Tag Archives: food

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.

How to Have a No-Spend Weekend

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If you’re accustomed to celebrating every weekend by spending money, it can be a challenge to change your ways if money gets tight. But if you set your mind to it, you can have a no-spend weekend- a weekend that doesn’t involve spending any money.

I’m what some call a house cat. I love to stay home. I like to relax, and now that it’s fall, I love to stay cozy. So for me, a no-spend weekend is no problem. But for you, it might not be second-nature. But I can help you get there if you’re new to this idea or if you’re just trying to cut back on your weekend spending.

Avoid the Mad Rush

Whether it’s to the bar, the mall, or to get food, you might feel a rush to just make some plans on Friday night. After all, if you work Monday to Friday, it’s only normal to want to celebrate the weekend. But before you go spend money you don’t have – or money that’s reserved for something else – just remind yourself that it’s ok to not make plans. It’s ok to not have plans. If you’re normally busy as a bee on Friday night, you can always make up for a lazy weekend if you feel like you have to by making plans with a friend to meet up for coffee during the week or having the lunch special during the week instead of dinner on Friday night.

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How to Save Money on Food Costs

To save money on a no-spend weekend, give some thought to how you’ll be dining. If you normally go to a bar on Friday night, try playing host in your own home. You could save some money, show off your cooking skills, and have a good time. One of the easiest ways you can help yourself is to learn the skill of couponing. Whether you’re an eligible bachelor or a mom of five, you can save a ton on your food and drink costs. While my time to coupon isn’t what it used to be, I still love getting products for free (or close to it) because of my couponing skills.

Free No-Spend Weekend Activities

In my hometown, there are museums, sports teams, casinos, and so much more. All these things could burn a hole through my wallet if I let them! But there are also free things to do – music events on college campuses, parks, walking trails, and a museum that has free daily admission (no catch, no kidding). The free events get less press than the paid ones, but it’s probably true that your town has something to do that’s free. The free events might be hard to find, but if there’s an arts-and-entertainment newspaper where you live, that’s a good start for locating free activities for your no-spend weekend.  Other activities on your docket could include:

  • Starting a blog (here on WordPress, you can do it for free)
  • Searching the internet for your favorite restaurant’s recipes, and cooking at home (not completely no-spend, but you gotta eat)
  • Binge watch a TV show, something you’ve never seen
  • Find something on Rotten Tomatoes that has an awful review. Try it, see if you can survive it!
  • De-clutter your closet and donate unwanted items to charity
  • Go walking or hiking
  • Visit family or friends
  • Go to church
  • Go to public library and check out some free stuff
  • Volunteer with a charity you care about

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 content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

 

Why Do People Cook From Scratch?

Grocery stores are filled with convenience foods. Granola bars are filled with flavor and it’s easy to heat a frozen pizza or ramen noodle bowl in the microwave. Why then would anyone bother with cooking from scratch? Here are some common myths and truths about cooking from scratch.