How To Be Broke- and still get by

So I went to Wal*Mart the other day -hey, I’m broke AND unemployed now thanks to them. They’re still the cheapest game in town with the most selection. When I’m financially stable I’ll be able to use my buying power as a consumer to support the right businesses.  As long as we’re all this destitute, we really can’t afford to search out a grocer who’s NOT owned by a major company (Schnucks or Kroger or… oh yeah, that’s it) and spend more there.  The reason I’m starting out with this, however, is because I got this glorious hall of sustenance for the week and still managed to stay $5 under budget. Of course, I forgot drinks for Bastian’s sack lunches -but I can get those and we’re still good.

This leads me to the next installment of my latest idea to help assuage the horrors of bein’ broke.

Po’ Folks Tip #2: When you go to the store buy either generic or what’s on sale. Check those endcaps, and round everything up to the nearest $$$ (if it’s not an exact dollar amount), and keep track of what you put in that cart! I always end up being within’ $5 of my total budget, and I keep that set amount in mind the whole time I’m shopping. It helps control expenditures -and we all know we need to do more of that.

As I mentioned in my last post, it is never a good idea to leave the house hungry when you are poor. This is especially true when you are going to the grocery store. Hungry tummies = way more food than you can afford most of the time. Before I went out yesterday to run the rest (hopefully) of my non-dental errands, mom invited Charlie and me over for lunch. I was reminded of all the times my mother used to tell me that we come from “peasant stock” and how that’s part of the reason our family has traditionally given birth to large babies (mine were 10.1 and 10 pounds respectively).  Personally I think this is, to some extent, ridiculous to think about but not necessarily out of the question. In any case, she is an expert at making due and therefore I’m paying homage to her hot dog bun garlic bread. Thanks for lunch, mom, and for a second tip of the day.

Po’ Folks Tip #3: When you haven’t got the cash to buy the foods you love ready made (we pay extra for convenience every day) then get creative! Can’t afford a loaf of french bread, or don’t want to use up gas going to the store for it? Butter up them 99 cent hot dog buns and bake ’em for 5 minutes at *375. Got no more boxed side dishes you can microwave?  Boil some of that rock-hard pasta in the cupboard and heat up a white sauce with cheese and/or garlic. My personal favorite trick is to google all the random dry goods in my cupboard along with the words “recipe” and “easy” and see what comes up. It’s been a life saver a few times, and we’ve found a few favorites!

I also managed to go for a bike ride this past week, and played around with my PowerShot SD 790 IS. Using the Whitman Street bridge as both the foreground and my tripod -I snapped a few pictures of the traffic and the Jefferson Street bridge behind it. My equiptment is not quite on par with what I’d like to be able to do… mosty it’s the lack of a 250mm zoom lens that’s getting in my way. Sigh. It’ll come eventually.

I love night rides. They’re always better with friends though. =)

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