Saturday, November 22, 2008
Day 50 of the Freezer Experiment
It's been 50 days since I started our freezer experiment - to see how long the contents would last us. Really didn't expect it to go this long, but hey, no complaining here! The picture is my beef and rice concoction (1#6 oz. of canned USDA Gov. Beef, half a chopped onion and the leftover rice from the other night), and a jar of home canned green beans. I meant to add garlic powder to the beef/rice mixture but forgot. Sure didn't need it. The onions really did the trick. We have enough left over for yet another meal! Just love that batch cooking.
I thought I'd broach the subject of food stamps and the USDA Commodity Food Program. Until now we have participated in the latter program. However, with the economy sliding and us living on $618 a month, we're considering signing up for food stamps. The commodity program is for low income people over 60. You get about $25 worth of food in a box - per household - once a month. Sweetie was on this program when I met him and he's continued it. It has helped build our food stores and I've yet to get anything I don't like but, I'm not miss persnickety/picky.
As for the food stamps - we definitely qualify for the assistance. We're like most preppers, watching our pennies, stocking up for hard(er) times, and doing the most that we can for ourselves, hence our garden and canning. And, we've done well, I'm proud to report. But, we can see the day is coming when it's going to get rough, real rough.
In our own little home economy we're faced with some major work on our only vehicle, the need for a new pair of eyeglasses for Sweetie, and the replacement of our refrigerator. It's been fixed several times but there's a point at which it's not worth it anymore. Of course we'll look for a used frig but, I calling around today and discovered I'm not the only one looking. A few places even have a waiting list. Two managers told me that people who usually buy new are coming in for the used model instead. More of that trickle down stuff.
We have the cash to fix the truck, have the eye exam and order the glasses, and replace the frig. After that we'll still have a little nest egg but a few more repairs/replacements and we'll be cash poor. Not a good thing.
So we've been discussing this food stamp business and may do it. On the one hand we both know we're poor folks. We know our taxes (and yours) help support the program, and we know it would give us some breathing room in the cash department.
This time of year I usually do several Ebay listings but even that is drawing less interest this year and eventually I won't have anythingto sell. Sweetie really shouldn't be left alone for long periods if I were out working. And really, where would I find a job anyway? The local TV station interviewed a grocery manager in our tow last night. She said her applications are up by 125% and there are no open positions. Anyone who's not a manager there works part time. So I'd be driving 25 miles round trip to work 6-8 hours for $7.15/hour maybe two or three times a week. Just about pointless. The few fast food joints and restaurants aren't hiring, nor are the factories that are still operating. The hospital jobs posted I didn't qualify for and the school has no openings for aides either. I could drive 70-80 miles round trip for a job but is it worth it?
Still, signing up for food stamps is not something we're entirely comfortable with.
So, any opinions? Not a bitch fest please.