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Please Help Me!!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We get approxiomately $325 in food stamps a month. I also get WIC, which gives us all the cow's milk we need, half the eggs, a little cereal, and more juice than I know what to do with!! Complicating the shopping is the fact that we keep Kosher (cheese and meat are more expensive) and follow the Feingold Program (which limits brand choices, eliminating a lot of the cheaper cereals and a lot of the WIC juices.) I'm also allergic to cow's milk so I drink goat's milk (approx $3.50 a quart.)

I'm not quite sure how I did it, but one week after getting my food stamps for the month, I only have $45 left!! This needs to last us until March 7th!!!

Here's what we already have in the house: yeast, flour, olive oil, butter, onions, garlic, cold cereals, oatmeal, white flour (in rubbermaid, no extras in the pantry), whole wheat flour (2 extras in pantry), sugar, brown sugar, canned fruits, peanut butter, brown rice, dry beans, frozen veggies, about 8 eggs, 2 packages of baking yeast, assorted juices, some cheese. We also have about 2 packages of pasta (so I can't make pasta every night unless I buy more.)

I obviously have plenty of food in the house, but I need help figuring out interesting menus to make it last so we don't feel deprived, and figure out the best way to use the rest of this month's food stamps. I really don't have enough cash to buy much food beyond what I can get with the food stamps.
post #2 of 11
Okay, let's break this down into smaller pieces and make some meals plans. You need about 21 of each meal, right? I'm not familiar with Feingold, but do you need to eat more often with that? So, let's see, it sounds like you have some good starters for soups and you could make some wheat bread. Also, some stir frys with the frozen veggies, garlic and rice. Also pancakes or waffles for dinner. You could make a cream sauce and do pasta with the veggies a couple times. Cereal and oatmeal for breakfast. Peanut Butter and fruit for lunch. You could make some cookies with oatmeal for treats.

Those aren't super exciting, but maybe someone can take those ideas and spice them up a bit.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
The Feingold Program eliminates artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and certain preservatives. It also eliminates natural salicylates in "stage 1" and then re-introduces them one at a time during "stage 2." The main difference with Feingold is that I can only buy certain brands of stuff, since forbidden preservatives can be hidden in apparently "healthy" products. This raises the grocery bill because apple juice isn't allowed (and for some strange reason, pear juice is only sold in smaller, more expensive bottles) and the "cheap" cold cereals aren't approved (like store brand corn flakes.)
post #4 of 11
I've used canned fruits to make a sheet pie. Just toss the drained fruit with some flour or cornstarch and sugar (about 1/8 c. per can of fruit or to taste) like you would for any pie, and bake between two pie crusts laid on a cookie sheet or in a square brownie pan for a small one. After baking cut it into squares.

I use rice to make a baked dish my family really likes - no recipe, just throw together about 2c. cooked rice, diced meat (or tuna if you can have that), a couple eggs and some grated cheese, maybe some onion too if you like it. I put it into a greased pie pan and bake at 350 it til the center begins to bubble and the whole top is deep golden brown.

Hmm, looks like you could make a pizza crust... you could do a garlic sauce too if tomatoes aren't allowed on your diet, and top with some veggies, maybe some meat and a bit of cheese.

Since you have extras of flour on hand, maybe make up some peanut butter cookies as treats, as well as oatmeal.

For lunches, you could do up some pasties stuffed with a mixture of diced meat cooked with onion & garlic, toss in some veggies, or rice & beans, maybe a little cheese... If you do a big batch at once you can freeze them and pull them out as you need them. This can work with pie crust or yeast bread dough - I've done them both ways. A quicker way to do a similar thing is to use store-bought tortillas, warm them, add the filling and roll into a burrito - those freeze well too.

post #5 of 11
Ruth - WIC in our state covers kosher cheese. I think it is a gov't rule that they have to provide for special diets (such as keeping kosher). I'd be willing to bet in NY it is the same and that there are quite a few people in NY that have been down that road. Doesn't help you with menus, but might help you to stretch your food $ farther.
post #6 of 11
Ruth--I could have sworn I'd already posted this to you, but I don't see it so here it is again. If you want something different to do with peanut butter, you can make a yummy Thai sauce for noodles, pasta, rice, etc. I actually make it with other nut butters or sunflower seed butter since DS doesn't eat peanut butter yet. Either way it is good.

1/4 cup nut butter
1 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
2 T safflower or other oil
1/2 cup stock, hot water, or coconut milk (when I use coconut milk i usually just throw in the whole can and then have some for leftovers..it's so rich and yummy!)
red chili pepper flakes to taste
1 T brown sugar or other sweetener
2 cloves minced garlic

Combine all ingred. in saucepan. Whisk over med. low heat til blended well. Serve over rice, noodles, or pasta with sauteed or steamed veggies (I use broccoli a lot). SO GOOD!

The other nice thing about this recipe is that it is so flexible. You can add more or less of just about any of the ingredients to taste. Sometimes i add more nut butter if I am using coconut milk. Sometimes less garlic if I'm not in the mood for a real garlicky flavor. The orig. recipe also calls for a half cup of chopped tomatoes but I rarely use them.

HTH some!
post #7 of 11
This probably won't help, but does your store sell powdered goat's milk? Ours does, and it's significantly cheaper than buying it in the refrigerated section. Maybe that can help stretch out your food budget a little. Are you able to grow your own veggies at all? Even if it's indoors? Beans grow decently inside and, though they may not be as hearty as outdoor beans, it's better than nothing. Same with indoor herbs. Hmm, what else...? I know Kellogg's corn flakes are covered on WIC, same with Life cereal and Quaker oat squares and Cheerios. Are any of these on the Feingold diet? Does EVERYONE need the Feingold diet or only one of your children? Or is it just a preference instead of a necessity? I'm assuming it's a need, and even if it's a preference, it's a good choice; I just wonder if there's not a few places you can tweak here and there to stretch your food budget a little bit, since every little bit helps! Anyway, you can make omelets with leftover veggies (or none at all) and stretch them our with water instead of milk. Try upping everyone's healthy fat intake; it'll help you feel satieted longer. DH and I make fruit pancakes when we're low on cash and still need to eat. Use some canned fruit, cut into pieces, and mix it in with homemade pancake batter. Our ds gobbles it up each and every time we make it. And you can freeze leftovers and pop them in the toaster when you need a fast meal. Maybe make some whole wheat rolls or bread for dipping into soups or stews, with a little butter on the bread or cheese on the side.

I know I'm a couple days late in writing this but I thought I'd offer anything I could think of anyway. We struggled financially for a good three years before things started looking up for us. One meal I'd make a lot of is lasagna; leftovers freeze well, it's incredibly filling, and everyone likes it. Anyway, good luck, I hope things are looking better!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, a couple of responses:

1) of the grocery stores in the area that carry kosher cheese, none of them accept WIC. So, even if WIC would pay for kosher cheese (which they did when I lived in Baltimore) there aren't any stores I could use it in!!! Since I only have one family member on WIC, we use up all the milk they give us, so its not a big deal. When I had 2 girls on WIC, it was more milk than we could possibly drink so getting the cheese was important.

2) I do get powdered goat's milk, but it's not much cheaper than buying fresh goat's milk (9.59 for a can that makes 3 quarts vs $3.50 a quart fresh) I buy it for back-up when I can't get to the grocery store, but if I'm paying the same price, I prefer to buy the least processed milk I can find.

I just need to actually sit down and plan my meals- which I haven't been doing.
post #9 of 11
Does Trader Joe's take WIC? By me TJ's has a mozzarella cheese that is OU and Tillamook kosher cheddar cheese that has a hechsher that even my parents who are VERY frum accept. Even if TJ's doesn't take WIC, these cheeses tend to be much cheaper than buying Miller's in the local ShopRite.
post #10 of 11

Here is a few more...

I understand completly what you are going through...We live on about 120.00 a month and that is for 2 people and 5 cats needs...And we also follow the Feingold program...These are the things I would make with what you have listed along with some of the other great suggestions I saw....

Veggie Stir fry with Fried Rice
Plain or Fruit pancakes with hm syrup
Omlettes with leftover veggies and a little cheese
Pasta with butter and spices
Hm biscuits with hm white gravey spiced with pepper
Grilled Peanut Butter sandwiches...My son loves these..
Hm refried bean and cheese on Hm tortillas and a little rice..
Hm Macaroni and cheese
Hm pizza with veggies and cheese

What kind of dried beans do you have? Lots of possibilites with different kinds...

For breakfast I would make...

Crustless Quiche with veggies,onions and cheese inside.
Eggs and toast
Fruit Muffins
Oatmeal/Milk and toast.

For snacks I would make...

Flour free peanut butter cookies(I've got a great recipe).
Hm Fruit juice popcicles(use the juice from your canned fruit...I can get 5 popcicles out of the juice from a can of pinapple).

Fruit cobbler

For lunches I would...

Use as much leftovers as they will eat...
Peanut butter sandwiches

I completly understand the bind you are in...They took my foodstamps a couple months ago and now I have to be more frugall then I have ever been in my life...I really sucks doesn't it????? Love Mylie xx
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Lil'M
Does Trader Joe's take WIC? By me TJ's has a mozzarella cheese that is OU and Tillamook kosher cheddar cheese that has a hechsher that even my parents who are VERY frum accept. Even if TJ's doesn't take WIC, these cheeses tend to be much cheaper than buying Miller's in the local ShopRite.
Nope, TJ's doesn't take WIC. The TJ's by me has the Tillamook cheddar but not the kosher mozzarella, and the Tillamook is the same price in TJ's that it is in Fairway, where I can get just about everything else I need (and is walking distance from the house we're moving to in July!!!)

I should probably call the office at Fairway and see if they might start taking WIC- then I'd be able to do all my shopping at one store.
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