6 Things to Buy When You’re Almost Out of Grocery Money

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What would you do if you were almost out of money to buy groceries? It’s understandable if that would cause you to go into a panic mode.

But it’s not just a hypothetical scenario – some people are actually facing that question now. Due to the government shut down, some people are actually having to ask themselves: What bill will I pay first? How will I pay my rent? How will I pay my light and water bills? How much can I really spend on groceries? These folks have jobs, but their employer – the government – isn’t open for business. So, no work = no pay.

It’s a tough spot to be in. I’ve been without work before and the process of a job search that will go on indefinitely was, for me, an anxious time of waiting and wondering.  But wondering where your next meal is going to come from doesn’t have to be part of a time of unemployment if you can do some planning in advance, as much as you can.

I like to keep a list of grocery staples for when times are lean. This might help you if you’re trying to trim your grocery budget when times are good also. Each item has a specific reason for why you should buy it when your funds are running low. This isn’t a comprehensive list that will keep you fed, but it is a starting point for how to start planning if you’re running out of grocery money.

Coffee

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Unless you don’t drink coffee, this would be at the top of my list in a budget crisis. Although it’s not a food, coffee is highly addictive and running out of it could not only cause headaches but a cranky mood! If you drink coffee every day, having that first cup in the morning can give you energy and motivation to start your day. Pick it up at the grocery store – get the grocery’s store off-brand – that way you avoid any morning trips to the cafeteria at work, fast food restaurants, or gas stations to get your fix. These little purchases add up when you charge it on a credit card.

Tea

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If you don’t like coffee, you might want to pick up some tea. And even if you do drink coffee, there are some added benefits to hot tea. If you’re in truly desperate times, hot tea can distract you if you have nothing to eat. Peppermint tea can assist with mental clarity and alertness. Chamomile tea can help with relaxation and alleviating stress. Because I’m trying to lose weight, I also find that hot tea distracts me from food. You can pick up a box of 10 or 20 tea packets as cheap as $1 at a dollar store. It doesn’t get any cheaper than that.

Bread

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What you want to do is look for bread that is marked down, buy some extra, and freeze it. Get your extra loaf of bread, wrap it in a plastic bag, tie it down, and freeze it to prevent freezer burn. Don’t be discouraged by the “sell by” date- be smart about it! The “sell by” date is NOT the expiration date – it’s the date the product must be sold by, not the date it must be consumed by. I would not serve to guests bread that has been frozen because yes, there is a difference in quality. However, it is still safe and will meet your needs when you’re looking at potentially going without.

Butter

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Butter is an item I love to pick up and freeze; it has so many uses. If you’re doing the ketogenic diet, you may have heard of putting butter in your coffee to get sustained energy. I haven’t tried this, but it’s a possibility. I like to buy butter (not margarine) in stick form and freeze it, and for my purposes, freezing doesn’t compromise the taste or quality.  Butter on toast will keep you from going hungry; put butter and pancake syrup on toast and you’ll have a gloriously unsophisticated breakfast.

Corn

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I love that corn is a stand-alone item: you can serve it by itself without any addition and it’s just fine. But, you can also try to make salsa if you dare, or serve it in a salad, or place it in some Southwest Mexican burrito bowls, or serve it alongside steak. Corn is versatile like that. For lean times, corn is great because it’s so cheap and it is healthy.

Pasta – Noodles – Spaghetti – Macaroni Shells

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Pasta, spaghetti, bowtie shells, noodles, call them what you will. The final flavored product is pasta and that  is my final item, the item that could keep you afloat for a very long time. It’s been a while since I cooked any of this because there was a long, long spell of time when I cooked it and practically lived off it. I’m pretty sure I gained some weight as a result. This broad category of food I call pasta (a dressed up noodle) can keep you from starving and keep you full. You can buy a box for about a dollar and I recommend this over the ramen noodles that come with the flavoring that is loaded with MSGs that are so harmful to our health.

And there you have it, six items to help you with your planning of  what to buy when you run out of money for groceries. I hope this is helpful to you if you’re experiencing a job loss, a layoff, a budget crisis, or if you just want to save money! Feel free to share your comments in the comments below, and good luck!

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

3 Life Lessons from The Office’s Michael Scott

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Although it’s been off TV for several years, I’m a huge fan of The Office. There’s no season and no episode of the show I don’t like. If you’re not familiar with it, the main character of the show – played by Steve Carell – is office manager Michael Scott, a man living and working in the city of Scranton, an ordinary town much of America could relate to.

But Michael Scott is quite memorable for so many reasons. If you need a good laugh and you’ve never seen The Office, I highly recommend it. While Carell’s character makes a lot of bad judgment calls that would never, ever fly in a real office setting, it amounts to be great TV comedy. His over-the-top antics, pranks, and personality all combine to make for a situation that could be potentially unbearable at work or maybe laughable, depending on who you are and how your personality is.

But looking at his character, stripping away the silliness and immaturity, there are three big good takeaways to his character. Takeaways that can be applied to your personal life or your professional life. Things about his character that are likable and that we can appreciate – lessons if you will.

Care. Care about others. Care about something.

The Michael Scott character is always caring. Sometimes –  a lot of times – too much. The places in which he displays his care are sometimes misplaced or inappropriate, but at his core, he is a kind, caring person. In his personal life, you can see Michael getting taken advantage of in relationships where he tries to make things work and it’s dysfunctional, or where he gets too serious too soon, but he really has a lot of love to give to someone. In his business life, you can see him pouring so much effort into nourishing relationships with his employees – again, at times crossing lines, but in the end, you can see he wants everyone to feel valued. While not everyone wants to plan a dorky karaoke night (like “The Dundees”), Michael knows that people matter.

Work hard. Be good at what you do.

Michael slacks off a lot – he goofs off, he leaves work for personal errands, and he wastes a lot of time. But, he’s also doing such a good job that his superior – David Wallace – meets with him just for the sole purpose of asking the question “How are you doing such an amazing job?” Despite Michael Scott’s antics, his results speak for themselves – he’s in the spot of leading the number one branch. So, as you go into your new year, ask yourself – do you enjoy what you do? Whatever you’re working hard at, do you like it? Do you want to work at it? If not, why not? And if those aren’t good answers, do you at least see a path for change? There’s dignity in all work, so why not feel pride in doing a good job?

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what you are doing. Maybe you’re a housewife, a student, a janitor, a pastor, or a business person. Do you feel a sense of pride in what you do so that you can say you are succeeding, for whatever success would look like in that spot?

Own who you are.

Michael Scott isn’t cool and he knows it. But that’s part of what makes his character so endearing and why I love the show so much. You can see some of the loneliness that he feels of being so unique, some of the sense of isolation that can come with being highly creative, highly unusual, unlike other people. But ultimately, Michael wins. He wins with being successful in his career, with his strong relationships at work, and ultimately, even if you wouldn’t guess it… in love. So own who you are.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.