I am again working on my budgets. At the end of one financial month, before the beginning of the next financial month, I try to plan how I can make my small funds last until the next infusion of money. It has always been a survival issue for me... started way back when I had kids and lived on welfare only. Now I only have a small Social Security Retirement check along with a small amount of food stamps (currently called SNAP). Not much has changed in my income, despite lots of efforts to change it, but it is only me right now. My kids have grown.
Right now I am at the end of my food supplies and planning to create a better emergency pantry than I have had in the past. I know I have talked about it before, but let me update what I can as I write this new post.
Awhile back I purposely tried to live on my back-up food supplies. I discovered the meal options were not very good. I had a lot of easy to store foods like rice and dry beans, but little to go with them to make a decent meal. I decided then to make a change in how I prepare for unexpected food emergencies. I am trying to make a pantry that would create meals I like to eat. I am now working on that challenge.
Since I live at such a low income level, I am going to work on a three month pantry first. My food budget is so low (only $126 each month), I can only use a small amount of food money to begin the building process. This morning I decided there is only $11 available for my emergency pantry efforts each month. This will be quite a task.
I have created a plastic container to act as my starting storage option. Naturally, I will eat the food if I have to, but the bigger goal is to stretch my other purchases to meet the regular food needs of November. I see a lot of rice and pasta ahead... maybe a steady diet of ramen, a great meal stretcher !! 😃
Actually, I have been reading a lot of materials about food and diets and weight loss. FOOD RULES by Michael Pollan is the latest book I have been reading. Eating healthy and eating cheaply is the main difficulty in poverty. I hope to find some useful solutions to those problems. I will share them with you when I do.
What will eleven dollars buy for my first month doing this? I don't know...yet! My staples for quick meals are Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice, ramen, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese... they will probably start the process. Canned milk is good to have on hand. That might be all I can get in one budget. Dried fruits store well, so I need to decide which ones to get and how to package them.
By the time we get to December's budget, I should have more meal ideas to start collecting for. Let me know if you have any good ideas for this effort. I search lots of resources, and will try to share those with you as time goes by.
In Christ, Deb 💛