Tag Archives: Savings

Eating on a budget

Standard

A couple things on MSN.com caught my eye today. There is a lot of discussion going on about eating on a budget. MSN even talked about the food stamp thing going around on how to eat on $4 a day. I want to start by telling you that as a former county worker who determined eligibility for food assistance, the myth surrounding food assistance is not correct. The article states that if a family of 4 is not working they will receive around $680 or something like that. Well, when you are receiving food assistance, it is a supplemental program, this amount was never intended to be your entire budget, but when I look at $680 for a family of 4 I actually cringe.  I have had 4 people in my house for the past 2 summers and I spent no where near that much per month on food. Food assistance is only supposed to supplement 70% of your food expense for the month, so you are responsible to pay at least 30% of your food costs (more if you make more money).

One article listed these 7 items to buy if you are broke:

  • Brown Rice
  • Dried Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Green Veggies
  • Frozen Veggies
  • Peanut Butter
  • Protein Bars (supposed to eat them every 3 hours so you get your protein and stay full???)

Another article says you can eat on $1.50 a day if you eat these items:

  • Oats
  • Lentils
  • Potatoes
  • Frozen Veggies
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Peanut Butter
  • Ramen noodles

See the similarities?  I think I blogged about making dried beans for the first time back in January, they were good, but I was curious to see what else was out there as far as recipes for dried beans.  I found a great one at:

http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/2009/10/slow-cooked-tomato-and-herb-white-beans

I am definitely going to try this recipe.

I don’t know how much I actually spend at the grocery (I know, not good), but it is no where near what other people do. I also use coupons and only buy something if I am going to use it, it is on sale and I have a coupon (or if it is a staple).  Basically both articles talked about being creative especially with the rice and pasta. You can do a lot with Ramen noodles also. All of this food talk is making me hungry, going to eat some beans and cornbread.

 

 

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I am referring all of my readers to ebates. I was skeptical at first, but then I changed my mind. We have a service at work that is similar to ebates it is called Blackstone Marketplace, where if you shop from their site you can get extra deals and “points” to use toward future purchases.  Now it takes a lot of time to rack up points.  In fact, I have been on there for 2 years and have about $50 that I could use toward a purchase. I am not the average girl I HATE TO SHOP. So, when Christmas time comes I do all of my ordering online if possible.

A few weeks ago I had started to think about buying a new washer and dryer. I did some comparison shopping and actually realized that I could afford to purchase one outright (by outright I mean put it on my Amex card that provides “points” toward travel, I always pay it off every month). Now, my Amex card is a whole other Blog post. (I am actually going on spring break nearly free in April from using that card). While I was comparison shopping online for my new washer and dryer I actually saw a commercial for ebates. I realized that I had signed up for ebates back in 2012 but never actually tried it. I looked through the site and realized that if I purchased my washer and dryer from Lowes which was actually the cheapest price and free delivery, I could get 2% back on my purchase. Now 2% isn’t much, but on a large purchase it adds up.

I also made a couple more purchases through ebates and now I have $31.22 in my “ebates bank” that will be sent back to me I believe the date said 02/15/2014.

The pros and cons of ebates:

PROS

  • Free money.
  • You do not have to leave your house.
  • Free money (I can’t stress that enough).
  • The website is a secure website. (you can check this by seeing if it says “https” vs “http”.

CONS

  • The percentage is small, I have seen a promotion for up to 18% back, but most are about 2-4%.
  • They will not send you a check until your “ebate bank” balance is at least $5.00.
  • You must remember to go through their site and be logged on.

Overall, if you do a lot of online shopping or even just a little, the deal is a great one. On your first purchase you will get a free $10 gift card (but don’t wait too long after signing up or that promotion expires. I waited 2 years, so I did not get the gift card). As long as you do not purchase things you were not going to purchase anyway, the deal is awesome!

Good luck and use my link, if you refer people you will get extra money in your “ebate bank”.

http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=%2FkCE8m%2B7NHAxEtWfWDA1sA%3D%3D

If anyone has any specific questions on how this works please let me know and I can try to answer the best I can.