Is it possible to be extremely frugal on meals when unemployed? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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So, here is the story. DBF lost his job in October and wasn't eligible for unemployment due to him being a new hire (he was there for 6 months) We have been relying on our savings accounts for groceries. Now, we have nothing in our savings. Last month, we relied on my financial aid money to pay for groceries (which was about $40-50 a week). I got another payment for my financial aid but due to me being on a payment plan for school, it is only enough to pay for school with about $10 left. I receive monthly payments but it varies on how much. Anyways, DBF hasn't had one interview yet but he has been studying up for the ASVAB to join the military. My divorce (that has been extended over and over again for the past three years) is going to be finalized this month and then DBF can attempt to join the military. But, it has been rough these past few months especially around the holidays.


Anyways, question it possible to make meals everyday for the next month with what I got in the cupboard/freezer?


We got frozen "artificial" stuff and some staples like sugar, flour, pasta, salt, spices, etc etc. I have been on a low-carbish/primal diet but it is hard when the cheapest stuff that is available is well...crap for the body. DS has been eating fish sticks and chicken nuggets for the past few days and it kills me because it is so unhealthy..but it's all i can afford and all that he will eat. greensad.gif  I will apply for WIC if I have to but...they gave me hard time when I was pregnant. I don't need anymore stress than it already is. I can't apply for food stamps because we are not living under our own roof. We are living with DBF's dad (which we are SO grateful for at the moment...)

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#2 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 07:44 AM
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I would apply for wic.


Staples like dry beans, peanut butter, bananas, potatoes, and eggs are usually pretty cheap.


I generally find that artificial type foods are more expensive.  Instead of cheap chicken nuggets, I would try for a whole chicken (99c/lb here) or leg quarters (78C/lb).  Plus you can boil the bones for a delicious stock.


Save your vegetable peelings for stock.


I know corn isn't so popular, but if you get a good price on cornmeal, a little bit makes a lot of grits/mush/polenta.


If you can get some bulk yeast, you can make your own bread for cheap.  I like the artisan bread in 5 min a day recipe.  You can find it online.  Or maybe something like tortillas that don't need yeast?


Look for a good coupon blog in your area.  They'll match up coupons with sales and you can get some really cheap or even free items sometimes.  You can print coupons even if you don't have access to the Sunday paper inserts.


Check the clearance rack.  I can frequently find decent produce for 39c/lb.  It helps to talk to someone who works there to see when they stock it.  Not all stores have good sales on this, just one of my 3 main groceries has it cheap like this.


If you list your pantry/freezer inventory, you may get specific ideas. 

If you have a bit of soy sauce, dry ginger, red pepper flakes, peanut butter, carrots, and onions, you could mix it with your pasta for a really good thai pasta. 

You could cut up the chicken nuggets and mix them with pasta or rice and an egg or two.  Add some onion or garlic powder for seasoning. 


You'll have to wait till it's warmer, but then you could try foraging and gardening (not that hard to find cheap or free seeds).

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#3 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 08:46 AM
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Processed food is way expensive. We make our own bread and always cook from scratch. I have gotten good at knowing which store has the best eggs I can afford and which one has the cheapest bulk items. I shop at two to four stores a week and it takes some research but I get the best deals on everything. We eat smaller portions of meat so if I buy a steak it gets cut into three pieces and frozen for three different meals. I usually have something in the freezer that is an easy meal, pasta sauce, soup for on my tired days. Wic is good cause you get some staples. Good luck.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 11:34 AM
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Check the local food banks both you and DBF will qualify around here you can go 2 times a month.  That will help and for sure food stamps.


Good luck if you attend a church talk to them.  If you have a 211 # in your area try them for help.



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#5 of 6 Old 02-11-2013, 11:01 PM
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Apply for WIC! The food they provide has been a real lifesaver for us some months.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#6 of 6 Old 02-12-2013, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies ladies! DBF got a job so that's money coming in. Not much (8.70/hr) but we can be frugal on that. I think we are going to apply for wic. DBF doesn't like the idea of food pantry. He went to one before and he said to me that there are needy people who need that food, and we are not one of them (DBF's dad has been extremely generous....with the junk food lol)

SAHM and college student! (26)  * DS (10/2010) * DD (03/2014) * Loving life with my dear fiancé (25) since 10/2009
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