Have you been to the grocery store lately? Food prices are ridiculous and it appears that they are only going to get worse. With inflation and crop failures you can pretty much count on it. If you are a person of little means like me, the poor, the down and out, or a member of the “underclass” you need to do everything you can to reduce your food budget. You can clip a few coupons, which helps a little, but you need to do more than that. A lot more than that! Get hardcore and go “commando” on its ass. I’m talking about your food budget of course so don’t get all medieval with the manager of your local Piggly-Wiggly because of high prices.
Use “alternative” strategies to put food on the table. Things like dumpster diving for food that’s still eatable can have a noticeable difference on your budget. Read my article, “eating garbage” posted earlier this month. Create a weekly (or monthly) menu built around basic food items bought in bulk. Beans, rice, flour, sugar, oatmeal, powdered milk, baking powder, and corn meal are all relatively cheap (for now) and can be stored away for long periods of time without going bad.
Learn to cook from scratch and save a ton. With just the above mentioned food items and little more you can cook a wide variety of things that will keep your menu from becoming too repetitive. Some of the things you can make with these basic dry goods include bread, biscuits-n-gravy, pancakes and waffles, cookies, cakes, muffins and corn bread. Beans and rice together will provide you with all of the essential amino acids that are vital to good health. So if no meat is available to you for whatever reason you could survive in good health for a reasonable length of time on little more. Not that you would want to do that, but you could if need be.
You can also cut cost as well by growing as much of your own food as you can. Raise a few chickens for eggs; keep a few bunnies around for meat. If you have the space think about acquiring a few goats for milk and/or meat. Most people may not be able to raise all of the food they consume due to space limitations and time constraints but even a small garden and a few chickens will go a long way in helping reduce cost. Even if you live in an apartment right now you could still grow a few fresh veggies on your balcony.
People who are unemployed or employed only part time right now might want to think about Food banks and similar organizations that give out food to the needy. I know that some of you will scoff at accepting “charity”, but if you’re worried about where your next meal is going to come from then swallow your pride and take advantage of all the freebie food programs you can find. There have been times in the past when these programs have meant the difference between me eating a decent meal or going to bed hungry at night. By all means don’t let it get you down though because one minute you’re sitting there-boo hoo , woe is me and the next minute you’re lying in a bathtub full of water with your life force slowly fading away after you’ve done slit your wrist! So lighten up and try to get over any complex you might have with this.
Another freebie food idea is to find a local “soup kitchen” If there’s one in your area. Find out what time they start serving lunch and dinner and arrive on time. The Salvation Army serves hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of meals to people every single day! Check around to see if one is in your area.
I once dated a girl who was always complaining that we never went out and did anything. One day I went over to her house and told her to get ready that I was taking her out to eat. It took a few minutes to convince her I was serious but when I did she got all gussied up, fixing her hair and putting on makeup and changing clothes several times to find the right outfit. When we left the house she was all giddy and smiling from ear to ear. “Where are you taking me”, she asked. “You’ll see” I told her, “it’s a surprise. When I pulled into the Salvation Army parking lot and shut the car off she got totally quiet, which was unusual for her. She got this totally serious look on her face as she said “you’re taking me out to eat at a homeless shelter-You really are the cheapest bastard I ever dated. Needless to say that relationship didn’t work out.
There are other ways to slash your food bill and put grub on the table. As with most everything on this blog this article is not meant to be an A to Z, step by step guide you should follow but merely “food for thought”. Options in life are more abundant than most people realize so be creative and come up with solutions that fit your particular needs. Find ways to adapt to situations that take your personal experiences into account. With a little luck you can stay fat and happy until the apocalypse.