How to Eat on Just $3 a Day - Page 2
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  1. #16
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I think it also depends are where you live. I am thinking this may be based on someone living in a low cost of living place. I may spend more than $3 a day of fresh vegetables....

    I used to get by on a very low grocery budget, but we had very little in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables. We did not go hungry. And we had some tasty meals. But it was way below the recommended daily fruits and veggie.

    A carb and protein is not a complete meal. You need fruits and vegetables too.
    KathyB

  2. #17
    Registered User Winkie's Avatar
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    This topic continues to intrigue me. Our church is constantly helping people with food. Apparently many in the community are food insecure. We do food drives for the food pantry, contribute to a weekend back pack program, and sponsor an after school program that provides snacks. Plus I have heard that almost all the kids in school receive both breakfast and lunch at school. There is a summer lunch program. This week we were asked to contribute to Thanksgiving food boxes. I am all about helping, but there comes a time when I want to say, hey let me help you learn to shop & cook & you won't have to keep asking for handouts.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyB View Post
    I think it also depends are where you live. I am thinking this may be based on someone living in a low cost of living place. I may spend more than $3 a day of fresh vegetables....

    I used to get by on a very low grocery budget, but we had very little in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables. We did not go hungry. And we had some tasty meals. But it was way below the recommended daily fruits and veggie.

    A carb and protein is not a complete meal. You need fruits and vegetables too.
    This was kind of my point when I brought it up. The girl in the video is eating cereal for breakfast, and pasta for lunch and dinner. Not healthy in the long run, but a lot of people do eat this way every day, I see it in their shopping baskets every week. But this kid has a plan, I believe it was for 6 weeks, to save money for a trip she wanted to take. So it's a good example of how to squeeze your food budget for a short time. In the video she also talks about sitting in the cafe with friends, drinking water while they all have fancy coffee drinks. She sticks to her budget and achieves her goal.
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  5. #19
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    I really avoid buying fruit since the per pound cost is so high. Apples and pears in season in the fall are what I mostly stick to, hubby only eats bananas. Lots of vegetables are reasonably priced and affordable. So fruit is really a treat. Carrots, potatoes, onions and vegetables from the garden are all low cost. Even frozen vegetables very are affordable when $1/1 lb bag on sale. I love the pumpkins on sale for 59 cents/lb now. I cook and use the cheap ones from the stores although most people buy them for decoration only. I have also scavenged sound (uncut, not soft) pumpkins from the trash and done a happy dance afterwards.

  6. #20
    Registered User Winkie's Avatar
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    I look at the "eat for $3.00 a day" as an exercise in awareness. It makes me think of what I do and question what I could do if I had to. I am in a decent place now & don't have to limit my grocery expense so severely, but I really don't spend much. I would love to help even one family understand that they can plan better & end up eating better & reduce their spending. No one should go without eating or feeding their kids. A little education would go a long way. I don't know if the folks in our community who are struggling really want to do anything differently...

  7. #21
    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winkie View Post
    I look at the "eat for $3.00 a day" as an exercise in awareness. It makes me think of what I do and question what I could do if I had to. I am in a decent place now & don't have to limit my grocery expense so severely, but I really don't spend much. I would love to help even one family understand that they can plan better & end up eating better & reduce their spending. No one should go without eating or feeding their kids. A little education would go a long way. I don't know if the folks in our community who are struggling really want to do anything differently...
    Your last line.... No, I don't believe they do and it's not just your community. This is a sore point with me. I think food stamps are a great thing. Been there twice in my life and got off in about 3 months. Didn't do it for life.
    Food stamps are for food only. There's absolutely no reason except illness, transportation or handicapped that the food stamp amount won't cut it. Look in their carts... ice cream, chips, soda, candy, boxed this boxed that. Then they won't get up and fix their kids breakfast. They say no food... no... you won't get your lazy ass outta bed to fix it.

    Ex daughter in law works at a school that's open all summer for breakfast and lunch to anyone under 18. Uh... NO... sorry. For one someone 18 can fix their own bowl of cereal or have a part time job during the summer. Oh.. and mom and dad can go to breakfast and lunch too. So... where are their food stamps going if they aren't eating at home?

    Off my rant. My opinion isn't a popular one. All I hear is poor kids.. no food... can't go hungry. Agree with that. Then investigate where the food stamps are going. It's NOT the kids fault... but do something with the parents. I'm one of the ones who think soda, ice cream and candy should NOT be allowed on them. But then... of course... that's their right. What happened to our right to refuse to pay for their junk food. Done.
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  8. #22
    Registered User Winkie's Avatar
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    Niko, I can rant too. i ask the same questions, if kids are getting two meals & a snack away from home, why don't they have food at home? I am also concerned about the kinds of foods that are being supplied to this population. The food bank only wants convenience foods, which are highly processed & full of sodium & unpronounceable ingredients. The backpacks have nothing but junk food. Don't even try to give anyone peanut butter! I raised my kids on my own after my first husband left & he never got caught up on child support until they were in college. I worked full time & still made sure they had breakfast, lunch & dinner. I batch cooked, used the crockpot & horror of horrors, we even ate leftovers! My kids learned to cook along the way, & they now cook for their families. None of them eat junk food, nor drink soda & rarely let their kids have it. So I guess I have done a little good...

  9. #23
    Registered User Winkie's Avatar
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    Just so I don't come accross as all talk & no action, I did go talk to our pastor, who is young lady about 30 years old. I proposed inviting the public to a series of meetings/ classes at our church where we could go over budgets & some basic cooking. I took the pastor a pretty basket with zucchini, yellow squash, peppers & onions, along with a jar of home canned salsa and some freshly cooked brown rice. I told her she could chop up all the veggies & roast in the oven & serve with the rice. She could add her own protein. She did not bite on the program & I never got any feed back on the veggie basket. I am still waiting to get my Pyrex back after about 2-3 months. I ran my program by my sister & she wants me to do a presentation for her master gardening club, so I am working on specifics now of what to cram into an hour talk/ demo. I also would like to do an "ugly " fruit & vegetable talk. There are so many people who have expectations of perfection when it comes to fruit & veggies. They can't use a spotted Banana, can't cut away a bruise on an apple or tomato & can't use a carrot that hasn't been peeled for them. The same people who won't eat zucchini or summer squash will gladly suck down the "medley of fresh summer veggies" served with dinner in a restaurant. Ok, I better quit now...

  10. #24
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Years back, I was on food stamps. My husband and I cooked and I had no problems feeding our little family of three on food stamps. I do not think we got much in the way of candy, but we did not go without sweets. I would make cookies and other cheap desserts. Sugar cookies are really cheap to make. And we had a Hostess brand bakery discount/outlet store. Sometimes you could get things for half off. Sometimes there was a "problem" with the product, like the icing was on crooked. Other times it did not seem any different that what you would pay full price for.

    Fruit desserts were also a good way to use up fresh fruit that had gone too soft to eat.

    We ate a lot of healthy food too...

    I made a decision to eat the best we had on the money (food stamps) we had. And it was pretty good. But you really cannot do it without learning how to cook. And cooking does not take as much time and effort as people think. I am talking about prep time here, not the hour hour something is in the oven cooking while you do other stuff. People say "I can't cook." Well, learn how. No one in my family taught me how to cook. I learned on my own as an adult. Get a cookbook and follow the directions. It is not that hard. Like soup. Cut up some meat and veggies and throw in in a pot of water. Let it boil and simmer for a few hours.

    I also went to a free cooking class designed to help people learn to cook well on a budget.

    And stocking up on stuff that went on really good sales. Always do that unless it is food you hate. And if the good sale is limit X per customer, having a family member shop with you and be a separate customer for the check out line. And if you have more time than money, go back to the store the next day and stock up on the sale things.

    I think we did have some junk food, but it was used very sparingly. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I think I allowed myself (and my family) one package of junk food a week. So that was like about $3 out of the week's budget of mostly frugal stuff. Unless you have allergies I do not think any food should fall into he "never allowed to have any" category. But I do think some foods could be used sparingly. And besides home cooked food is generally tastier, so there is not much need for it.

    It seems odd to me that others did not make an effort. I can say it was for my family, but honestly a big part of it was because I wanted good food to eat for myself.

    My philosophy on snacks growing up was that my son could have as many between meal snacks as he wanted as long as the snacks were healthy like yogurt, fruit, vegetables, cheese cubes, etc. I remember one time when he had a friend over the friend said "ask your mom if we can have a snack." My son said "we can have snack, but it has to be a healthy snack." His friend asked him what he meant by that. My son said "like cheese or a vegetable." And then his friend said "what is a vegetable?"

    I think they were only six, but still....

    Yeah his family was dirt poor, but so were we. We were both on food stamps, so she had just as much to feed her family as we did.

    I think the free lunch and breakfast at school is a good thing. It is not the children's fault if their parents cannot handle the food budget properly. They should not suffer for it.

    I try not to feel superior, but sometimes it is hard.

    We have more money to buy food now. We save a lot my making our own stuff. But we will also splurge on things like fresh berries.
    KathyB

  11. #25
    Registered User Winkie's Avatar
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    KathyB, I agree with all you said.

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