Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Food bank food

If you haven’t realized by now then let me explain I rely alot on food bank foods.  No I don’t mean the donated canned food found in church donation pantries.  I’m talking about the mobile food bank fresh produce or as some call it the second harvest foods.  The trucks arrive at the church around the corner once a week to distribute fresh produce that has been donated through local grocery stores. It is the very same produce you find in the produce discount bins at the grocery.  Thankfully the stores have decided it better to give away the produce than throw it away.

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The produce we receive is just shy of no longer edible.  I have only a tiny bar fridge which doesn’t have alot of room for storing foods.  Everything must be processed for long term storage if I am to get the full benefits after standing in line for the produce.

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I do have a large freezer that I’m able to use for freezing some of the produce.

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I pressure or water bath can much of the produce I receive.  I dehydrate some of the produce too.  I live in a food desert and the mobile food bank is the next best thing to a farmer’s market in our neighborhood.

I made a conscious choice to save my money toward the items I would need to have a secure food future.  While my neighbors were paying for cable tv, playing bingo, or going to the gambling boat with their money, I was saving mine for my future. The food processing equipment I bought is my hedge against very high food prices.

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Believe me, I have seriously tried and tried to teach my neighbors to start preserving food.  I’ve shown them over and over again what is possible IF they would only give it a try. The problem was that the neighbors started relying on me to do the preserving for them instead of learning.  Really, why learn to can or dehydrate or freeze food when nice Na Na will do all the work and pay all the expenses then give it to us?

Well, I put a stop to that a few weeks ago.  No more free food at my house! They can go stand in line just like I do.  They can buy their own food preservation equipment.  They can run up their own utility bills.  They can learn if they really want to learn.  I’m still willing to teach if and whenever they show me how serious they are by buying some of their own equipment.  I just don’t want to be their crutch anymore.

I’ve decided to document the food I get from the mobile food bank and to list what I do with it through 2015.  I’ve put a food preserving tally list on my side bar where I can go refresh my memory as necessary.  The list isn’t quite finished but will be ready right after the first of January when the first mobile food bank truck shows up for 2015.

I got the idea of keeping this food tally list when reading the blogs of people who have backyard gardens.  Many are weighing the produce grown and keeping a list as it is harvested.  I’m not growing this food in my backyard but I sure am glad its available.

Look for more about my food preserving adventures in 2015.

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