Many people are surprised to learn that I lived on and supported myself and 2 children on nothing more than $650 a month and the help of a food grant from the state for several months and during that time, we ate healthy, well rounded meals. I was fortunate enough to be living in assisted housing, which of course helped me make the ends meet. I’ve answered many questions about this time of my life, and I am always happy to share what I learned and how I managed to get my family out of that tough spot. Some of the more common questions have been:
1.) What was your food budget? (A: Around $150-$200/month)
2.) Yeah, but was the food good? (A: Why does food have to be pre-packaged or expensive to taste good?)
3.) Can I really make it work for my picky family? (A: YES! My kids were young, 2 & 4 years old… those are some of the pickiest eaters on the planet–ask any parent, they’ll tell ya!)
I have this first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to live on extremely limited income. I pulled myself up from that situation with the help and support of many wonderful people, to a point that I now work with families living in similar situations to what I got through. In my position, I don’t have the opportunity to share what I learned, what I went through, and how they can come through it.
One of the most important things I learned through it all is that menu planning will save you time, money and sanity! Some day, I will have at my disposal all the resources necessary to reach out to families living at or below poverty levels, and help them learn the skills to plan healthy, affordable meals. Menu planning, budgeting, and grocery shopping are skills that have been lost along the way and it’s time we start finding those skills, learning them and teaching them to everyone!
You don’t have to be rich to eat well. You just have to know how to shop and plan. I want to teach you these skills, and then I want you to teach the skills to someone else, plus pass the knowledge to your children.
Give me the resources to share and watch as changes emerge!