Desperate times call for. . . . . ?
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  1. #1
    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Desperate times call for. . . . . ?

    What did/do you do when things were really bad? What saved you from starvation or worse? How did/do you make it in the slim times?

    What things do you feed your family? Where do you obtain your food?

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    Registered User hollyhill's Avatar
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    Well, since we are in the midst of desparate times it is hard to look at what we do to survive objectively. My Dh is in school full time and our student loan is running out and we have another 2 months to go. He still has another year to go. I am a homeschooling mom and I tutor ESL students and host exchange students to bring in some money.
    1. I spend nothing. Every dollar is considered a third of a gallon of milk and therefor is precious.
    2. I use what I have. I still have pumpkin in the freezer so we have been eating pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin soup.
    I was given a damaged case of canned salmon. So we've been eating lots of salmon casserole, salmon chowder, salmon, pasta ans salmon patties. You get the picture.
    I make alot of pancakes and porridge for breakfast. Soup for lunch. Potatoe, Rice, Bean and Pasta dishes for supper.
    3) I pay the bills that need to be paid first.
    4) All fun has to be free
    5) When I feel desparate I go and look in the freezer and cupboard and as long as there is still some food in there I feel better.
    6) I pray.
    7) Miracles happen- I had no extra money for coffee (it is not a necessity), but every Christmas gift given to us this year included at least a pound of coffee!!!! I still have coffee in my cupboard for another couple of months!
    8) I have gone to the food bank to relieve some of the monotony of our diet.
    9) I rely on our garden, friends gadens and foraging for much of our produce.
    10) I don't drive unless necessary, I turn off lights, heat, hang laundry.
    11) Our children have learned to not even bother asking.
    12) I cry with thankfulness when I recieve anything, clothes for the children, food, a box of detergent.

    I hope others will also post their ideas. Perhaps I can glean some other useful ideas.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Some of the things we've done are possible only because we live in a VERY rural area.

    We forage for foods- year round. Right now dandelions, cattail shoots and roots are staples.

    We hunt/fish for meats-- I've also been known to eat road kill if I saw the animal killed (so I know the meat is fresh)

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    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    The first thing that we do is pray...and we've never been dissappointed...holly, we do just about what you do. .. in addition to your ideas,we tend to use up things beyond redemption--you should see some of our towels--thread bare...but they still serve a purpose. when we run out of something, we look around the house to find something that can do the same job . There are more ideas, but I don't have time to write them all down now.

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    We do most of the same things you all do.

    Dh hunts and dh and the kids go out fishing and I also will pick wild berries if I can find them.

    I make alot of pancakes and porridge for breakfast. Soup for lunch. Potatoe, Rice, Bean and Pasta dishes for supper.
    We do the same thing.

    Its interesting because many times we've had financial struggles and we've never gone without food, always been able to make ends meet and still be content.

    Great question Denise.

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    Registered User Shell's Avatar
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    When times are tight I have a good look at what I have at hand. Go through your pantry. Sometimes there is something hidden in the back. Be creative with what you already have.

    Make do with what you have. Mend your old clothes. Can you wear those worn out nylons one more time if you wear them with boots?

    Make some extra cash by babysitting, selling your clothes or books. Roll your coins.

    Try to find cheaper ways of entertaining yourself. Go to the library, play games at home etc.

    Learn to make cheaper meals. Use less meat or perhaps a big pot of homemade soup.

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    Thank goodness we haven't been bad off since we had children. Before we had children we would eat alot of grits and eggs because all the other groceries were gone and we were broke.

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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    We did without....anything that cost money. We were so suprised at how little we HAD to spend when we had no money. We took every invitation from family and friends to do fun things, shopped only for sale items for foods and used coupons and got doubles (back when our stores would double). I learned to refund, that helped a fair bit. I also would babysit or barter for things as well. Lots of people will trade services and goods if you just ask.
    I breastfed our kids, pumped and froze milk. Took the kids to the health clinic for their shots (on a sliding scale according to income for the fees). Did our best to stay healthy. We ate at home, bought our beef in bulk and froze it. We've never foraged for food much but we've gardened and enjoyed lots of veggies given to us from others. You know, no matter how desperate it seemed at times....when we really needed something, the money would come from somewhere.

    ~48 yr. old sahw, livin' it up in our empty nest, smack dab in the middle of everywhere.~

    *We're debt freeeeeeeee! (including the house)*



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    Registered User paelthom's Avatar
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    Wonderful thread.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Originally posted by many houseapes
    The first thing that we do is pray.

    Terrific response! I'd have to say that is our first thing to do as well. It's the usual thing, and I don't always think to mention it.

    We pray over our budget each month as well.

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    Registered User pkellyc's Avatar
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    We cut back on everything and thanked God we have never had to forage for food or go to a food pantry. But we had no cable tv for a couple of years when my kids were young. We sold one of our cars and managed with one. Vacations were limited to cook outs in the back yard and campouts in the living room, along with hikes and trips to the park. We were thankful for eachother and for what we did have.

    Coupons became a hobby, popcorn, apples and anything you could make with them were our snacks. We grew a garden. Sun tea was in and we made it by the gallon. I remember my mother inviting us for Sunday dinner and thinking what a relief it was to not have to worry about one more meal. We clung to the hope that things would get better and they did.

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    Registered User Florence's Avatar
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    There is a wonderful website www.lainesletters.com where she outlines how she and her family survive and thrive on a very limited income. I found it inspiring as well as full of good ideas.

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    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    Pray

    We get just the basics i need to feed us with. a 3.00 box of five dozen eggs will make tons of meals. I have the hm bisquick stuff on hand all the time. I make sure i have powdered milk to make my regular milk go further. if i am down to my last 20.00 I buy:

    five dozen eggs 3.50
    two gallons milk 6.00
    one pkg american cheese 2.00
    five lbs ground beef 8.00

    with the staples i have in the pantry I can make these items last me awhile.

    I can make eggs and biscuits; omletts with chz; take crumbled hamburger, make a creamy sauce with milk , garlic powder etc and serve over biscuits; hamburgers with cheeze on top, I most often have some sort of dry pasta in the pantry so i can make crumbled beef with pasta, and on and on. I have made these ingredients last a week. Maybe more depending on what I make.
    ~~ Missy ~~

    Planting and raising an urban homestead in the middle of Downtown big city right at the foot of the Rocky Mountains!

    Zone 5 Colorado Springs, CO USA

  14. #14
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    I love all of your ideas, thank you! Lots of them will help me this Summer and in the months that follow! I will be praying a lot about it too!

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    Happily I have never been in such dire straits. However, my parents grew up during the depression and I have heard many tales of how my mother's family often subsisted on fried potatoes. In better times they had a cow and a few chickens.

    I like the "last $20 shopping list" from Missy -- basic stuff that you can eke out for several days.

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