Making the Most of Resources

I had an experience a few days ago that I want to share with you. I think it is probably pretty typical of “American thinking” these days, but I’d like to hear your feedback too.

My Experience

I was in line at a StuffMart, putting my carefully planned tax-free purchases on the conveyor belt while two 20-ish aged ladies in front of me checked out.

Once everything was rung up, the cashier told them their total and they pulled out a card to swipe through the machine. The card they used was the welfare card our state issues- one I see customers in front of me use more and more.

Once swiped, the sweet grandmotherly cashier politely told them that they only had $7 and change left and it would not cover their purchases. (Note- in most places, benefits are reloaded onto the card on the 1st day of the month and this was the 5th).

The ladies then said, “Well, never mind about the stuff in the bags. We’ll just get these.” They held up 2 large soft drinks.

I imagine that my mouth was hanging open, though I’m not sure. I was stunned.

I know I have to remind myself periodically that I am NOT typical- that denying oneself impulse buys, planning ahead, budgeting, and making long-term goals are no longer the “American way,” but still I couldn’t believe they made the choice they did.

My Ponderings

Several things were swirling through my brain at once:

  1. They have $7 left and they bought sodas?!
  2. How did they not have any idea what the balance was?
  3. What will they eat for dinner tonight? And tomorrow? And the rest of the month?
  4. If meals for the rest of the month aren’t really a concern, why do they qualify for the welfare card?
  5. Will a child go hungry now?

(Let me insert at this point that I do not mean to say that all welfare recipients waste the benefits provided them or that there is never a valid reason to receive them.  They very well may be the difference between eating or not eating for thousands if not millions, especially right now.  I think this issue- questionable use of resources- applies across the board, regardless of income.  I think it is indicative of a bigger cultural problem).

I was so surprised that they bought those drinks that I asked the cashier after they left if the benefits card pays for things like that. She said, “Oh Honey, it will buy nearly any junk food you can think of, but don’t try to buy a bar of soap with it.” What?! What kind of program is this?!

For the past few days, I have been mulling this over in my head. I’m not sure how typical this kind of behavior is in the general population, but I suspect it’s not uncommon. As a whole, we are far removed from the hard-working, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality that used to characterize Americans.

The Take-Away

All this has gotten me to thinking about its relation to preparedness. A few things have come back to me several times.

  1. Are we using our resources to the best of our abilities? How much do we squander on things of no real or lasting value (like soft drinks)?
  2. How often are we checking things off our long-range goals? Are we identifying an important item and actively working towards its acquisition (maybe a water filter or quality pressure canner or root cellar)?
  3. Do we just shrug off the hard stuff (like budgeting) for the immediate gratification?
  4. If what I witnessed was typical, how quickly will society unravel under the slightest hardship?

So, what do you think?

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42 Comments on “Making the Most of Resources”

  1. Jarhead Survivor Says:

    Sickening isn’t it? Here in Maine I read a story awhile back about a woman who needed cigarettes. What she did was buy a bunch of water bottles, then went out in the parking lot and dumped them out until she had enough returnables for a pack of smokes. How’s that for wasteful?


    • Joe Says:

      Now that’s disgustingly clever in a really bad way. I wonder just where she would be if she’d use that creativity for good.


  2. Laura Says:


    That is amazing. Don’t get me started about spending money on cigarettes instead of food, especially if one gets any handouts from the govt!

    Our church has an ongoing ministry to provide food for local children to take home to eat over the weekend (when they aren’t getting free school breakfast and lunch) and I’ve wondered how many of their parents are choosing to spend their money on cigarettes rather than buying their children food. I know that many convenience stores no doubt sell more cigarettes and beer (at premium prices) than bread and milk. It makes me sad.


  3. Padre Says:

    With that 7$ my soup kitchen could have fed at least two people a full meal soda included but instead it gets thrown down the tubes–that is the new American story: well meaning but haphazard flailing to help the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden that ends up hurting us all!


    • Laura Says:


      I’ve thought the same thing- some well-meaning politicians probably long ago haphazardly put the programs together with very little study. I was stunned that our state’s program buys doughnuts and soft drinks but not soap- so it’s set up to perpetuate poor food choices, high blood pressure, obesity, etc., and you can’t get soap to wash your hands before you eat the junk!

      Your soup kitchen is a great example of how “independent businesses” are so much better qualified to provide the services our country needs than big inefficient government. Private organizations know how to make a dollar stretch and provide something of worth.


      • Steph Says:

        It’s lobbyists making sure junk food stays on those program in addition to other government subsidies they receive. All legal bribery. Really upsets me.


        • Laura Says:

          You’re right. And probably the agribusiness companies have deals so they can unload all that high fructose corn syrup they produce with government subsidies!


  4. Rob Says:

    Not all benefits are placed on the card on the first of the month. It depends on day of the month. I am currently on Food Stamps. Ours comes on the 7th of the month. Do we want to be no, but have to be. for my kids. I have been out of a job for 20 months. Unemployment here is 11%. You can buy anything that you can eat, but no booze.

    We had someone ask us if he could buy us something at 7 11 and we could give him some cash. Sorry, you are out of luck I told him. We have many folks that beg on the corners of busy streets looking for money. They work in teams, pool their money together to buy beer and some food, and a cheap motel or they sleep outside.

    If they would work as hard looking for work or working, They would have more money..


    • Laura Says:


      I so appreciate your input. I’m sure there are a lot of stories like yours out there right now. I could not let my children suffer if I had any choice either.

      Your point about cheating the system came up a few weeks ago while we were with a number of friends. In addition to the fraud we’ve seen, several mentioned their experiences trying to help out people they (initially) thought were truly in need. A couple of people (Joe included) had been hit up for money outside restaurants. Joe offered to buy the man anything he wanted for breakfast but the man was insistent that he just needed money so he could pay the fee to get into the homeless shelter that night (which is bogus- there is no charge). When Joe persisted in his offer of breakfast, the man said a few choice words at him and left instead.

      It’s a shame that those folks are the visible ones that too many of us have contact with. It makes us prone to cynicism and those who are truly (and inconspicuously) doing their very best are probably overlooked.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I pray blessings on you and your family.


  5. Dan Says:

    I am on food stamps. It breaks my heart to see people buy pop and junk food. Still, there is one more thing. Pre made food. We have three generations of people who only know how to buy and eat frozen pizzas, deserts and the such. They have no idea how to cock or care less. Its all they know. The government and corps encourage this.

    I am embarrassed to use food stamps. But, I have no choice. I cant find work. I feed the 5 of us on less than 200 a month. It is hard and nutrition is sketchy at times. There are weeks I dream of fresh fruit or greens. I can tell when we are not getting enough vitamins. We are tired. Unbalanced and unable to think straight. I wonder if that si what they want.


    • Laura Says:

      What a good point about the pre-made food, Dan! You are so right that, as a culture, we are more and more reliant on highly processed, nutritionally void “food.”

      I am truly perplexed at the guidelines of the food stamp program. I have been stunned at the junk that is able to be purchased, but also stood in line behind someone who tried to buy a healthy rotisserie chicken and heard that was denied. The explanation given by the cashier was that it was ready-made and hot, so it wasn’t allowed. But frozen Frankenfood is alright?

      A few days ago, we picked up one of our son’s friends after school. He proceeded to pull out packages of “cheese flavored snacks” and a soda. It made me sad to hear that all he had eaten that day was empty, chemically-laden calories. He’s probably pretty typical.

      It’s interesting that you are wondering if “they” might want us to be off-balance from nutritional deficiency. I hadn’t thought about it that way- not only dependent on their political whims, but weakened also. I’ve always wondered why we perpetuate expensive health problems (like obesity, Type II diabetes, etc through the donuts and sodas allowed with food stamps). Maybe it serves a purpose, though- especially for one political party in particular.

      Any chance you can put in a fall garden for those greens, maybe in a few pots? Now is actually a perfect time for spinach, broccoli, etc b/c they do much better in cool weather. Seeds may be on clearance now also. I just started seedlings to transfer to our garden once I pull out the dying squash and cucumbers. Every little bit of “real” food helps.

      I will keep your family in my prayers. I hope you find work soon. Thanks for your insights.


  6. Jarhead Survivor Says:

    I have no problem with someone with a legitimate need using governmen t assistance; however, where I lose patience is when someone abuses this privilige. If you get food stamps (or whatever) use it to feed your family. Some people take advanate of it to buy cigarettes or beer or whatever. How? Read this:


  7. Rob Says:

    The Chicken could not be bought because it was “cooked already” Most foods from the deli can not be bought. Now you can buy everything you need to cook the chicken at home but not cooked already at the store. But if it came from say General Mills already cooked you can buy it, cause it is not hot.

    Beer, liquor, and “smokes” can not be bought with FS. Some folks will buy an item for say cash to buy their booze. Some “Retailers” allow customers to buy booze, but end up getting caught and shut down.


  8. Elly Says:

    This has to be a newer way of thinking. My mother and I were on food stamps and welfare for a while. I remember my mom crying at the register when they said we didn’t have enough to pay for my brother’s formula. I would never be so wasteful.


    • Laura Says:

      That breaks my heart to hear, Elly. It may be a “newer” way of thinking or maybe it has more to do with the character of the person using the benefits. Your mother apparently raised you with a different mentality than many I see. That may also explain why you are thinking in terms of preparing for yourself rather than expecting that it’s someone else’s responsibility.

      I’m constantly amazed at what I see people who claim to be cash-strapped spending money on- new apps and ringtones for their cell phones, gourmet drive-thru coffee, etc. These are luxuries, “extras”- not necessities and not “basic human rights.” Until we collectively get our priorities straight (pay rent and buy food before upgrading our electronics and don’t use credit), it’s hard to imagine that we can straighten out the bigger problems.

      Thanks for your comment, Elly.


  9. Practical Parsimony Says:

    Right now, I am sitting in a cold house so I won’t run up a big bill heating the house. I get food stamps and go to food banks. Yes, I do buy cokes. But, I also buy milk and orange juice, cook from scratch, ALWAYS. I don’t smoke or drink. I never can afford to go to movies. I check out videos from the library and watch them on my laptop that a friend bought and allowed me to pay for it a little each week. I cannot afford to hook my very old tv to anything that will bring viewing into my home. Is a Coke so bad for me to buy? No. Did these women have children? How did they spend all their money so soon? Baffling.

    I get very angry when I see people on fs buying the largest pizza in the store, astoundingly expensive cuts of meat, popped popcorn, fruit punch, crackers, chips, cookies, premade jello, premade pudding, and have small children or not. One woman spent $500 on her fs card and the only things she got not prepared/microwavable or the things/junk I just mentioned were a gallon of milk and a roast.

    Week before last, I got 50 lbs of free bananas, and this last week, I got 13 free pumpkins that I will cook, freeze, dehydrate for myself. I am not trying to promote my blog, but go there and see how frugal people live on food stamps. I think it is my duty to get the most for my money, so I shop sales and then use coupons, just like it was cash from my pocket instead of on a fs card. So, I am careful so I can afford Cokes.


    • Laura Says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate your perspective and I will check out your blog. I’m sure I can learn some more cost-saving techniques from you.

      I should have mentioned in the original piece that I don’t begrudge anyone their “pick-me-ups” or little luxuries. Everyone needs a break from the norm, especially when that norm is very restrictive. For me, a world without chocolate is a bleak place!

      What I suspect I was seeing that day checking out was two women with little financial sense or impulse control, products of a generation brought up to think they “deserve” EVERYthing. The Occupy Wall Street college kids often being shown on the news are good examples. They have every electronic gadget available, designer clothes, and so on, yet they clamor about unfairness.

      Some rules shouldn’t ever change- you NEED food, reasonable clothing, and shelter. Pay for those first. Then, if you work hard etc., you may be able to acquire the luxuries of life (like electronics…) but they are NOT your rights. I’m afraid we, as a society, have raised at least one generation who have this all skewed- someone (their parents or the govt… ) should provide all their needs free of charge so they can use “their” money for luxuries.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.


      • Practical Parsimony Says:

        Unfortunately, I see this in older people. The woman with the $500 worth of processed garbage was about my age.

        I own a laptop and cell phone, but not the fancy phones, just one that makes calls since I don’t want any of the other options. A grocery checker said, when I complained about garbage-with-food-stamps mentality, that another professional like me used coupons and bought ingredients, not prepared food. The people I see doing this run the gamut from my generation, my children’s generation, to my grandchildren’s generation. Oh, the grandchildren ages are watching the choices and choosing the garbage. Most of this is a generational problem.

        I was not being confrontational and reacting about my buying cokes. I was just saying cokes could be part of a well-chosen shopping trip. I was not at all offended and reacting. Yeah, don’t stand between chocolate and me. I have found cheaper ways to get my chocolate fix than in previous years.

        While I don’t wear “designer clothes,” I do wear some expensive (by many standards) clothing. I have had it a long time. A new-used-once Coach purse was given to me. Two Winter Silks sweaters were Christmas gifts. One Dell laptop (dead now) was given to me as a Christmas gift from a former bf. Present Dell laptop was charged on friend’s credit card and I paid a bit each week for over two years to cover laptop and interest. A Fossil purse was half gift and half swagbucks acquisition. It was the only style in leather that I would carry. I hate bling on my purse and only buy leather because I can use it for years. A clothes closet yielded a great warm jacket for everyday wear in the yard and a nice black pencil skirt for dressy.

        Free food is everywhere. Look at today’s post on my blog.

        Since tv is HD, I cannot afford to have television reception.


  10. Ginnamom Says:

    As a mother or 3 children I am a stay at home mom. My hubby works 40+ hours a week but still with bills and such we don’t quailfy for most things… We have insurance through his job that takes a good chunk of the pay check. We applied for subsidized housing to help pay our 950/month rent, and we pay all utilites including oil heat… Having said this with cost of living going up we finally bit the bullet and applyed for Food stamps… we quaify for 58 dollars a month for a family of 5. On the months that have 5 weeks when my hubby gets 3 pay checks we get 25 dollars a month… We are not even middle class my hubby makes less than 30k a year. Now with 2 teens in the house 25 is barely a meal but I make the most of what I have becuase it does not carry over then I have to use it all. I will often use it to buy Meat or other staples sometimes our local butcher shop offers a meat bundle pack for @ 50 bucks I will buy that. Sometimes if there is really good sales on say canned veggies or rice and such I will buy that…I also make use of other resources I live near amish So I will often barter with them giveing them a ride into town for some milk,or meat or eggs. I make alot from Stratch jams,jellys, butter etc…. Our whole family voulnteers at a local food bank and because we help we get food there too. Now Some would say that I should go get a job that I shouldn’t be a stay at home mom. I used to work but I have 3 special needs kids and the cost of childcare exceeded my pay. So I look for ways to save money we have by gardening,canning,etc etc… Not everyone that needs a little extra help is like the ladies buying soda… Some are but now with everyone struggling I think there are far more people like my family than the women getting soda. Yes I do get soda occasioanlly but it is a luxuary not a need. and I don;t use my food stamps to buy it. Also one thing that I wish food stamps would buy are esentials like soap,Toilet paper,laundry and dish soap, female items,diapers etc…


    • Laura Says:


      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m sure you are correct that there is an ever-growing section of the population that only very reluctantly is receiving food stamp benefits and uses them very wisely. And, as you mentioned, the benefits may be close to nothing because of arbitrary cut-off lines.

      I completely understand what you mean about childcare and working. I am a teacher by trade, but when we reached the 2 child mark, my take-home pay all went toward childcare and it seemed unwise to continue, especially with all the extra stresses on us to be out the door at 6:30 am etc. If my children had special needs, I would make the same choice you have.

      I hope what I witnessed was an anomaly, but from what I hear from others, it probably isn’t. I think, as a culture, our ideas of “needs vs wants” is skewed. There was an article in our local paper that absolutely nauseated me. It showed an overweight woman standing in front of her huge flat screen TV smoking in a room well decorated with nice furniture and the title said something about the Baby Boomers scraping the bottom of the pantry shelves. It proceeded to tell a (sob?) story about how this lady with one 16 yr old daughter and a husband who was working could hardly feed her family. She said she couldn’t find a job and on and on, though the classified ads had plenty listed- but probably none she would be willing to take.

      She was NOT suffering. She could have cancelled that satellite TV service, sold the TV, quit smoking, gotten a job at a fast food restaurant- any number of things. She didn’t have childcare to pay for or young children who would be home alone after school. As a friend of mine put it, “I wish I could be that poor and get a big flat screen.”

      Yes, absolutely there are many families truly struggling and my heart goes out to them. I know that a continued downward spiral in the economy (that I expect) could see nearly every one of us in the same situation and I prep in part to protect against that. But it is ridiculous stories like the one in our paper that remind me that some people just make poor or selfish choices that all taxpayers fund. If that lady is sitting around watching TV all day and not feeding her daughter because she won’t cancel her $60/month satellite, she is a mighty poor parent with her priorities way out of line.

      I pray blessings on you and your family and hope that things get easier soon. It sounds like you are doing every thing you can and making the most of the resources you have available. It’s great that you are giving back by helping out at the food bank- most people would never think of that. Thanks so much for your perspective.

      You’ve given me an idea too- maybe I should do an occasional posting of recipes that feed a lot of people thriftily. I always think in terms of large meals because of how many I feed at each meal, but I like to have leftovers too (that feels like free food!). We eat a lot of rice and beans along with our meats and such. I’ll ponder on that. Maybe you could share some of your favorites too. I’d appreciate your perspective.


  11. Rita Says:

    My parents died when I was a kid & I was then raised by retired grandparents, living on SS & for a while, we could not get SS benefits. In those days, there was something called commodities, foods that were packaged by the government. We would get more than 100# of flour a month, plus beans, peanut butter, cheese (American cheese like), butter, peanuts, oatmeal, cornmeal, powdered milk, lard, canned meat (usually pork), coconut, rice, and occasionally a few other things. We always had homemade bread, always. The canned meat was not so good, the peanut butter was horrible. We had a huge garden and canned many vegetables and fruits to get us through the winter. We raised chickens and always had fresh eggs and chicken to eat.
    Food stamps is made too easy for people to use and we have raised a generation (or 2) of people who have no idea about the importance of good nutrition and good food.
    Soft drinks and fast food is on my never do list. I cook and eat at home, and eat very well. But that is how I was raised.


    • Laura Says:

      Thanks for your input, Rita.

      I think you are very right about things coming too easily nowadays. And I think it has to do with a generational difference, as you mentioned. I keep reading about parents of adult children who should be enjoying the fruits of their own labors by now, instead being constantly barraged by requests for money by their 30-something offspring who could make a sacrifice or two instead. I can’t imagine trying to guilt my parents into paying my bills for me while I indulge in eating out, satellite TV, cigarettes and alcohol, etc. To some degree, the senior parents must have had a hand in raising children that turned into those kind of irresponsible adults, but parents never want to see their children in need. That would be hard.

      Joe’s great-grandmother lived on shockingly little and qualified for the commodity foods you mentioned. Even then, she put aside 10% of her tiny monthly income for “the needy.” What a difference between her and many of the selfish people I see now who feel entitled to their every desire!


  12. loji Says:

    give them food not food stamps. greens and bean would go a long way towards cutting down on waste and cutting down on waists.


  13. Gail Says:

    When I was young, newly divorced, working towards a college degree, and had two young children, I went into the grocery store and paid for my food with food stamps and coupons. The cashier said that she never saw anyone use coupons with food stamps before. I said that “by using them, I will have more money for more food”. Makes sense…if you need food. I was only on food stamps briefly until I was able to make ends meet without them. I am now working in the public assistance office and will soon be trained on SNAP (food stamps). I may have more to say after I’m working in this office for a while.


  14. Crystal Says:

    We received food stamps for a family of 4 we got 85.00 !! I would shop at kroger and used coupons as much as possible But the 1st time I tried to use food stamps and coupons I was told that I could not do that . I asked to speak to the manager and he had to research because he had never had that “problem” before . I was amazed finally they accepted them but I had to pay tax on the coupon usage . I have lost the food stamps because my 18 year old son has a job and he is saving to start a life on his own however they said it is included as household income . I can not ask him to pay me rent while he is saving for his future , I still use coupons ALOT . By the way I never purchased junk food with my 85.00 It was used to buy us meat for the month then I would use cash for all other needs and wants .At least then I knew my family would at least have meat 🙂


  15. Leslie Says:

    We’re on food stamps, and though it’s a shameful thing to have to admit, we also do it for our kids. I’m struggling to maintain a home business and my spouse has exhausted all unemployment and even with several interviews has had no luck finding work. We’ve utilized the time in order to complete schooling.
    It just sucks because of girls like in your story create this horrible stereotype that I feel lumped in with. Everyone assumes we buy pop and dump it for smokes. I’m not sure how much of an oddity my family is, but we don’t use ours to buy any sort of junk. We shop the sales, and each month set aside a little of our budget to buy extra canned goods, dried goods, etc to store. Everything else we shop the perimeter of the store… fruits and veggies, baking supplies, plain pastas, cheese, meat, etc. We make everything from scratch… and buy all of our ingredients as natural or organic when possible. Our local farmer’s market has started taking them and even offers a double up bucks program… and we’ve done a considerable amount of shopping there. I try to do as much canning as I can, also.
    What is also neat is that you can buy food bearing plants… fruit and veggie plants, herbs, berry bushes, etc. I’m not sure if you can buy seeds, but I almost think you can. I save seeds from our organic produce we eat… and we have actually started container gardening in our home… with lettuce, spinach, fresh herbs for cooking or medicinal purposes… To help with our food budget.
    At least rest assured that there ARE people out there who don’t abuse the system. That make good choices, and use the benefits they get to better themselves… I’m one of them.
    However, I personally believe… there is a reason the government allows for these junk type items to be purchases! Keep the poor people unhealthy with diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease and they’ll be less of an issue later on when they die from their ailments!


  16. sam Says:

    The only bright spot that I can think of about this is that these girls and others like them will soon starve when TSHTF and they will be out of their misery and off of our backs. Sounds cruel but it is the way of the world.


  17. Tsandi Crew Says:

    I grew up right after WWII. During the war, the one war that pulled us out of an economic depression, there was serious rationing. So I was brought up to “waste not, want not.” We have had several wars since, but no rationing, and since the Viet Nam war, which was well publicized every day, our wars have been kept “out of site, out of mind.” Today’s kids, even yesterday’s kids, do not have that teaching. They think old people are more careful about not wasting, about reusing, etc., because they are poor. But it is more likely because they grew up being taught the value of things.


  18. Officer Bacon Says:

    First world problems :DDDDD haha, no. I would rather have a bottle of water and some bread rather than have 2 large drinks of my favorite artificial drink: Mountain Dew.


  19. rumcrook™ Says:

    my wife has a small in home daycare and she recieves 400 dollars a month from the state to buy food for the children so that they get a breakfast a snack and lunch its a check so she could buy what she wants but she has to check off daily on line what she feeds the kids and it has to be within a certain parameter.

    she makes it healthy and stretches it by buying dried beans of all sorts, lentils, split peas, 50 lbs sacks of rice from the asian market for about 40 bucks. fresh whole vegetables like carots and cellery, and the cheapest house brand pasta from walmart as well as whole parts of value chickens at wallmart and she makes all the food from scratch. raw materials are still relatively cheap compared to anything prepared or proccessed.

    I get the feeling this is the only actually home made food some of these kids ever get. some of the kids when new to the daycare actually have a hard time at first becuase practically all they have ever been given are chicken nuggets and ketchup so real food prepared with care is odd to them.

    lentils split peas and beans are very nutritious and cheap as dirt relative to any other purchases.

    being a frugal guy myself I regularly buy dried beans and pressure cook them with some pork and diced up green chile, onion and garlic then I make about 50 burritos to put in the freezer for quik meals.

    total cost beans around 6 bucks pork around 8 bucks onions chiles garlic 3 bucks tortillas 6 bucks 23 bucks? 50 good size nutrient dense burritos? less than 50 cents apiece?

    I spend an afternoon doing tamales some times also, pork seasoning and masa for making a couple hundred is cheap just time consuming. my polish mother made a polish version of a burrito or tamale called a gulumpke made using fresh head of cabage the leaves as the wrapper and rice with ground beef onions and tomato sauce as the filling baked up.

    the gist is that if you spend a sunday producing one of these foods that were typical ethnic fair done on the cheap and frozen for future use you will save money and have something wholesome to eat for a month


  20. Jeanie B Says:

    My daughter and her husband and their 3 kids are getting food stamps at the moment, They have been out of work and cant get buy just on his unemployment. He looks for a job as if it was a job 10 hrs a day 5-6 days a wk. She cant work due to current health issues. I was with her when she went grocery shopping last month and couldnt believe it. she buys basics, old fashioned oats and cherrios for breakfast. OJ, flour for baking bread ( I taught her a few yrs ago after i learned lol). Peanut butter for sandwiches, Hamberger, and cheap cuts of meats along with carrots and hearty vegies. eggs and milk. she buys 4 boxes of mac and cheese as “special dinners” for the kids they get 245.00 a month on her card. The lady in line behind us reprimanded my daughter because she told her 9 yr old twin boys and her 4 yr old daughter that they couldnt have a candy bar cause it wasnt in the budget. the lady called my daughter unfit and my daughter left in tears… I am sorry but all my good grandma feelings went out the door that day and I gave that woman a very loud and not so nice piece of my mind. I figured i would get thrown out of the store, but to my amazment after telling her my daughter didnt buy expensive or fast and easy items but gave her kids oranges from grandma’s tree I heard clapping and realized a crowd had gathered. I am shy by nature so wasnt happy about this but as i loaded the groceries into the cart I left the store to loud clapping and hooting and hollaring. and a man followed me to the car where my daughter was still crying and now the kids had joined her he walked over to her and said you have one tough and proud mother there and here is a bag of candy for your kids . there must have been 20 candy bars in the bag…. when we got to her house we also found 40.00 in the bottom of the bag…sorry i went on and on but needed to share and vent that i guess thanks for listening.


  21. Melissa Says:

    I once did the math and figured out that if hubs and i would go work at mc Donald’s part time for minimum wage we would be better off financially then we are now with him struggling to work and pay our bills and me doing odd jobs and cleaning for people as much as I can while raising our 4 kids. Why you ask? Because then the government would pay for our healthcare ( hubs and I haven’t had any in 8 years), our food, daycare, housing and all of our bills and even help us get a car and a phone.
    Instead we can barely pay our bills and have recently had to apply for food stamps and are facing a fine for not having healthcare ( my kids do get state healthcare because since hubs and I are both considered self employed we don’t have it available to us and can not afford to buy our own).
    We have sold everything we could that was of any value go thru all of our stockpiles, planted our garden and used it, and tried everything else we can think of to avoid it. The prices go up and pay rates don’t even compare some families have no other options.
    That all being said I wish people would realize the opportunity that they have being able to grocery shop, don’t waste it whether it is cash or food stamps make the most of what you have. Don’t buy junk and if you want a treat… Buy staples and baking supplies and make it at home! There are so many people abusing these programs that those who need them get lumped in with the others.
    Here is a clue… If you can afford even the knock off LV purse you can buy groceries, if you drive a newer model vehicle you can buy groceries, if you can afford to pay to go to a salon for anything you can buy groceries. If you can make payments on a credit card you should use it to buy groceries.
    Don’t get me wrong I do own some nicer things but they are either things that have been gifts, I’ve owned them for a long time, I bartered for them or I got lucky at a rummage sale! Even then I almost never buy anything new. Every item of clothing in our house was used or purchased by someone else (Thank God for Grammy at school time she buys shoes!) the only clothing I with purchase new is socks and undies. And if I happen to find new ones in a second hand store I scoop them up!

    Oh and I once asked a homeless person what they made a year and he guesstimated it at about $70K and that’s tax free folks! I’m in the wrong business for sure!



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