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(Buzzfeed)   Buzzfeed posts its most depressing listicle: how to stay fed when you're poor in America   (buzzfeed.com) divider line
    More: Murica, Bread, friend's house, different breads, Lunch time, Pork, Sausage, Mustard, parents  
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452 clicks; posted to Discussion » and Main » on 03 Mar 2021 at 10:35 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-03-03 11:09:24 AM  
Growing up drinking powdered milk and eating from large blocks of velveeta type cheese in brown cardboard boxes, that article depressed me.
 
2021-03-03 11:15:32 AM  
"When it comes to groceries, coupons and off-brand everything. No amount of begging could get us Apple Jacks or Lucky Charms.

This is actually not true with regards to brand cereals.  There are always large promotions running on them for reasons I don't understand.  The regular price is completely a ripoff, but I regularly see BOGOs on General Mills or Kellogs while at the same time they send out a ton of manufacturer coupons and my Publix allows you to combine such that the Apple Jacks end up being less than regular price Apple Dapples (Publix store brand).

The key point here though is to just abandon brand loyalty.  I do that with everything except Heinz ketchup.  Why does everyone get ketchup wrong, but Heinz?
 
2021-03-03 11:17:24 AM  
Sadly that was the most useful article ever hosted on Buzzfeed.
 
2021-03-03 11:26:52 AM  
Couple things I'd like to add about coupons is first always double or triple check the expiration dates so you don't end up with a line behind you giving you the stink eye because you're holding up the line with unusable coupons.

Second, when clipping coupons don't fall into the trap of using a coupon for something that ends up costing you more than what you would have gotten or something you weren't planning to get at all.

I'm fortunate not to have to rely on coupons currently but there's definitely been times when I have.  I use them currently because I like saving money, it's like a game.

And lastly when I worked at a grocery chain as a teen on the late late shift at approaching midnight there would be 6-12 people lingering around the registers with food in buggies.  At the stroke of midnight they all get in line.  They were food mining all the food on the shelves set to expire at midnight.  The grocery gave this stuff away for free and rang it up at no charge for stock/ordering purposes.  The grocery also got their expired/unsellable stuff removed so win for both involved.

/ya ya TL:DR
 
2021-03-03 11:28:39 AM  
4. "I can still add up a cart of groceries within $1 in my head. We will not be embarrassed by not having enough money to pay. Now I do it as a game. My husband who has never had an issue being able to buy groceries thinks I'm a mathematician. Nope, just grew up poor and proud."

My dad used to use one of those little counter things to keep track of the bill. Those things like doormen at clubs use to count how many people go in.
 
2021-03-03 11:36:07 AM  

abhorrent1: 4. "I can still add up a cart of groceries within $1 in my head. We will not be embarrassed by not having enough money to pay. Now I do it as a game. My husband who has never had an issue being able to buy groceries thinks I'm a mathematician. Nope, just grew up poor and proud."

My dad used to use one of those little counter things to keep track of the bill. Those things like doormen at clubs use to count how many people go in.


I created a google sheets (so I can use it on my phone) page that automatically calcs in tax.  Usually use this when I'm shopping with a gift card at a big box store.  Three columns: Item, est(imated cost), act(ual cost).  Put a shopping list together with the estimated price, then add the actual cos as I shop.  Really helps stay on task and in budget.
 
2021-03-03 11:38:51 AM  

rudemix: Growing up drinking powdered milk and eating from large blocks of velveeta type cheese in brown cardboard boxes, that article depressed me.


Wow, a lot of that article hit home. What's oddest is that I never gave most of that stuff a thought before, it was just "normal".

When I was in college I'd wait until late at night when most people in the dorms were asleep so I could raid the trash for pizza boxes and eat the crusts.

My dorm-mate (from a wealthy family) didn't care for the cafeteria but had a meal card. I'd snatch his card when was still sleeping and use it to get breakfast. I never thought there was anything wrong about doing that sort of thing at the time; I'm sure i thought it was one of those waste not, want not situations. I now regret those actions of mine but at the time thought nothing of it.
 
2021-03-03 11:50:23 AM  

ShavedOrangutan: abhorrent1: 4. "I can still add up a cart of groceries within $1 in my head. We will not be embarrassed by not having enough money to pay. Now I do it as a game. My husband who has never had an issue being able to buy groceries thinks I'm a mathematician. Nope, just grew up poor and proud."

My dad used to use one of those little counter things to keep track of the bill. Those things like doormen at clubs use to count how many people go in.

I created a google sheets (so I can use it on my phone) page that automatically calcs in tax.  Usually use this when I'm shopping with a gift card at a big box store.  Three columns: Item, est(imated cost), act(ual cost).  Put a shopping list together with the estimated price, then add the actual cos as I shop.  Really helps stay on task and in budget.


That's a good idea. Thankfully I don't have to worry too much now, though I do try and shop as cheaply as possible.

This was back in the 70's when my dad did that. He was in the Army and my mom was a waitress. We weren't exactly living the high-life.
 
2021-03-03 11:51:01 AM  

MelGoesOnTour: rudemix: Growing up drinking powdered milk and eating from large blocks of velveeta type cheese in brown cardboard boxes, that article depressed me.

Wow, a lot of that article hit home. What's oddest is that I never gave most of that stuff a thought before, it was just "normal".

When I was in college I'd wait until late at night when most people in the dorms were asleep so I could raid the trash for pizza boxes and eat the crusts.

My dorm-mate (from a wealthy family) didn't care for the cafeteria but had a meal card. I'd snatch his card when was still sleeping and use it to get breakfast. I never thought there was anything wrong about doing that sort of thing at the time; I'm sure i thought it was one of those waste not, want not situations. I now regret those actions of mine but at the time thought nothing of it.


Kept you alive, didn't it?

I wouldn't regret it at all.
 
2021-03-03 11:52:45 AM  

Rapmaster2000: "When it comes to groceries, coupons and off-brand everything. No amount of begging could get us Apple Jacks or Lucky Charms.

This is actually not true with regards to brand cereals.  There are always large promotions running on them for reasons I don't understand.  The regular price is completely a ripoff, but I regularly see BOGOs on General Mills or Kellogs while at the same time they send out a ton of manufacturer coupons and my Publix allows you to combine such that the Apple Jacks end up being less than regular price Apple Dapples (Publix store brand).

The key point here though is to just abandon brand loyalty.  I do that with everything except Heinz ketchup.  Why does everyone get ketchup wrong, but Heinz?


Are you my wife? Because the ketchup thing is all her. We shop around, some days Aldi wins on price. Except Ketchup. I'll be killed if I get anything else but Heinz Ketchup.
 
2021-03-03 11:53:14 AM  
I used to hit up the campus coffeshop/sammich shop on Friday afternoons because they had to toss the premade food before the weekend.  They'd give me as much as I could carry.

They were also really good about bagging the "trash" food so it was easy to grab from the dumpster.
 
2021-03-03 11:58:17 AM  

Rapmaster2000: "When it comes to groceries, coupons and off-brand everything. No amount of begging could get us Apple Jacks or Lucky Charms.

This is actually not true with regards to brand cereals.  There are always large promotions running on them for reasons I don't understand.  The regular price is completely a ripoff, but I regularly see BOGOs on General Mills or Kellogs while at the same time they send out a ton of manufacturer coupons and my Publix allows you to combine such that the Apple Jacks end up being less than regular price Apple Dapples (Publix store brand).

The key point here though is to just abandon brand loyalty.  I do that with everything except Heinz ketchup.  Why does everyone get ketchup wrong, but Heinz?


I don't subscribe to brand loyalty at all. It's not like they are loyal to me anyway. The store brand of most things is just fine for me and the GF. Except Velveta Shells and Cheese. She insists on that if we're in a Mac and Cheese mood. I'd rather make it from scratch, but it's ok.
 
2021-03-03 12:11:45 PM  
I have ended up living in my car after moving to a LA (general area) for a job that evaporated.

I found a list of food banks online, but many required proof of residency in that "town". I didn't have anyplace to cook, anyway.

I found a soup kitchen that also offered showers and laundry, but only served breakfast and lunch. The lunch line started really early, but they rarely ran out if you showed up on time. But I was always appalled at how much food people got but threw away. Like if they ran out of chicken by the time I got there, but then going to sit down i can see a bunch people threw away untouched. Not just unfinished, but untouched. And the folks serving ask you if you just want a little. That's what got me, people getting food just because they can and not because they actually planned on eating it. The waste of the charity cooking that food, handling the food donations. It was like a game to some of those folks, seeing what they could "win" from the system. It was sad to see.
 
2021-03-03 12:12:12 PM  
We weren't poor when I was growing up, and I'm not poor now, but I have some of those habits that I picked up from my mom (who also wasn't poor growing up, but came from thrifty stock in a household with five daughters).

Mom was very big on leftovers (Dad used to say we ate leftovers that we'd never had a first time) and eating what was put in front of you and planning meals and taking sack lunches to school.  She thought sugary cereal was a travesty of waste, nutritionally and financially, and I once convinced her to buy me a box of Frankenberry with the warning that it would be the last box of cereal she'd buy so I'd better eat it.  It stayed in the cupboard for at least a year before it got tossed.  It was disgusting.

The cracking the oven door I picked up on my own somewhere, and in fact we recently met with a financial planner, and in explaining my outlook on financial matters I told her I'm the kind of person who cracks the oven door after turning it off because "I paid for that heat!"
 
2021-03-03 12:19:24 PM  
I JUST WAIT FOR PPL TO LEAVE BAGS OF FOOD ON MY RV BUMPER
 
2021-03-03 12:27:05 PM  

MelGoesOnTour: Wow, a lot of that article hit home. What's oddest is that I never gave most of that stuff a thought before, it was just "normal".


Yep. I grew up very poor and didn't even really notice until 5th grade. In elementary school, everyone got a free lunch. In 5th grade you had to get a lunch ticket. Of course the school color coded them so everyone would know you on the free lunch (I was), the reduced price lunch, or the full price lunch.

We ate a lot of government cheese and many simple but filling meals like ham hocks and beans and goulash (that's what my mother called it but it was really just elbow macaroni and home canned tomatoes). Rarely did anyone get seconds. In those day, we loved summer because we always had a big garden so that was when you ate the best.

I credit those miserable days with what drove me to succeed and thankfully, my wife and I have done well.
 
2021-03-03 12:54:58 PM  
Being raised by a Chinese mother and being poor, dinner was ~90% rice, 10% meat/veggies (at home), so to this day, when I go to Chinese restaurants, I eat little of the "entree" and order additional rice so I can get the proportions right. Then I take home the leftovers and get at least two additional meals out of it (sometimes three or four).

And don't get me started on how annoying it is to have to deconstruct sandwiches so I don't feel overwhelmed by meat. I then make additional sandwiches with the leftover meat.

// Overwhelmed By Meat is the name of my Meatloaf cover band.
 
2021-03-03 12:58:58 PM  

SVC_conservative: Rapmaster2000: "When it comes to groceries, coupons and off-brand everything. No amount of begging could get us Apple Jacks or Lucky Charms.

This is actually not true with regards to brand cereals.  There are always large promotions running on them for reasons I don't understand.  The regular price is completely a ripoff, but I regularly see BOGOs on General Mills or Kellogs while at the same time they send out a ton of manufacturer coupons and my Publix allows you to combine such that the Apple Jacks end up being less than regular price Apple Dapples (Publix store brand).

The key point here though is to just abandon brand loyalty.  I do that with everything except Heinz ketchup.  Why does everyone get ketchup wrong, but Heinz?

Are you my wife? Because the ketchup thing is all her. We shop around, some days Aldi wins on price. Except Ketchup. I'll be killed if I get anything else but Heinz Ketchup.


I even try other ketchups sometimes when they're on sale because sometimes I need ketchup and something besides Heinze is on sale so I buy the other brand.  In the past year+ I have bought Hunt's (new formula - thicker) and Sir Kensington's.

Hunt's is still too flat.  It needs the pickle juice, or more of it.

Sir Kensington's had way too much going on.  It's like they wanted to see how many spices and herbs they could throw into it.
 
2021-03-03 1:03:54 PM  
A sad thing I've witnessed is people who are adverse to fresh fruit or vegetables beaus growing up they were foods their families had no access to or couldn't afford.
 
2021-03-03 1:21:55 PM  
Grocery shopping while poor is where I realized my high school math was actually useful. Prices are constantly trying to decieve you. Two items, one brand name and one the identical knockoff version, have different prices. At Kroger, they break down the per ounce or per unit price to help reflect said prices. Well, sometimes the name brand says $.67/oz while the off brand says $4.32/unit (meaning the whole container).  Basic division is super handy for this.

I think they do it on purpose (or contractually obliged) hoping the people who don't use math much won't compare to see which is the better value. After 25+ years of shopping for myself, Kroger has been consistently inconsistent with their comparison metrics. But thanks to becoming a penny pincher I can see through the ruse better. I'm glad it's a habit I can't really turn off, too, even if I have plenty of money.
 
2021-03-03 1:26:29 PM  
My grandparents went thru the Depression and rationing in WW2.

Their lifestyle of course was passed to my parents.

And passed to me.

I have been homeless. I survived. I would buy a bag of potatoes and just eat one raw for a meal.

To this day, I still buy generic products.
All products.
And to those in this thread who are ketchup snobs.....I don't even buy that crap.
Lived in a town for 15 plus years with a ketchup factory. Got sick of that vinegar smell year round. And seeing tomatoes on the sides of the road 24/7.
Blachy

To this day I still make soup from scratch in the crockpot. Freeze it and eat it over a week or so.
Cheaper than buying a can of soup.  Tastes better too.
 
2021-03-03 1:32:32 PM  

freddyV: And to those in this thread who are ketchup snobs.....I don't even buy that crap.


I'm adding this to my resume:

Title:  Ketchup Snob:
Responsibilities included purchasing ketchup, consuming ketchup, preferring a specific ketchup.
 
2021-03-03 2:03:41 PM  
My kids have learned that if we go to Publix, we have to average $6 an item to ballpark our spending, but if we hit Aldi's, it drops to about $3.  They've caught in that we will spend the same $37.50, but pizza as a late night tv snack will show up when we choose Aldi's.  Otherwise, it's watch tv and snack on whatever is lurking in the cabinet, crackers and peanut butter or plain popcorn, but no hot and gooey goodness.
 
2021-03-03 2:32:51 PM  
I need to show the article to my 20 year old daughter the lives with because of her campus is closed. We went shopping and for some reason a 6 dollar vegan chicken pot pie caught her eye. It looked like a fat hot pocket. She eats real chicken and could've got two 15oz giant Marie Callender's.
 
2021-03-03 2:35:30 PM  

drjekel_mrhyde: I need to show the article to my 20 year old daughter the lives with because of her campus is closed. We went shopping and for some reason a 6 dollar vegan chicken pot pie caught her eye. It looked like a fat hot pocket. She eats real chicken and could've got two 15oz giant Marie Callender's.


Sounds like an excellent time for her to learn how to cook.
 
2021-03-03 2:42:32 PM  

mofa: Being raised by a Chinese mother and being poor, dinner was ~90% rice, 10% meat/veggies (at home), so to this day, when I go to Chinese restaurants, I eat little of the "entree" and order additional rice so I can get the proportions right. Then I take home the leftovers and get at least two additional meals out of it (sometimes three or four).

And don't get me started on how annoying it is to have to deconstruct sandwiches so I don't feel overwhelmed by meat. I then make additional sandwiches with the leftover meat.

// Overwhelmed By Meat is the name of my Meatloaf cover band.


i lived in china, and can say that is true.
 
2021-03-03 2:57:50 PM  
I just watched the SNL Black Jeopardy with Velvet Jones, and one of the sponsors was Put Some Water In It.  Want more ketchup or dish soap?  Put some water in it.

Damn.  I still do that.
 
Ant
2021-03-03 4:17:05 PM  

rudemix: Growing up drinking powdered milk and eating from large blocks of velveeta type cheese in brown cardboard boxes, that article depressed me.


Government cheese makes great grilled cheese sandwiches!
 
2021-03-03 4:22:06 PM  
Apparently, we must have been poor when I was a kid, but I didn't know it.
Nearly all of those things applied to us back then.
I thought that was the norm for everyone.
Now get off my lawn.
 
Ant
2021-03-03 4:30:17 PM  
We were poor when I was a kid because my mom's husband at the time was a bum who thought he was going to be a famous musician one day. We lived in a duplex, and rather than pay for electricity, he would run an extension cord into the shared hallway.
 
2021-03-03 5:08:33 PM  

Yellow Beard: I credit those miserable days with what drove me to succeed and thankfully, my wife and I have done well.


Ditto.
 
2021-03-03 5:16:01 PM  

rosekolodny: Kept you alive, didn't it?

I wouldn't regret it at all.


It did. I also kept a full load of classes while working full-time hours at several part-time jobs and to this day I cannot fathom how I managed it all other than that I was DSM-5 crazy at the time.

Anyone who says they wish they could re-live their past is not old enough to realize that the past is not all what they idealize it as being.
 
2021-03-03 5:52:50 PM  
pbs.twimg.comView Full Size
 
2021-03-03 11:27:46 PM  
Speaking of leftovers, this has been posted before
 
2021-03-04 10:03:17 PM  
Not mentioned in the list:

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-04 10:20:20 PM  

cyberspacedout: Not mentioned in the list:

[Fark user image image 620x361]


I am among those.  But it belongs to my landlord.
 
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