Originally Posted by Satori
Those were choices your mother made though, I get more then enough food stamps, even if they killed our FS today we would still be able to eat well for at least a month becasue through frugal shopping of nutritious basic food staples we have a nice pantry. Look at my sig, I don't buy any foods containing that stuff so I'm not buying cheap crap food. I shop sales and use coupons. So far this month I have spent $224 in FS and saved $215, so that's $439 worth of food and I still have half my FS and were stocked for about 3-4 months on Cereal, lean ground turkey (we don't eat beef), boneless, skinless chicken breasts, no added crap lunch meat, tons of various spices, and the ever useful beans and rice. That's just what I bought in the past 2 days or so since I got this months FS, now imagine that kind of stocking EVERY MONTH! It starts leading to a very nice pantry to keep us well fed and happy.
Now there are free programs that will weatherize your home so you don't have the drafts and you can stay warm, there's help to pay your utilities. If your living outside your means then yes, you will be miserable but if you live within your means you will be fine. After I pay rent, gas, electric, phone and internet I have $16 left over which isn't much but its enough to get what ever else I need for the month. I also get money for school which pays my car payment and insurance (I bought the car new 4 years ago, long before I needed aid and it has a very low payment) and any extras we need most of the time (its gonna be tight until Feb though becasue I have to use 1/2 of next months PEL disbursement to replace my ancient computer but we won't be cold or hungry)
I can't remember what else you wrote about but the way you grew up had less to do with the fact you grew up on welfare and more to do with your mother making bad choices in how she raised her family.
No, that's not true.
My mom bought rice, beans, flour, etc. She cooked everything from scratch. Every single thing. She ate very healthfully and purchased only basics. She gardened. She never bought any packaged foods. Not ever. Food stamps simply did not cover the food needs. Public aid simply was not enough money to live on. Had we had supplemental income, it would have been a different story.
My mother did use weatherization programs, every year, and did a lot of the labor herself to stretch the funds. But you only get so much in annual eligibility, and it was never enough to take care of the weatherization problems the Section 8 eligible rentals had.
It really wasn't about the choices she made other than the choice to rely 100% on public aid. She received AFDC (which I think was phased out and replaced by TANF, right?), foodstamps, WIC, Section 8, medicaid, fuel assistance, and weatherization assistance. Probably other stuff.
Anyway, she homebirthed, lived very naturally, cooked from scratched, sewed, homeschooled, no plastic toys, breastfed, etc, lived pretty darn frugally and simply in every possible way except she never made any money and lived soley on public assistance for the entire time her children were at home. Everything we owned was from a thrift store. The money wasn't mismanaged. It simply wasn't enough.
Actually, I think the reason my mother used public assistance was because she wanted to be at home with her children, but also because she wanted to breastfeed, homeschool, garden, sew, cook from scratch, can things, etc. If she had worked, she would not have had the time to do that. She knew that and said it at the time, and says it to this day.
Sometimes there is an assumption that most welfare mothers (certainly in my mother's generation) didn't live frugally, or didn't cook from scratch, or garden, or breastfeed and save on formula costs. My mother was very much a hippie and home birthed, breastfed, co-slept, gardened, cooked from scratch, and by nature lived very simply and very frugally.
She just tried to do it on public aid, and it wasn't enough money to live above poverty level.
It probably would have been a pretty good life, actually, with a little more money so that we weren't poverty level. We needed more than what public aid provided.