I stared in the pantry accessing what I had and what I needed while bumping it up against how much money I had to spend. During these times, at least for black folks, you go into survival mode. Despite it all, we have been blessed with this ability to claw through to the sunshine in spite of. Even when the most bougie of us won’t ever let it show that they know….they know, lol There are many cycles in the life of the ‘working poor’ sometimes you don’t even claim the title, but right about now – that’s how I feel and my bank accounts are reflecting and confirming me to be as such.
So we were doing the James Evans – which is laying out your bills and putting the cash that you’ve snatched out the bank so no unexpected bull shit pops off on each bill. It’s like a puzzle, will this amount fit with this amount. How many duckets do I put here to keep this on, moving, in my possession. You know how it can be sometimes. Well lo and behold after the dust settled, I was looking at GASP TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS for groceries. SIGH……
So I had to regroup and see what I could do. The blessing was that I was not pantry/fridge poor. I had not run out of everything good and only looking at the stuff you don’t know why the hell you bought it in the first place, lol Since I was only shopping for the week – I thought I could make this happen.
First thing when I get in this situation is I don’t think about what I would like to eat, I think about what I need to eat. I basically eat the same things with some new stuff thrown in so as to not get bored. It’s summer though and the dog days of summer at that – so we basically are over the whole food thing to begin with. I had to factor in all the food requirements in the household and then make some announcements to the fam that kinda went like “Um you and your food issues, requirements and dietary requests are at the bottom of my list – I’m going shopping I will take it all under advisement and you will eat. That’s all I got for yah right about now”
Second, you really have to battle with trying to not eat ‘low on the hog’. I have lost almost 20 pounds, when times get like this – all the things that will help you keep it off, start to go away and you want to be able to just make meals that fill you up and unfortunately CARBS, FATS, SUGARS do a damn good job of that – but you don’t want to go out like that.
Third, you need to eat out of your own stash for everything. Need a snack – go in the kitchen, need lunch – go in the kitchen, need comfort food – go in the kitchen.
I also didn’t need any paper goods etc. Those will suck up your available funds like a mofo and THERE IS NO OPTION WHEN IT COMES TO PURCHASING TOILET TISSUE (unless you slick and can lift some off yo job -I’ll talk about THAT stuff in another post, lol)
Also let me just throw this in there – being poor or not having enough to feed your family is NOT a laughing matter and I KNOW I am blessed in many respects including having a job and I also know that at any given time – folks will see me out and about AS IF, after writing this post. Don’t think you know my wallet cause you see me out and about with a smile on my face faking it till I make it. It is a roller coaster and sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. I KNOW that until the behavior changes we will continue to be all over the place financial wise , this time around I think we got the message and as we push forward, we WILL do better – but today is today and on this day – this is where I’m at.
BACK TO MY STORY…….
I marched into that grocery store with my little list and giant calculator. I got that little bitty cart, less room to get off track. I always start at the fresh produce aisle because that gives me an opportunity to try to do better with the top end of my money. However I had a list that I really couldn’t sway from so I basically just started there because I always do. I had a few coupons, but I have problems with the whole system because I don’t like following the sale – who eats that stuff they always have coupons for?
As I moved around the store – I breathed in deep, I LOVE GROCERY SHOPPING. I can spend hours inside the store just looking, touching, smelling stuff. The entire concept of food offers comfort, but I don’t need to have a personal relationship with it for all kinds of reasons – so I just go visit it…often.
It sure didn’t take long this time around, lol I whipped up through there and was in line in like 35 minutes. I gave her my two coupons and my discount card and as always wished some kinda way someone’s EBT card would magically still be in the system and all my stuff would be charged to that. I’m agitated because what I did do was sacrifice all of my treats on behalf of my family. Muscadines are out and unfortunately the way they are packaged, I couldn’t well you know ‘taste’ a few while I moved about the store. Let’s not even go into the fact my Red Guitar wine was killing me softly with it’s song as I passed by faking like I wasn’t even in bed with them smoking a cigarette just last week.
I watched the numbers add up and subtract and finally I had a total: $24.30
Here’s what I bought:
Bag of French Fries – Carton of Fruit Punch – 2 can big beef raviolis – bag of navy beans – 2 lite fruit cocktails – dozen medium eggs – frozen gumbo veggie mix – head of lettuce – pack of drumsticks – small pack of wings – cream of chicken soup – 5 Powerades – 2 cans vegetarian vegetable soup – small bag of yellow rice – fish sticks
In addition to this I did use an additional $2 dollars for dollar store laundry detergent and dishwasher liquid.
Some of what I intend on doing with the food: Chicken and Rice, Chicken Stew, Navy Bean Soup, BBQ Chicken, all of these meals I have been bringing for lunch as well. The fries, fish sticks and veggie soup is to supplement College Girl and her dietary requirements. The Ravoli and powerades are for RG.
Using the other things we have in the house – I have successfully supplied the family with nourishment, great amount of veggies, little junk food and good hearty meals.