2014 Low Income Support Thread - Page 21 - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > 2014 Low Income Support Thread
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 07:06 PM 06-13-2014
justmama, Im glad the food pantry treated you well. Dont feel embarassed, you are moving towards getting off assistance slowly but surely. Pantries around here are hit or miss but I heard of one in our area Im thinking of trying out soon. Well, hoping I dont need to but I like to know my options.

Took kids to the free splash park one town over. Looked into picking berries but they werent ripe yet. Now its bbq time, we had most of it here waiting for a sunny day. Next up maybe a netfix movie or two!

sdelgadillo389's Avatar sdelgadillo389 08:37 PM 06-13-2014
Yesterday I finally got my judgement in the mail, as of 7/29 I will be officially divorced! I also have full legal and physical custody of my son, it also states that my xh can't introduce his gf to our son without my permission, I talked to my attorney about my xh visitations, she said since I have the whole significant other can't meet my son without my permission I have the right to refuse his overnight visitations. My attorney also said it would take about 30 to 45 days for the modification to go through and to get a hearing, I really want supervised visitations because I'm afraid my xh will take my son to Mexico or Canada where is mother has houses that she has offered him. Xh has also threatened to come take him.

~Full legal and physical custody of my little man
~Pay day was today!
~Have 2 bday parties to go to tomorrow after work
~Roof over our heads and food in the fridge
crazyms's Avatar crazyms 12:56 PM 06-14-2014
Whoa! He's threatened to kidnap your kid and has access to houses out of the country?! Have you told your lawyer about that? I would think that would be immediate grounds for supervised visitation only! I hope the best for you mama I know how scary that can be. When my parents divorced my dad tried to kidnap my younger brother and sister.

Still here and making it. Things have been erratic at home for a while but I'll try to catch up soon. Loving the new house and garden and chickens. It's all been keeping me pretty busy getting settled in. I'm still hoping DH can get the 14/7 schedule soon so we can have more income. I lost my job last week so we really need it now. He's going to talk to his boss about a transfer to a 14/7 schedule next week when he goes back in since they haven't changed his slip yet. *fingers crossed*
justmama's Avatar justmama 01:20 PM 06-15-2014

-a free trip to the *oo(ya know, that place with all the animals??) Lol. Stupid keyboard.

-homemade pi**a in the oven right now. My parents are coming over for dinner.

-it's a GORGEOUS day today. Like 80 and sunny. Nice bree*e.

-the bills are miraculously all paid this month. I honestly have no idea how. But it happened.

-I had a nice long sleep last night and I feel so much better. I'd been running on empty for days. Sleep and a sunny day was all I needed to feel great.
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 01:54 PM 06-15-2014
Gratefuls: went grocery shopping and stocked up. thank you fs
bills on hold another week
found some more yarn and working on a project today.
I was finally contacted by the neuro department and I have an appt in July for my mirror writing. I dont have any expectations but at least I have an appointment (and state insurance to cover it)

yuckies- no $$ until the end of the month. I have under $40 to my name. This is not good. Not good at all.
No word from SSI
follow up appt tomorrow with nasty cranky nurse practioner at psych clinic. I need to figure out how to either chance clinics all together or get to the doc cuz this lady just does not get things like ohhhhh - panic, anxiety etc.
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 04:35 PM 06-15-2014
I need to meal plan again. Ds is eating everything in sight.
Sunday- dinner DS hamburger helper and green beans, brownies
Dinner mom - salad and green beans
snack- popcorn

Monday(monday is tough, ds has class and I have a meeting so dinner is packed)
Lunch- sandwiches for ds and fruit
dinner ds sandwich, popcorn, fruit, candy (treat for school)

lunch- sandwich ds? popcorn, fruit
mom- amys GF lasagana
dinner- chicken, rice, veggies

lunch - left over dinner
dinner- ds has class and i have yarn club

lunch-GF pizza
dinner GF spaghetti and homemade bread


I have no idea here...i just went to the store, we are stocked but 2 nights a week we are gone and that messes things up. i can't afford to do this on the fly anymore.. i need a plan.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 10:40 PM 06-15-2014
zebra, can you add some more protein into ds diet to keep him full? Hardboiled eggs, bean burritos or beans and rice, and pregrilled chicken are cheaper options.

Im trying to brainstorm what to stock up on with hubbys attendance bonus. Its around 300 dollars. So far Im thinking cat food and litter and butter (we found a great deal if we buy it in bulk). That would be around 100 dollars. We are good on cleaning supplies, though Im considering an extra box of dish tavs from costco. We are good on soap and deoderant but maybe stocking up on toothpaste would be a good idea. Even adding those items wouldnt be more than thirty dollars. Baking supplies? Meat? But then how to divide meat up as a stockpile item? The months august and september look like they will be in the tightest for us so Id really like to utilize this best I can.
Wolfcat's Avatar Wolfcat 10:13 AM 06-16-2014
zebra, you could do homemade pizzas. I make a pizza dough, divide it up into mini pizzas, put about a 1 tbls of pasta sauce on it, top with whatever (the kids love pineapple and ham, mixed veggies, chicken and broccoli, or chicken & bacon with alfredo sauce), sprinkle a bit of mozzarella on top and bake at 500 deg for about 5 min (until the cheese is as golden/brown as you like it). You can make them ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap or freezer paper, and freeze - let thaw and bake as normal. The cost for each is only a few dollars (mostly cuz of the cheese), and by switching up the toppings you get a lot of variety.
You can use the same dough recipe to make calzones, hot pockets (ham, cheddar and broccoli are my kids' favs), or runzas (cabbage, ground beef and very little mozza or swiss cheese).

happyhats, if you want to save and divide meats and other foods, you could try canning them. I got a pressure canner/cooker for the holidays this last year - best investment ever. I can everything.
We get meat in bulk (4-6 13-20 lbs chunks) for about $2.50/lbs, so we got a meat grinder and we trim, marinade, smoke or grind, etc. each chunk at a time. I can whatever we don't eat in a few days and we use that for quick meals, lunch-at-work, etc. I do the same with leftover turkey and stock - a handful of turkey, some celery, stock and can it. It makes a great base for soups.
You can also use it for steaming/pressure cooking veggies and rice. Since I can get veggies on sale during the year, I can what we don't use right away and we don't have to pay off-season prices.
This is the one I got and I love it. This is the one I got and I love it.

justmama's Avatar justmama 12:49 PM 06-16-2014
Ugh. I just got a denial letter from child care assistance after my program coordinator SWORE UP AND DOWN that they are approved for that and I'll definitely get daycare assistance. I'm feeling so frustrated and low right now. I can't continue in the program if I don't get it sorted out because on Thursday my kids will be out of school and needing full time care. That's almost $600 a week in daycare. I don't have a job. And I quit mine to do this class!!!! WTF am I going to do???? And of course the phone just keeps ringing and ringing at child care assistance office. No one wants to answer.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 01:06 PM 06-16-2014
oooh justmama. thats it. Im moving closer so I can babysit! How old is your oldest. Could she sit if you could find someone in the complex to keep an eye on them? Or is tgere any kind of summer school program? Can you go into the office and wait for a meeting?

I found another thing on my stockup list- toilet paper. Were good now but I know we wouldnt need any until our next stock up if I get it now. In Oct my husband gets an extra check (he does in july too but were paying off some bills and putting the rest in savings). I may get some extra meat so I can put money aside for sale items. And Im considering cream so we can make some ice cream a couple times, thats always fun!
frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 03:22 PM 06-16-2014
Justmama - hoping it's something like they had to deny you from program x so they would cover it under program z. I agree - can you go to the office & talk with someone? I wish I were closer - I would babysit. If not, I'd look into summer programs, YMCA daycare, etc - anything you can think of. Talk with your school - maybe they can help. Worst case scenario I would leave the kids home alone while you go to class, and call & check in every hour or so if you can. I think you said your oldest is 13, right? That would be old enough to leave home alone to watch her siblings I think, baring any personal issues. Especially if you left meals that could just be eaten cold or heated in a microwave.

Zebra - I agree with Happyhats, I would add in more protein to keep your ds fuller longer. Would trail mix work for class days? With nuts & fruit, it is a pretty balanced meal & can be made GF.

I am having a pretty good day so far. Sold a bunch of books - going towards the taxes. And it's freeing up space in my house! I think if I can sell our Sonlight stuff from this year, and have a garage sale I will have enough to pay them in full hopefully by mid-August. Got a email they increased my credit line on my Credit card - now I can use it to pick up more stuff to sell on ebay. Got a settlement check from a class action I was part of - only $16 but it will pay for a little pool for the kiddos to play in. And I found out the bus company is doing events Thursday & Friday as part of Dump the Pump days, and they will have the spinner wheel for prizes. Last year I won 2 free monthly bus passes - hoping I can win some again.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 08:24 PM 06-16-2014
my mom bought my dd some kindergarten workbooks. She has done almost the entire dry erase one and even my son jumped in. Im thinking we will try to do a pave or two a day of the other.

my fridge looks bare but we have food to last the week and have had very little food waste.

The bad news- Im just so burnt out and frazzled between worrying about finances and my high needs three year old. No break in sight.

Im worried about being able to adewuately fill the fridge and stay on budget frifay. Im pretty sure I can do some creative math but Im tiredof creative math.

We have been spending too much on gas but staying in town negates the grocery savings and lately the only thing daving my sanity is our cheap/free outings
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 03:24 PM 06-17-2014
Well so far the meal planning is going fair, we are eating from the plan just not in any particular order. We are GF/DF so that makes things tricky.
We had pizza for lunch today (no leftovers) DS had a smoothie.
Dinner is leftovers. (chicken and green beans, sandwich etc)

tomorrow is pasta

Changed some light bulbs today, im expecting more to blow soon, things like that tend to go in batches around here.

I want to finish some yarn projects but i just can not seem to focus.

laundry and dishes are going right now. more laundry later.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 05:04 PM 06-17-2014
Ive been feeling really emotionally cruddy lately so I decided to try to pull myself out of the rut a bit by deep cleaning the house and pucking some wildflowers from out back. Later on I think I want to bake some cookies, and hopefully set some aside for a family friend.
justmama's Avatar justmama 07:32 PM 06-17-2014
She's going to be 14 next month but I'm not sure I'm comfortable leaving the little two with her from 7am until 2pm. She would be okay home alone since it's only a month but keeping the young ones with her? Yeah. No. She could barely handle them for the hour between me going to work and my ex picking them up. I spoke to child care assistance today and apparently even though my class is approved for a certain program for daycare though the dept of labor and training, you need a letter from them before you start the class to be approved. The women who got me into the class didn't tell me that(I don't think they know as it's a VERY new program). So I may be totally screwed. I'm going to talk to them tomorrow morning and I have a meeting with my social worker so I'll ask her as well. I guess worst case scenario, we BEG my mom to keep the kids and pay her a small amt and send all their food, etc. It's only another month. I can't get them into the Y because it's $30 a month to be a member and it would be about $500 a week for them for full time care. NOT affordable. The camp program through the rec dept is full now since I've been waiting about a month for daycare assistance to finish my application. There's no more options that I'm aware of. Unless there's some cra*y change in my life, this is it. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish unless my mom takes pity on me.

Gratefuls(there's always something):

-I painted my nails orange and it makes me smile whenever I see it because it's my favorite color.

-food situation is going VERY well. The food pantry supplies are still pretty abundant. It makes me feel really grateful.

-There's a brand new baby downstairs and she's so stinkin adorable. I was asked for some mom advice since they are first time parents and that felt nice that I had advice to give.

-I was able to pull together the supplies for fudge for the teachers and I had my oldest make some origami boxes to put them in. At least we've got a little tiny something for the teachers who've been so great this year.

-The stress headache I've had all day is finally fading out. Blessedly, thankfully, fading.

-my parents gave me a large bouquet of peonies and sara mtn laurel from their yard for father's day when they came over and they smell incredible. I'm blessed that they understand how hard being a single mama really is and do little things like give me flowers on father's day.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 11:23 PM 06-17-2014
I know you hate putting your parents out, justmama, but its only a month. Would it be easier for your mom to sit for you at your apt? Then they would probably spend most time outside anyway.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 11:35 PM 06-17-2014
oop. Hit reply too soon. Meanwhile hubby is considering a second job. I know that sounds great in theory but we barely get to spend time together as it is, and hes already burnt oyt as it is. Id rather stick to our budget and chip away at debt. We will see. He also has a lead on a different full time job at amtrak which could be awesome.

Ive been hanging up the laundry consistently and keeping the ac under control. Ive also been tons better about food waste. Im hoping we can widdle down the electric bill a bit and get the groceries under control. My sister is having a yardsale sat so Im rooting around for a few things to go in. I dont have a lot but I can turn it around into yardsaling money for myself!

Other gratefuls- wildflower bouquets on my end tables, pumpkin brownies and cream cheese icing from scratch, and the next door neighbor gave my daughter some wonderful condition name brand shoes!
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 12:39 PM 06-18-2014
I'm here again. In a brain fog, getting ready to put together my monthly pity email for money.

Gratefuls: going to yarnclub tonight, going to be around people who 'understand' things
have yarn, always have yarn
almost done with this BS in my life that i can not talk about(4 weeks left)
did laundry yesterday, sheets are clean, clothes are done. whoohoo!!
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 03:18 PM 06-18-2014
I hope things get taken care of zebra. I was able to scan ads and write up a grocery list for the next two weeks that isnt awful. I think we will be able to stick comfortably to our reduced budget with planning. And not eat grewl, yay! In other news I got a couple dresses from an online site called liketwice and really love them. And my hubby gave me a much too expensive gift for our anniversary tomorrow.

My dad should be here soon to pick up some things for the yardsale.
crazyms's Avatar crazyms 02:24 AM 06-19-2014
Oh justmama I hope you can figure something out!

Things are ticking along here. I've put us on a pretty much spending freeze since I lost my job and with dh's check today I figured up the bills again and it looks like we might actually be ok. Maybe I was stressing a little more than I should about losing my job. I guess it actually wasn't bringing anything home since we still seem to have as much money as we did a few weeks ago with me working. That makes me feel better stress wise now but boy it sucks to think how much stress that job was causing me to see now that it wasn't worth it to begin with *sigh*. Dh is going to talk to his boss this coming up week about a transfer to a 14/7 slip since the schedule change still hasn't happened in his current one. I'm hoping that he can get it because the extra money would be great. We're managing for now though. I'm going to be paying off some of the smaller debts and putting a little in savings the next couple of weeks so I can relax a little more. I'm just so tired of living life in limbo and really wish he could get more income so we can actually accomplish something.

Being ok financially right now even if it is just *ok*
Garden is just starting to some produce and the chickens are giving plenty of eggs
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 10:22 AM 06-19-2014
well we decided to cabash a big shopping trip to the city since its been eating gas up and hubby has to go again next week for a dr appt and then again the next week after that he gets his bonus check and we do our monthly stock up. So aldi and a local grocery store for me! What I was saving in groceries I will make up in gas. Im looking forward to once a month shopping! Tomorrow hubby hasphysical therapy for his ankle and our apt complex has some maintence to do so we are hitting the library and the free splash pad/park.
Wolfcat's Avatar Wolfcat 10:58 AM 06-19-2014
Back and forth:

Bad - got denied for insurance (medicaid) because we "failed to turn in paperwork" (we turned it in within a week of getting the notice, but the mail is slow around here).

Good - got married yesterday, so we are all getting on DH's insurance *blows raspberry at medicaid*

Bad - barely scraped by on money this last week

Good - we should be fine for money this week and more or less going forward

Bad - electric bill was almost $200 this month (turns out DH didn't vent the dryer to the outside this spring)

Good - we should be able to get the bill down for next month by line-drying

Bad - today is baking day, so hot and hard work all day

Good - baking is for the farmer's market this weekend, so I hope they'll buy my bread!

Bad - I have to drive 80 miles on Friday to pick up our bountiful baskets order

Good - fresh produce for cheap!

Bad - I need more canning jars

Good - they are pretty cheap at the dollar store
frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 12:12 PM 06-19-2014
Wanted to share this here with the rest of y'all. SavingStar is expanding in July to add in Walmart, Target, Walgreens and a bunch of other stores. For those not familar with it, it's kind of like a rebate site, except it's automatic. Buy item X, get $0.xx in your account. You can cash out at $5, so it's pretty easy. Cashout is to your paypal, direct deposit, or amazon GC. And they do a Healthy Offer of the week {normally 20% back} and a Friday Freebie where you get 100% back. And you can buy with SNAP {or even WIC I think, on the produce offers}, and still get the cash back.

Still here, still chugging along. Got the taxes down to $290 that we still owe after paying what I have saved, and I'm working hard to try to make it. Won't have it by the end of the month I don't think, but definately by August. So still going to have to do a payment plan since the cut-off is in a week.

Working on some new projects to hopefully bring in a little income. Going to fix my sewing machine & start making American Girl sized stuff to sell / swap using fabric I have already. And I'm working on an e-book to sell on Amazon too.

Wolfcat - Congrats on getting married! Have you considered training to open a Bountiful Basket site closer to you? 80 miles is a lot. I miss getting BB though - we loved it, but with them not taking SNAP it just wasn't fitting in our budget.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 07:58 PM 06-19-2014
congrats wolfcat! Grocery shopping done. Stressful and disappointing, but you all understand that. I do have a lot to be grateful for though.

I helped my neighbor in with commodities and in return she gave us a bag of overripe bananas, dried beans, pb, raisins and juice.

And my sister gave me a lg zuchinni and garden fresh lettuce from a friend.

Having a night alone with hubby. Making chicken parm out of the pantry and paresan zuchinni bites. Watching a movie on our que and/or listening to music on pandora. We did splurge on a six dollar bottle of pomegranate zifandel lol. I bought the kids a pizza and juice boxes to take to the neighbors with a movie.

Hopefully hubby and I will have a few more childfree days in the next few weeks. Next fri he has an early dr appt so Im hoping I have a babysitter to sit here while kids sleep. We are going to an art sculpture park or art museum if its too hot (both free). And the next weekend after that we are doing a huge all day grocery shop so Im hoping kids can stay with my parents.

Tomorrow were off to the library, the free splash park and a picnic in the park. Hubby already has to go into town for a dr appointment.
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 10:45 PM 06-19-2014
Kiddo has eye exam and new glasses tomorrow, thank you state insurance,. I will have to pay the difference between ins and what DS picks out and some upgrades but its better than the full amount. I need glasses and am going on saturday for myself. thats all mine to pay... ouch. but the place has b1g1free so i can get 2 pairs, which is good because wearing the same pair all day every day is boring lol.

i have to grocery shop this weekend, not looking forward to that.

i want to buy yarn, no $$ for yarn yet. ugh.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 12:31 AM 06-20-2014
Just found out the u pick blueberries are ready. Decisions decisions. On one hand its a once a year opportunity to stock up on organic berries at an amazing price. But I feel so guilty for doing anything lately. Bah gah.
justmama's Avatar justmama 01:53 PM 06-20-2014
Congrats wolfcat!!!

*sigh* I'm trying to get the childcare sorted out so I can stay in my program but it's not easy. I'm crossing my fingers right now.

And my best friend just got admitted to our local psych hospital on a "72 hour vacation" as we put it. For those out of the mental illness loop, she's on a 72 hour psych hold for suicidal ideation. Her bipolar has become increasingly difficult to manage and she finally listened to me and went to the ER last night. They held her overnight and transferred her to the psych place an hour ago. I'm crossing my fingers that it's only 72 hours but knowing her med compliance history, she'll be more like 5 days or so. So I may have to pick up the slack with her kids since her autistic daughter needs that stability that she has with her mom or me. Right now they are with family but if I had to guess, i'll have them by tomorrow. And I'm worried for my friend. She could use some help and good news right now.

I'm juggling some bills right now that may or may not get paid. Good news is that my rent dropped quite a bit since my income is low while I'm in this class. I'm hoping to get the cell phone bill paid but at least I paid the shut-off notice.

I have plans tonight and then I'll be going to a church tomorrow for toiletries and such. I have been really broke for the last week or two now that I've been out of work for almost 4 weeks. It's hard. I don't like accepting so much help.

And the best news. Happyhats will be thrilled with me but I finally did what I needed to do and got into my doctor yesterday and got back on my meds. It's hopefully going to stick this time. I know I can't really go off them again. Ever. Even my doctor said, "I don't think you'll ever really be completely off them so you need to get used to it." So I'm' not feeling relief yet but I know I will in a month or two and that light at the end of the tunnel is helpful.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 03:25 AM 06-21-2014
oh justmama, heres some huge virtual hugs. Im very thrilled. And please this is no different than any other illness so no shame, okay? And you are such a great friend, remember the universe works in a circle. You getting help, you giving help.

Today was a thrifty fail in a couple ways but overall lovely. Ive got eight cups of organic blueberries in my freezer for ten bucks. Hard hot work but very rewarding. Plus the library and the splash park!
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 12:04 PM 06-21-2014
I was looking into some work at home opportunities but Im not getting a lot of luck. I think stretching the dollar is more my skill set. However Im going to apply to a company called leapforce, and have hubby apply for there and mturk. Its all work as desired so he can pop on for a few mins here and there while drinking morning coffee or Im doing some work with the kids. Hes bilingual (spanish) and much more computer savvy. I made at least twenty dollars on the family yardsale though. Im going to see about walking a doggie in our apt complex for extra cash too, but hes huge and likes to run so Im going to have my other neighbor "train" me a bit first. (both of these neighbors have mobility problems and have service dogs). Someone on freecycle was offering a large box of pantry goods that Im picking up this week too. Small steps, right?
justmama's Avatar justmama 03:10 PM 06-21-2014
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
Kiddo has eye exam and new glasses tomorrow, thank you state insurance,. I will have to pay the difference between ins and what DS picks out and some upgrades but its better than the full amount. I need glasses and am going on saturday for myself. thats all mine to pay... ouch. but the place has b1g1free so i can get 2 pairs, which is good because wearing the same pair all day every day is boring lol.

i have to grocery shop this weekend, not looking forward to that.

i want to buy yarn, no $$ for yarn yet. ugh.
did you try *ennioptical.com? We've ordered from them twice and my mom has ordered once and we've been thrilled all times with the quality and the price is incredible. I got a pair for my oldest for $14.95 SHIPPED. It's not really cheaper for us since we don't pay for glasses(only a few frames to choose from) but they didn't have anything she loved. Since she wears glasses full-time, it was worth the $15 to have her thrilled with her glasses for a year.

Originally Posted by happyhats View Post
oh justmama, heres some huge virtual hugs. Im very thrilled. And please this is no different than any other illness so no shame, okay? And you are such a great friend, remember the universe works in a circle. You getting help, you giving help.

Today was a thrifty fail in a couple ways but overall lovely. Ive got eight cups of organic blueberries in my freezer for ten bucks. Hard hot work but very rewarding. Plus the library and the splash park!
dude, organic blueberries for $10 is fantastic! Thrifty fail for the day or not, that's a great deal. And it sounds delish.


-went out last night with a friend and had a GREAT time. I didn't have to pay for dinner which was nice.

-I had a terrible night's sleep last night and was up early so I'm really grateful for a full day of chilling in the house knitting and watching tv and hanging out doing some small chores.

-my mom found 2 pairs of shorts for the littlest girl for the summer at a yard sale today. It wasn't necessary since she has skirts and dresses but she's more into shorts and of course only has one pair. So this was nice.
Tags: Frugality , Finances
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