Oh, bless Mikemax’s heart. She is asking for our help, so let’s all reach into our own bags of tricks and see how we can help her s t r e t c h her money to match her month.
“March is going to be a lonnnnnng month at our house.
We pay our bills in full every month, but this month they were more than I expected. We had an unexpected medical bill, and other big ticket bills to pay. I budget for most of this stuff, but—as you can imagine—I’m coming up short. Waaaaaaay short. I often say that people run out of money before they run out of month. Oboy, does that apply to me right now!
I’m cutting expenses everywhere I can.
- The first thing I did was to inventory and organize my freezer and take note of all of the canned and packaged food in my pantry. I probably have enough meat to see me through the month…so long as nobody gets tired of turkey and bean soup!
- Because I want to use up leftovers as I go, I didn’t write detailed daily menus. However, I’m making a point of deciding a day ahead what we will be eating the next day. This helps make sure I actually cook it!
- The only groceries I am buying this month are bread, milk and produce. I will make do with the rest, which will surely include some substituting. I hope to find myself near the bread thrift store soon–but at $3.51 a gallon for gas, I won’t be making a special trip.
- Saturday, I found myself at Rite-Aid with coupons and a list of good deals that I’d been carrying around all week. I wrote the list before that $1,000 bill rolled in and I’d expected insurance to cover it. I immediately crossed everything off the list that wasn’t a necessity right now. Saved me about $20. It’s all stuff we’ll eventually need, but no non-food purchases until April.
- No soda, not even on sale. I’m making iced tea. We don’t drink, so I won’t miss beer and wine.
I’m sure some readers are thinking, “So what else is new? Now she knows what I go through every day of every month!” And, yes, that’s true. Although I grew up in a family that lived payday to payday-and always came up short-I’ve been more fortunate as an adult. I’ve been this broke before, but usually not with almost the entire month stretching out in front of me. Fortunately, I’ve always cooked cheap.
But even cheap cooks need help sometimes. I’m asking for your advice.
One of the things I found in the freezer was an 8 lb. bone-in turkey breast. I cooked it for dinner Sunday with homemade mashed potatoes, leftover gravy from the freezer, winter squash cooked and frozen last fall and homemade cranberry sauce. I didn’t have any canned, but I had half a bag of frozen berries. Great dinner!
However, I’m looking at a LOT of turkey leftovers. I also have two turkey halves in the freezer, and may cook one near the end of the month. We ate a lot of leftover $.99 pork roast last week, and I hope not to duplicate last week’s menus with turkey.
Any ideas, fellow Club Members?
To further complicate matters, my daughter and I are dieting. We are more or less following the old Weight Watchers Points plan, which is low fat with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Now do you have any ideas? Please post them in the comments section!
In addition to the turkey breast, I’ve got a little bit of beef, including a forgotten pot roast!-some pork, cubed ham, no bacon, a couple of old dead chickens and a 20 lb. turkey that’s been cut in half. I have a can of pink salmon. I have most of the basic ingredients on hand, but not much in the way of fancy groceries. I do have a can of coconut milk I’d love to use up, if this rings a bell with anyone. I have low fat Swiss cheese, but can only eat small amounts of it. I have rice, pasta and a bag of potatoes, but again, amounts are limited by our diet. We can have ½ cup pasta or rice, no butter or gravy.
Oh, I got two dozen uber-fresh eggs at the farm stand today. Good egg ideas/recipes where you can really taste the freshness would be super. Eggs like these are a big treat for us and a cheap thrill. It’s been awhile, but the girls are laying again. Woo-hoo!
In addition to your good ideas, I’d love to have your recipes, too.”
~Mikemax, formerly known as Maxine
Now, those of us who are well acquainted with this very same issue-stretching the food to match the month-and are using EBT cards from SNAP, WIC … those of us who use food pantries and food commodities and Angel Food Ministries and all the tips we’ve come up with just from living on a dime should be well able to help Mikemax. It’s the least we can do for all the posts she has given us!
Use the comment section to let us know how YOU stretch the food money to fit the month. And you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . It will make our day.
You have been sharing the news about us – we know this because of the voting for the Top 100 Mommy Food Bloggers on Babble.com and all the new members who have been coming to the Club House. YAY, YOU! Incidentally, the blog was listed as #43 at last check. WOW.
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