eat lots of soups and we watch the lowest stock up prices on meats for dinners.

We drink water and the kids do milk which I try to watch for the very best sales on the Milk.

 

 

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Getting Organized For Thanksgiving

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download (5)If  you have not started to Thaw your bird think Fresh for a Turkey.

Do a trial run this evening if you are going to travel see what pots or pans you need to transport your meal (be very careful with transport of glass)

If you are hosting try pre-making some items, pre-set the table and tidy up the home.

Keep things simple and your celebration should get off without a hitch.

 Prepare Reheatable Side Dishes, Prep Ingredients, Bake Pies Come up with a cooking schedule for the day of Thanksgiving.
Start to make sides that will reheat well, like casseroles or creamed onions. Prep garnishes, toppings, salad greens and stuffing ingredients. Cook soups and let cool before storing in the refrigerator if you didn’t freeze any options in advance. If your stuffing recipe calls for stale bread, cut the bread now and set the cubes on a baking sheet to dry out. You can go ahead and make your pies, especially  Pecan Pie that needs to cool overnight for a natural do-ahead dessert.

Prep the family with clothing for the holidays.

Does the car have enough gasoline?

Prepare to use leftovers as well.

 

Here is a schedule For Turkey day if you are hosting:


Stuff turkey and put in oven at appropriate time (or if you have a roaster oven you can bake the turkey in there leaving your oven for heating up side dishes and baking dinner rolls)

 

Put the giblets in water with a little salt and let those simmer. You can use the broth for gravy and the cooked and chopped giblets can also be added to the gravy

 

Pull out dinner rolls and let them defrost and rise

 

Set the table if you did not do this yesterday

 

Put the mashed potatoes in the crockpot

 

If you have a second crockpot you can put the stuffing in there to warm (if you are not stuffing your turkey.  I always stuff the turkey and have leftover stuffing in a second crockpot)

 

When the turkey has finished cooking, pull it out

 

Put the side dishes in the oven to bake (if you did not bake the turkey in a roaster oven)

 

Bake dinner rolls

 

While the side dishes are heating up and rolls are baking, make gravy

 

Take a deep breath

 

Light candles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Holidays Are Some Tough Times To Stay On Budget

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Turkeys are cheap I generally try to get 6 birds at rock bottom prices.

I use these through out the year instead of buying lunch meat.

We eat real food and this time of year that means

Sweet Potato

Red Potato

Asparagus

Pickles

Beans

Berries

Bananas

2 weeks ago our store had 93% ground beef on sale for 3.49 per pound we bought enough for 26 weeks worth of ground beef.

We always buy rock bottom price and we always buy in very large quantities.

This allows for variety and for the most dollar for our food budget.

Food is not expensive if you eat real food. Eat in season, watch for the sales and budget accordingly

Harris Teeter has great prices this week on beans and dawn dish soap

Ortega Refried Beans – Sale – $1.00
Coupon – $1.00 off when you purchase two – Click here to print!
Total – $.50 each when you purchase two

Dawn Dish Liquid (9 oz.) – Sale – $1.00
Coupon – $.25 off X 2 (doubled) = $.50 off - Click here to print!
Total – $.50

The Bush Beans are also only .68 per can after you coupon from your Sunday paper.

Ace Hardware has 50% off any one item under 30 dollars on Black Friday.

Watch for sales on what you need (What you truly need) Not just what is on sale.

Note ON SALE simply means available for purchase.

 

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What does your everyday cost you?

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From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, until the time you turn in at night equals what you everyday cost you.

I get out of bed and I go to the bathroom- do you turn on the light?

Do you use water?

Do you hop on a treadmill ?

Do you

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Shopping with only cash!

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I spend $100 per week for grocery and household supplies. I start in Jan and if I have cash leftover I roll it into the following week. Several times per year I add $100 for shopping for holiday gifts one of these weeks is right after Valentine this week I have an extra $100

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Save Money EAT REAL FOOD!

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I have started going to the store one time only per week. I buy only real foods. Last week I bought Boneless Chicken Breast $1.78 lbs Blackberries $1.29 for 8 ounces and bananas .29 lb. I went home cooked the chicken breast made some banana bread and put the food in a cooler in

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