Sandra, who is a regular contributing Food Stamps Cooking Club Member, really resonated with the post that went up about the growing use of public assistance for getting food and making those food dollars stretch. She sent such delightful offerings that I’m wondering if she should procure a Blogger’s License?
Actually, I take that back. Some Federal official will see it and think it is a wonderful idea for raising revenue.
Suffice it to say that Sandra has either thought this through very carefully or she has lived through a time which taught her a great many good lessons. See what she sent us:
“Dear Mother Connie,
There’s no doubt that that money will be put back but we all still have to worry about those rising food costs especially when it comes to things like produce. There are a lot of things we do to save money on the grocery bill.
1. Bake your own bread. You can make bread for around 40 cents per loaf. That’s much cheaper and healthier than store bought.
2. Eat pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, muffins, or French toast instead of boxed cereal.
3. Make your own pancake/waffle syrup. There’s a great product called Mapleine on the market. It comes in a blue and white box and is maple flavoring. While the bottle costs around $3.50 per bottle, it takes only 1/2 tsp to make a pint of syrup. It takes one cup water, 2 cups sugar, and 1/2 tsp Mapleine. Much, much cheaper than store bought syrup.
4. Buy chips, treats, and cookies only for special occassions. You can make your own treats much cheaper and healthier and with less packaging.
5. Don’t drink fruit juice. While it seems economical, it really isn’t. A serving of fruit is more satisfying to the appetite.
6. Eat meat only in very small portions. You really don’t need a lot – just a few ounces per day fills your protein requirements especially if you eat eggs and dairy.
7. Eat more vegetarian meals. Eggs, pasta, grains, etc can provide variety at a lower cost than can meat.
8. Don’t buy storebought mixes. You can make your own more cheaply.
9. One of the biggest things we do is to follow the pantry principle. We try to keep our pantries stocked with basic ingredients all the time so that we don’t run out of things and have to make extra trips to the store.
10. Make your own salad dressings. This really can be cheaper and healthier and once you have a few basic ingredients, you can make different kinds.
11. Learn to like beans. Seriously, beans are one of the most nutritious and frugal foods you can eat. They store well too.
Mother Connie, I have a lot more ideas, but this is a very good start. I hope this can help others.
We were thrilled with that list. But Sandra, ever the thoughtful Food Stamps Cooking Club member that she is, sent a follow up message, too:
Oh, a word about produce. Learn to keep veggies and fruits that keep for a long time such as potatoes, carrots, cabbage, celery, and apples on hand for main use. Then buy a few veggies or fruits that don’t keep as long. Use those first and then rely on your staples.
Keep in mind that if you have bananas going bad and you aren’t ready to bake with them, you can freeze them and save for the smoothies or baking later.
If you are willing to go to farmer’s market or produce stands near closing time, you can often get reduced prices.”
Sandra, I baked some Foccacia bread this morning. I eyed the pan of leftovers and pondered what great bread pudding that would make. Now THAT will save us some moola…and I am known as the Bean Queen around here so you and I are pretty much on the same page! Why, we could be roommates. Well, you know what I mean. grin
If people use Angel Food Ministries, food pantry food or food commodities; if they have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP they will most assuredly appreciate the worth of your thoughtful ideas, offered most generously. You are a very wise woman, and we appreciate you very much.
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