Food How To Eat on $5 For 2 Weeks | Emergency Extreme Budget

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This too shall pass.
(I had posted this in another thread on Main, then decided it would be good to put it here where it might be easier to find.)

On food costs, I came across a video a couple of weeks ago where a woman explained how to feed one person for two weeks on $5. I examined her shopping list, and given her prerequisites (some spices already in the pantry), and a willingness to eat one or two meals a day, it could just about be done. Double it and add a vegetable garden and a pair of laying hens, and it could be done quite nicely. So, maybe twenty bucks a month per person for a very basic but reasonably healthy diet.

Okay, I found her video (keeping in mind this is meant to be a survival diet for someone in dire circumstances):

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7epGiZxp9dA&t=333s


SHOPPING LIST (Dollar Tree)
1- 16 0z Tortilla (12 count)
1- 16 oz. Beans
1- 14 oz. Pepper Stir Fry Mix (Frozen)
1- 2lb Bag Rice
1- Dozen Eggs

BEAN PREP
1. Soak entire 16 oz. Bag of Beans in 7 quarts or more of water over night either on the counter or in the refrigerator ( I don't recommend keeping the beans out on the counter over 12 hours).
2. Once soaked, drain water and rinse beans a few times.
3. Cook beans in about 12 quarts of water and 2-3 tbsp. of salt for 1 hour or until soft and easy to squish between 2 fingers (but not mushy).
4. Once cooked drain beans and reserve the liquid for recipe listed below.

VEGGIE SCRAMBLED EGGS (2 servings)
2 Eggs Beaten
1/4 Cup Pepper Stir Fry Mix (diced)
2 Tsp Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste

ONE POT RICE & BEANS
4 Cups Bean Liquid (or water)
2 Cups Rice (rinsed 2-3 times and drained)
1 Cup Beans (pre-cooked)
3 Tbsp. Oil
1/3 Cup Pepper Stir Fry Mix (diced)
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 /2 Tsp Complete Seasoning
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Chicken Bullion (or seasoning salt or veggie bouillon)
1/2 tsp Beef Bouillon (or seasoning salt or veggie bouillon)
**Cook low and slow for about 25-30 minutes after adding liquid

BEANS & RICE (2 Servings)
1 Cup Rice (cooked according per package directions)
3 Cups Bean Liquid (or water)
1 Cup Beans (pre-cooked)
2 Tbsp. Oil
1/4 Cup Pepper Stir Fry Mix (diced)
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Cayenne
1/2 Tsp Complete Seasoning
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Chicken Bullion (or seasoning salt or veggie bouillon)
**Cook on med heat for 1 hour (stirring every 15-20 minutes)

STIR FRIED RICE (2 Servings)
2 Cups Cooked Rice (preferably a day or more old)
2-3 Tbsp. Oil
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1-2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Pepper Stir Fry (diced)
1 Egg (optional)
3 1/3 Cup Beans (optional)

(Back to Kathleen) Personally, I would have to make some changes in her ingredients because of our health issues, but still, we could live on that. I haven't been in a Dollar store in years and never did buy much food in one, so I don't know if you could actually get the ingredients she mentioned for a dollar each. But I do know that only twenty years ago I used to feed youngest daughter and myself and a big dog and get our paper products for $100/month, so I know it can be done if you have to.

ETA: Here is where a good knowledge of wild-food foraging would come in really handy. The ingredients she lists (along with some form of fat, which she apparently assumes you already have in your pantry, but which would have to be purchased if you don't) would provide enough calories to survive on. But you could add a lot of value to the basic ingredients with some foraging in all but deep winter.

Kathleen
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I added something to that other thread on Main: a 50 lb. bag of chicken scratch grains (probably something like cracked corn, milo, rolled oats, and wheat) could be used for people food. Right now it's $12.49 a bag at Tractor Supply -- I don't know if that's the same thing I was buying last summer for about eight or nine dollars a bag or not, but it's still only twenty-five cents a pound. If you were measuring corn meal, one pound comes out to about two and 3/4 cups; probably the scratch would be pretty close to that. Using that measurement, a pound of scratch grains could be cooked up into about five or six servings of cereal, costing 5 cents or so per serving. That's a cheap breakfast even if you add an egg for protein. 250 meals at least from a $12.49 bag of chicken scratch.

You'd have to store it properly, though -- it would probably get bugs in it faster than stuff intended for human consumption.

Kathleen
 

nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I added something to that other thread on Main: a 50 lb. bag of chicken scratch grains (probably something like cracked corn, milo, rolled oats, and wheat) could be used for people food. Right now it's $12.49 a bag at Tractor Supply -- I don't know if that's the same thing I was buying last summer for about eight or nine dollars a bag or not, but it's still only twenty-five cents a pound. If you were measuring corn meal, one pound comes out to about two and 3/4 cups; probably the scratch would be pretty close to that. Using that measurement, a pound of scratch grains could be cooked up into about five or six servings of cereal, costing 5 cents or so per serving. That's a cheap breakfast even if you add an egg for protein. 250 meals at least from a $12.49 bag of chicken scratch.

You'd have to store it properly, though -- it would probably get bugs in it faster than stuff intended for human consumption.

Kathleen
That's an interesting concept, using chicken scratch. Wonder if its sprayed with something. Can you point me to the thread on the main that you are referencing?

God is good all the time

Judy
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
That's an interesting concept, using chicken scratch. Wonder if its sprayed with something. Can you point me to the thread on the main that you are referencing?

God is good all the time

Judy
Animals are generally more sensitive to chemicals than humans, so I don't think there would be anything added to their feed that we couldn't eat. On the other hand, unless it's labeled organic, it's likely to have things like GMO corn in it. In a survival situation (which is what it would need to be before most people would be willing to eat chicken scratch), personally, I would not be too worried about what was GMO and what wasn't. It's also more likely to have bugs in it than stuff sold for human consumption. If it was very dusty, I would suggest using a sieve with a fine mesh and washing the grain before cooking (the dust would most likely be powdered grain, but washing it wouldn't hurt anything).

Kathleen
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Yeah, that’s probably not going to happen in this household. That said I have gobs of meals for the two of us plus leftovers for less than $10 a day. Back in 2008 I could make those same meals plus leftovers for $5 a day. There’s nothing like cooking a large beef roast and having meals for five days.
 

nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Before DH and I got married I spent about $50 a month at the grocery store, I also had preps to help out. I treated meat more as a condement rather than a main portion of my meal, lots of soups and stir fries. And I managed to lose weight that way too.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Yeah, that’s probably not going to happen in this household. That said I have gobs of meals for the two of us plus leftovers for less than $10 a day. Back in 2008 I could make those same meals plus leftovers for $5 a day. There’s nothing like cooking a large beef roast and having meals for five days.
As things are now, it's not going to happen in this household, either. But it could happen to someone. I thought it would be good to put up some ideas to hopefully help out in extreme cases. For instance, there's a guy on one of Sarah Hoyt's forums who just lost his job a few days ago and is trying to make his money stretch until he can find another job. Even I would not have thought it possible to eat as cheaply as the lady showed in the video, at least not without eating primarily from the garden. My daughter and I would be sick pretty fast if we followed her plan exactly (wheat in the tortillas, peppers in the vegetable mix), but we could work from her starting point and adjust it to fit us.

Kathleen
 

spinner

Senior Member
conventional grains, such as chicken or animal grain, has likely been sprayed with glyphosate as a drying agent before harvest. I would be very wary of using any animal feed that is not organic. Of course if you are starving (really, not just hungry) then that changes everything.
 

Smoke

Veteran Member
Just got done seeing a news article about the gov giving away more and more money to get kids out of poverty, it is a good idea, but I always think "where is all this money going to come from" and the answer is by those who have an income whether it be from working or social security or other pensions, the price of every thing will go up except for wages. So we all might be doing something like this, and I can see the dollar tree either dropping products or raising their prices. So I suggest that if you have room and the $$$ start double stocking up.. when and where you can. Learn to forage, fish, hunt, trap learn to eat different, that will be the big thing. I'm still a meat and potato type person. So I will have to learn to eat differently. Luckily I do like beans and rice.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I think that it's critically important for everyone to start growing at least some of their own food, even if it's just a few pots of herbs and greens on a balcony. If you have your own supply of vegetables for flavoring and nutrients, you could take the dollar spent on veggies in that list above, and use it for something else, maybe another dozen eggs. Or maybe it will be a dollar for half a dozen eggs pretty soon, who knows.

Kathleen
 

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Just got done seeing a news article about the gov giving away more and more money to get kids out of poverty, it is a good idea, but I always think "where is all this money going to come from" and the answer is by those who have an income whether it be from working or social security or other pensions, the price of every thing will go up except for wages. So we all might be doing something like this, and I can see the dollar tree either dropping products or raising their prices. So I suggest that if you have room and the $$$ start double stocking up.. when and where you can. Learn to forage, fish, hunt, trap learn to eat different, that will be the big thing. I'm still a meat and potato type person. So I will have to learn to eat differently. Luckily I do like beans and rice.
The problem is they give the money to spendthrift parents that got them in poverty to begin with. The parents do not use the money to get out of poverty but to keep themselves there.

"Money for Kids" should be placed in trust with a payee and only certain expenses should be allowed out of it. That should not include for education since we - as in all of us - pay enough taxes to cover that for every child in this country. There is also enough lottery programs floating around that it shouldn't be a problem.

The requirements to receive money from this fund would be attendance in school (no drop outs or truancy or the money ends) and a minimum of 2.0 GPA. Funds increase at a minimum 3.0 GPA. If you keep a 4.0 or higher GPA then you get a grant to a State College that you don't have to pay back if you complete the degree.

What kids need is motivation. If they aren't motivated all the money in the world is not going to keep them out of poverty.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
The problem is they give the money to spendthrift parents that got them in poverty to begin with. The parents do not use the money to get out of poverty but to keep themselves there.

"Money for Kids" should be placed in trust with a payee and only certain expenses should be allowed out of it. That should not include for education since we - as in all of us - pay enough taxes to cover that for every child in this country. There is also enough lottery programs floating around that it shouldn't be a problem.

The requirements to receive money from this fund would be attendance in school (no drop outs or truancy or the money ends) and a minimum of 2.0 GPA. Funds increase at a minimum 3.0 GPA. If you keep a 4.0 or higher GPA then you get a grant to a State College that you don't have to pay back if you complete the degree.

What kids need is motivation. If they aren't motivated all the money in the world is not going to keep them out of poverty.
As harsh as it may seem, allowing the children to go hungry acts as a motivator for the PARENTS to get out of poverty. I like your idea of using school attendance and GPA for a motivator -- it will never happen under current conditions, but if things were as they ought to be, it would work for a lot of people. There should be a motivator that would work on the parents, too, though.

But, let's get back to the focus of the thread, which is how people can feed themselves cheaply in dire circumstances.

Kathleen
 

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
I would add a daily vitamin to that food list, as well as some form of fiber. Yes, rice and beans can form a full protein, but that is also an extremely carb heavy diet most of us can't eat, even with high calorie work days.

I walk an extra and intentional 4 to 5 miles every day. That's in addition to the normal amount I am on my feet. I burn a minimum of 2500 calories per day ... minimum. However, eating a diet like that for an extended period of time wouldn't save me, it would put me in the grave.

The link below is from the Atkins website and is commercial but does have some good info on rice substitutes. Not all of them are practical for most people, and they sure wouldn't fit into a $5 budget, but it could be used by some people to at least adjust the carb load on the menu from the OP.

Low Carb & Keto-Friendly Rice Substitutes & Alternatives | Atkins
 

Millwright

Knuckle Dragger
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I can and do eat similar to that every day however I'm not eating anything from a dollar tree around here. They're both nasty. I mean disgustingly nasty. A friend went in the other week and a rat, not a mouse, a rat, ran across the aisle.
Did she catch it?

Just a little more meat in the stir fry. :D

If the situation got that desperate, many things would edge into the menu.


Spices and flavoring are critical, IMO.

Why I have been freeze drying a lot of onion, celery, bell peppers and such.

Granulated garlic is good enough for cooking most things, not worth the effort to process whole garlic.
 
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summerthyme

Administrator
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conventional grains, such as chicken or animal grain, has likely been sprayed with glyphosate as a drying agent before harvest. I would be very wary of using any animal feed that is not organic. Of course if you are starving (really, not just hungry) then that changes everything.
The major *potential * issue with consuming "livestock" grains as opposed to those sold for human consumption is mold... aflatoxins. There are much higher allowable levels in livestock feed than human feed. However, baby chicks and horses are both *very* sensitive to mold. Feed sold for either *should be* as clean as that sold for people.

But unless you currently eat *only* organic food, your pasta, flour, cereals, etc also were made from grains sprayed with glyphosate.

Summerthyme
 
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nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I'm so glad this thread has been started. There are utube video people that tell people to stock the live stock grains. They po po people that complain that those grains are not healthy for humans, hell I don't think they are healthy for animals either. They say they will have full bellies and the organic people will die of hunger. Personally, I don't want to eat the badly unhealthy food that people suggest. Even some of the packaged and canned foods out there, and I do have some of it will not keep a person healthy. In an emergency situation the last thing I want is for my health to take a nose dive.

I've had people say to me "what you want to live forever" because I cut certain main stream foods out of my diet. No, I definitely don't want to live forever, what I want is to be healthy while I'm living. I've enjoyed good health all my 74 years and I want to keep it that way.

As for the foods in the OP some of it is okay, we are not big on bread or much in the way of baked flour products, which I consider to be the healthier way to go. Oh, I know people say they grew up eating that way and that is what they are use to, go ahead and keep eating that way and have your bad health. We also do not eat pasta very often, cereal not at all, we don't have potatoes hardly even weekly.

I've not had much in the way of luck in the garden. And this year I seem to have little interest in my garden, but its not too late to get things planted. DH is a seasoned gardener but he has a hard time with the very sandy soil we have her, but he keeps trying. My mother had a green thumb, I did not inherit it and am generally not an outside person because of my allergies. In the end it will probably be allergies that do me in, but for now I have some control over them.

The main reason I want to extend the life of packaged and boxed foods that I do have in my pantry is because they are not every day foods for us, just something from time to time to help with food fatigue. Personally I love beans and could eat them every day, I would be very fat if I did that though.

God is good all the time

Judy
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
I can and do eat similar to that every day however I'm not eating anything from a dollar tree around here. They're both nasty. I mean disgustingly nasty. A friend went in the other week and a rat, not a mouse, a rat, ran across the aisle.
You just described several of the DT's in my area, I'd shop walmart first for food before the DT. That said the majority of our food comes from Aldi, Fareway, our local organic co-op and Sam's Club. I get specialty items from the Thai and Korean grocery stores here in town and the Italian grocery store in Des Moines.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I haven't been in a Dollar Tree since we left Oregon -- the one in Klamath Falls was fairly new, and was clean and well-kept. I didn't shop there very often, though.

I'm going to see what I can figure out using Walmart as the food source.

Kathleen
 

nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I go to Dollar Tree all the time, but I'm selective about what I buy. For instance: Hunts ketsup is Hunts ketsup, goya beans, canned chicken and tuna, luncheon meat (I've yet to eat any, yuck) and so on and so on.

In despiration last year I bought several packages of flour tortillas. After over a year they still seemed good but I was suspect (never tried them) the goats and the dog loved them. The dog buried hers.

I buy cleaning products from DT. Sometimes they have these lovely little jars of asparagus tips, and the taste good, ingredients are okay. The country of origin is Peru. Sweet pickles and relish come from India. I'm okay about those countries.

All these things cost $1. I'm good with it.

In my near area there are not that many choices of where to shop. I did frequent SavALot, but they went out of business and Piggly Wiggly took over. I went in there the other day and didn't make it down two isles before I left, I was not impressed and won't go back again. My other choices are Walmart, Super One, and the dollar stores. When I'm in shreveport I go to Kroger, no aldi's or costco in Louisiana, much less near me.

God is good all the time

Judy
 

Meemur

Voice on the Prairie
Ugh. This is why I have a decent pantry. I have lived on peanut butter and Chunky Soup before in my college years. I have no desire to return to that. I'd rather stretch a pound of hamburger with rice, pasta, crackers . . .
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
There is just one Dollar Tree in the big city we shop in. It's all the way on the other side of town from the area we usually shop in. I went there years ago trying to find something. I forget what it was. When I walked in, the place looked like a pig pen. I walked out, and haven't had the desire to go back. I do shop at our local Dollar General, which has a totally different atmosphere and is very clean. The one I shop at is only about 2 miles from home. Very rural.
 

nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
There is just one Dollar Tree in the big city we shop in. It's all the way on the other side of town from the area we usually shop in. I went there years ago trying to find something. I forget what it was. When I walked in, the place looked like a pig pen. I walked out, and haven't had the desire to go back. I do shop at our local Dollar General, which has a totally different atmosphere and is very clean. The one I shop at is only about 2 miles from home. Very rural.
The dollar trees that I go to are clean, some dollar generals are nasty.

Judy
 

Cardinal

Snark: a higher form of communication
_______________
A good way to measure true inflation is to watch the products that Dollar Tree is going to stock going forward. If they are going to remain a Dollar Tree, they will have to do something to adjust for inflation.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Ugh. This is why I have a decent pantry. I have lived on peanut butter and Chunky Soup before in my college years. I have no desire to return to that. I'd rather stretch a pound of hamburger with rice, pasta, crackers . . .
This, throw in some winter squash and I’m there, and OC and I love beans, lentils, split peas, etc, so I keep plenty of herbs and spices on hand.
 

Meemur

Voice on the Prairie
This, throw in some winter squash and I’m there, and OC and I love beans, lentils, split peas, etc, so I keep plenty of herbs and spices on hand.
That, too.

I can get 4 - 6 dinners from a pound of hamburger, depending on what filler I use, so that's generally my first choice, followed by pork chops (usually inexpensive here) and whole chickens, which vary widely in price through the year.

This is zero problem in the summer because there's plenty of fresh veggies and a tiny bit of meat goes far. The winter is another story. I rely more on soups, stews, and my homemade bread.

If our inland fish were decent, I could eat them, but I worry about the pollution levels. I'd rather get fresh hamburger and mostly fill up on veggies.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
That, too.

I can get 4 - 6 dinners from a pound of hamburger, depending on what filler I use, so that's generally my first choice, followed by pork chops (usually inexpensive here) and whole chickens, which vary widely in price through the year.

This is zero problem in the summer because there's plenty of fresh veggies and a tiny bit of meat goes far. The winter is another story. I rely more on soups, stews, and my homemade bread.

If our inland fish were decent, I could eat them, but I worry about the pollution levels. I'd rather get fresh hamburger and mostly fill up on veggies.
I’m planning to purchase on of those tiny hydroponic lettuce herb greenhouse thingies so I can have fresh greens year round now. Just need to stock up on seeds. A pound of ground beef will make two meals for 5he both of us.
 

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
A good way to measure true inflation is to watch the products that Dollar Tree is going to stock going forward. If they are going to remain a Dollar Tree, they will have to do something to adjust for inflation.
More junk, less food. I've noticed a significant uptick in school supplies and educational twaddle that teachers like to buy for their classroom, or home school families buy to try and make things look like "real school." [insert atomic eye roll here]

There's also been an increase in the size of the snack section. Getting harder to find the instant coffee my mom drinks that only the dollar store seems to carry. Also, while the dollar stores further north have decent "cold food" selections, the stuff in our city area isn't all that great. I can get country ham scraps/biscuit slices in north Florida but the ones around here don't carry them.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I'm going to do another shopping list, assuming the individual has some money to spend up front (and is capable of cooking from scratch) and expects to be on a tight budget for several months or longer. This shopping list will be for two people for six months. It is NOT organic or low-carb; this is a survival diet for someone who has to make a very small amount of money last half a year. It would not work for those of us who must eat gluten-free (although it would only cost a few more dollars to make it gluten-free), and it won't work very well for anyone who must eat low-carb. It's for everyone else.

This is all from Walmart. I'm including a few seasonings, rather than assuming they are already in the pantry. Even with a few luxuries, it comes out to about $50/month to feed two people. It's low on vegetables and includes no fruit -- grow or forage some vegetables, and buy or forage fruit in season. Buy additional seasonings and luxury items when and if you can afford them. Make a sourdough starter with the flour, and have sourdough pancakes, biscuits, and bread. You could also make tortillas, and pie crust. Reminder -- this is NOT intended to be a low-carb diet.

6-20 lb. bags white rice...........................$52.08 ($.027/oz.)
6-20 lb. bag pinto beans .......................$86.76 ($.045/oz.)
6-60 large eggs (box) ..............................$44.82 ($.125 each) (buy one box each month)
40 lbs. (4-10 lb. bags) white flour.........$11.96 ($.299/lb.)
8 lb. tub of lard.............................................$14.17 ($.125/oz.)
8 lbs. white sugar (2-4 lb. bags).............$4.58 ($.036/oz.)
26 oz. iodized salt........................................$0.40 ($.0155/oz.)
2 lbs. chicken bouillon................................$4.88 ($.152/oz.)
17 oz. minced onion....................................$6.98 ($.41/oz.)
9 oz. chili powder..........................................$2.94 ($.326/oz.) (three bottles)
7.12 oz. cinnamon........................................$5.78 ($.81/oz.)
6.8 oz. garlic powder...................................$1.96 ($.29/oz.) (two bottles)
6 lbs. butter.....................................................$17.64 ($.183/oz.) (1 lb./month; store in freezer)
3-32 oz. bags mixed vegetables..............$6.66 ($.069/oz.)
3-32 oz. bags broccoli florets...................$7.86 ($.082/oz.)
3-32 oz. bags peas.........................................$6.66 ($.069/oz.)
3-20 oz. bags stir-fry vegetables..............$6.99 ($.117/oz.)
64 oz. peanut butter......................................$4.34 ($.068/oz.)
2-30 oz. grape jelly.........................................$2.86 ($.048/oz.)
3-36 oz. pancake syrup.................................$7.15 ($.07/oz.)
2-16 oz. parmesan cheese...........................$9.36 ($.292/oz.)
TOTAL (before taxes)................$306.83

Even with a few luxury items thrown in, the total comes out barely over $300 for six months worth of a very basic diet for two people.

You could buy two bags of rabbit pellets per month, and, if you don't buy eggs, a bag of chicken feed per month, still staying under $500 total for six months. This will feed six hens if they can forage for part of their feed (plus get kitchen scraps), which will give you two eggs a day per person most of the year, twice as much as you would have by buying eggs. And the rabbit pellets, supplemented with foraged grass, weeds, brush and tree branches (dry some of it for winter use) would be enough to feed a buck, two or three breeding does, and their litters, which would give you more than enough meat for two people. You might be able to trade some bunnies or sell them.

Add a small garden, even if only in containers, and get a fishing license and use it, and two people could eat very well on this. You might be able to get free starts for strawberry plants and other small fruits from people who are thinning out their patches.

One way to save money is to stay out of the stores -- by buying for several months at a time, you can avoid impulse spending, which saves a lot!
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I’m planning to purchase on of those tiny hydroponic lettuce herb greenhouse thingies so I can have fresh greens year round now. Just need to stock up on seeds. A pound of ground beef will make two meals for 5he both of us.
If you have a sunny window, you don't even need the hydroponic thing -- a large container in the window will grow a lot of lettuce and herbs. I did that in a south-facing window while we were still in Oregon and it worked very well. Here, we don't have a good south-facing window to use, so I'm planning to put up a lean-to greenhouse on the south side of the house.

Kathleen
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
One way to save money is to stay out of the stores -- by buying for several months at a time, you can avoid impulse spending, which saves a lot!
Sound advice. I was shocked to see how much I saved by only shopping every two weeks, instead of every week. If I only shopped once a month, I'm sure I would save even more. Some stores I won't even go to, because I know that if I do, I'll spend money on things that aren't really necessities, just wants, or like to have's. That also includes picking up more food items that I don't really need just, because.......

And, I never shop without a grocery list.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Shopping with a list is critical! Also, if there is more than one person in the household, the person who is best at sticking to the list (and who is willing to take time to compare prices, read labels, etc.) should be the one who does the shopping. Avoid taking children to the store -- they tend to beg for stuff, and it's usually nothing healthy. (My daughter loves Whoppers, LOL!)

I didn't have toilet paper, dish detergent, shampoo, or any other toiletries on my list -- those would obviously be an additional cost. Someone with very short hair could probably just wash their hair with soap, and it is possible to brush your teeth with baking soda or salt. Doesn't taste as nice, but it can be done. And a basic homemade laundry detergent works pretty well and is quite a bit less expensive than store-bought. The more stuff you add to it, the more expensive it's going to be.
 
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