Na Na pinches her pennies

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.

March food bank

On Mondays I chauffeur my sister in law to her doctor appointment and to the Kroger store in their car.  Last week I picked up some discount produce items.  Apples, oranges, raisin bread, and green bell peppers.  The raisin bread was made into french toast and put into the freezer.

Oranges were selling for 99 cents each and I got 12 of them for $2 so that was a good bargain.  I’ll be using the oranges to increase my vitamin C intake.  This time of year is sniffles weather with the up and down temperatures and dark rainy or snowy days.

Apples were also selling for 99 cents each.  I got 16 of them for $2 which was also a good bargain.  I believe I’ll make some applesauce with those.  For the last five or six months the green bell peppers have been small and selling for $1.29 each but these really large ones were on sale at 79 cents each.  I’ve been out of them for awhile so I got enough to last a few weeks.   I cut them into the cooking size I prefer and put them into the freezer.

I had thought I would buy a couple of potatoes instead of a whole bag.  Geeze, not at a 69 cents a pound price when a ten pound bag is on sale for $2.  I bought one bag and gave my sister in law half.  I had also thought I’d buy some ground beef to make a pot of chili during the up coming snow days.  But; not at that price.  $7 a pound is a little too rich for me.  I’ll use some of my canned ground beef instead.

On Friday I went to the monthly outdoor food bank.  Thats the one a far distance from my house.  I rode with my sister to help her carry the food.  She’s uses a wheel chair.

We were given green bananas, two gallons of milk, two bags of sweet potatoes, a bunch of onions that are going bad, two bags of white bean tortilla chips, and a cookies & cream desert of some type.  Actually its chocolate cake crumbled between layers of icing.  She gave me her two bags of sweet potatoes.  The chips go to the grands along with the milk and most of the bananas.

We both received three 10 pound bags of potatoes and four 10 pound packages of frozen chicken.  I gave my potatoes and chicken to my sister.  No way could I eat 30 pounds of potatoes and 40 pounds of chicken by myself and I have enough already.  She’s going to share with her daughter and neighbors.  I wonder why they gave away such large quantities this time?

36 comments on “March food bank

  1. Marybeth
    March 7, 2019

    40 pounds of chicken and 30 pounds of potatoes. Wow that is a lot. I would be surprised if a lot of families had to give some away. Most people wouldn’t have enough room for that in their freezers. It seems like a lot of it would be wasted.

    You did great on the fruits and veggies that you bought. I am busy figuring out what I need to plant. I start most of my seeds indoors this month. I can’t wait to go grocery shopping in my garden again this summer.

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    • Anita
      March 8, 2019

      I believe the mobile food bank expects us to give food away so it goes out to more people. I kinda doubt I’ll have an outside garden this year if ever. Dang critters may be cute but I found out groundhogs will climb really high fences as well as climb trees to get at food. That means my idea of using pots up on a table won’t work. They dig tunnels to get at plants in raised beds. They are not scared off by fake predators either. Providing a steady source of food would only cause more breeding. I’ll need to rethink my food strategy.

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      • Marybeth
        March 8, 2019

        Sorry. That stinks. My dog helps keep the critters out.

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      • KAYTHEGARDENER
        April 2, 2019

        Maybe you would have dig your beds 12″-15″ deep, line them with 1/2″ hardwire screening & bring it up the sides of 6-9″ boards. Then have a mesh cover to allow for plant expansion…
        That screening seems to deter the raccoons from getting into outdoor chicken coops around here…KMC

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        • Anita
          April 3, 2019

          Nothing keeps a ground hog from reaching the garden plants it wants to eat. They will climb 20 foot fences or climb trees as well as dig under ground if there is something they want. Groundhogs will chew through metal fences, concrete, and tree roots. Groundhogs also kill dogs with their sharp teeth and claws. I plan to plant a few things in flower pots near the front door and hope they decide the back yard clover is more tasty.

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          • 4paws2love2
            April 3, 2019

            Shooting them should get rid of them, I wounder how they would taste

            Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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          • Anita
            April 3, 2019

            Yes, it would except with an evil city official living next door I’d end up in jail. Its illegal to shoot them in our city limits. I’ve eaten groundhog when I was a kid. Grandpa Papa hunted a lot. There isn’t a lot of meat on one though. Just a little more than a rabbit and much more than a squirrel. Taste is similar to rabbit. Grandma Mama put it in a stew to make it feed more people. We ate a lot of wild game back then. A carry over from the depression days when Grandma Mama and Grandpa Papa had family to feed. We ate turtle, frog, and other wild game.

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          • 4paws2love2
            April 13, 2019

            How about feeding them, you know something that will cause them to not return permanently. I saw my first one of the season yesterday. he was making his way to the community gardens. Maybe he was just checking it out, as I do not believe anything by maybe the flowers are starting to come up.

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          • Anita
            April 14, 2019

            Maybe he or she was looking for the early spring greens like dandelions and the purple henbit weeds. Or possibly looking for mates. I’m at a loss how to rid my yard of the critters.

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  2. Nicole A
    March 6, 2019

    If you’ve got a cool/dry garage or area of your house, you can store those potatoes for a month or two. Potatoes are actually really vitamin-rich, though they get a bad reputation because of potato chips. You can get almost 100% of every vitamin you need by just eating potatoes. I like to cut mine into fry shape and bake them in the oven (at around 400 degree F in a little oil) and make some healthy fries. Though, with diabetes, eating too many potatoes might not be so good.

    Also, if you cook a potato and then put it in the fridge for 8 hours, the starch in the potatoes turns into resistant starch, and doesn’t spike insulin levels as much. Here’s some information about resistant starch http://hopkinsdiabetesinfo.org/what-is-resistant-starch/

    And, if the potatoes start to sprout, you can plant them outside! Not many things like eating potato plants (as the greens are toxic), and you might just get some free calories out of those potatoes. Though, with ground hogs, maybe that wouldn’t work too well. Thankfully, we don’t have ground hogs in my area…but that also means I really know very little about them!

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    • Anita
      March 7, 2019

      Thanks Nicole I looked at the site. Its nice although brief. Unfortunately I don’t have a garage or a basement. I do like potatoes and eat them fairly often but thirty pounds of potatoes for one person for one month is too many potatoes. The mobile food bank gives us potatoes, onions, carrots, and cabbage almost every month. We call those four items the food bank produce. I have hundreds of recipes that my Grandma Mama would have used for those four foods. I add in whatever other vegetables I can manage. I home can, dehydrate, and freeze a lot of that food bank produce too.

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    • 4paws2love2
      April 13, 2019

      I got a dorm sized refrigerator from a friend, and use it to store apples and squash all winter. I start the storage about the end of November, and I usually am just using them up the end of March. My little fridge stands about 3 feet high. I just put it on a low setting, does not have to be all that cold. I put plastic canvas the kind used for needlepoint on the shelves, so the produce does not fall through the grates, and so I can store smaller stuff too. The air circulates just fine. the racks in the door for bottles etc. hold zucchini just fine.

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  3. 4paws2love2
    March 5, 2019

    I have to go grocery shopping today, need to stock up on veggies, apples and lemons. I run them through a juicer. This summer want to construct a compost bin. there is a lot of veggie pulp left after juicing. I plant a bucket garden.
    Grocery shopping is an adventure. I only spend $150 a month for 2 people. No more left after bills are paid. Can’t wait till summer and no heating bills. It is 5 degrees here at the moment.
    Luckily I do not have to buy meat. Kids asked a few years ago what I wanted for Christmas, and I said Food! It has worked out nicely. They even bought me a freezer to put it in.

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    • Anita
      March 7, 2019

      I’m curious. When you juice your fruits and veggies aren’t you getting rid of the fiber? Isn’t that defeating the reason for eating them? I believe I’ll be having a bucket garden too.

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      • 4paws2love2
        March 7, 2019

        Yes, but the pulp can be used in muffins etc., The fresh juice has lots of vitamins and minerals, one could never eat that many veggies, or variety in a day. I have lots of recipes for juice drinks, just got beets, so will add them to the carrots, celery, ginger root,, apples and cucumbers. Keeps me regular too.
        I also believe in trading with people, if I have too much of a veggie and will never use it up, or don’t really eat that kind, I trade from something else with a friend.
        I have never dehydrated anything. Do you then rehydrate it to eat it? Or is it like a snack food?

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        • Anita
          March 8, 2019

          I do need the fiber from food in my diet. Actually I need more fiber than I’ve been getting and I’m working on that. If I had a really strong blender I could do pretty well with smoothies because it keeps the whole food but I wouldn’t do well at all with juicing.

          I do my own canning so dehydrating food just goes along as another way of preserving food for the future. Especially when I run short of canning jars. Dehydrated and dried means the same thing. I have an electric food dehydrator. Removing the water makes the food lighter weight and more compact for easier storage. Depending on the future use some things will be rehydrated and others used dry. I’m sure if you think about it you’ll remember there are lots of dehydrated foods out there. 🙂 You heard of sun dried tomatoes? That’s just dehydrated tomatoes. Think about raisins, pineapple bits, banana chips, and craisins found in trail mix. Any boxed or bagged meal that says just add water and heat is dried food.

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          • 4paws2love2
            April 13, 2019

            What kind of dehydrator do you have? That is one of the things on my “I want” list. How big is it?

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          • Anita
            April 14, 2019

            I have the Excalibur 9 tray but I’ve seen several prepper people using a Nesco. There are many different brands of dehydrators and prices. I looked and Amazon has a few priced between $30 and $40 which would be good for beginners. Some department stores sell dehydrators at around those prices too. You are more likely to find dehydrators in stores of rural areas where gardens are the norm. Not so much in big cities where gardens are rarely seen.

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      • Dee
        March 7, 2019

        Juicing does toss all the fiber and wastes a ton of pulp, unless you save it for baking that is. Blending as a smoothie is FAR healthier because you are getting all the plant has to offer. Juicing still gives you the nutrients from the food though, just not the fiber. I suppose that may be okay for the small amount of people that need to be on a fiber restricted diet.

        Glad you got a bunch of fresh stuff this time!

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        • Anita
          March 8, 2019

          Thanks Dee. getting fresh produce at a reduced price is often just a matter of waiting and watching.

          I do need the food fiber in my diet. The skin and pulp is very important nutrients for my health. I could do well with smoothies because all the fiber is retained but I would not do well with juicing because only the plant water is consumed.

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        • 4paws2love2
          March 8, 2019

          I am juicing for the health benefits of juicing, not for the restriction of fiber, and yes the fiber can be used in other foods, but my aim is to compost it, and use it in my bucket garden to grown more produce. Compost is so much healthier than commercial fertilizer.

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  4. Linda
    March 3, 2019

    A couple years ago, when one of my children were telling me they just did not know what to get me for Christmas, I said Food! ,
    They can gather it up during the year while it is on sale. So for the past few years I have gotten boxes of food for Christmas. Things like frozen shrimp, and salmon, and other fish and goodies. My youngest likes to bow hunt deer and last year got one for me, so I had a whole deer in the freezer. A full freezer is a lovely thing. I have a $100 a month food budget for 2 people..

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    • Anita
      March 7, 2019

      My brother goes fishing a lot during the summer and keeps me supplied with fresh fish. I don’t know anyone who hunts so there is no chance of me ever getting deer meat. I remember Grandpa Papa hunted deer. I have heard that some hunters are after feral pigs these days. That can be quite dangerous.

      Like

  5. catherine young
    March 2, 2019

    Wow! Can’t believe the price of ground beef in your area! What would a chiuck roast or London broil piece cost?

    I’ve not had a steak for a while. I’ll make a pot roast this weekend if I can find the right priced beef. I’ve been living on pork, chicken, egg and tofu for protein this month. Just used the last bit of chicken shavings off the carcas in fried rice last night.

    I splurged and bought fresh snow peas and carrots and celery and rice crackers to serve with hummus— half premised, half I made myself from dried chick peas my SIL gave me. Made a nice light snacking spread. Also switched to almond milk for my cafe au lair. Fewer calories. I get s lot of use from my steamer/foamer for my morning coffee drink.
    I got a bag of navel oranges for $6 with over s dozen oranges in it and then got a box as s gift from a friend visiting Florida. When it rains, it pours. Two red plums and strawberries make up my fruits for the week. Next week back to apples and grapes.

    Got a dozen bags of frozen mixed Asian veggies that were in sale for 99c each. Not as good as fresh, but ok. No salad stuff this week

    You are doing well with your food dollars. No freebies here. I spend too much on food but because so have to buy most of it, I tend to buy what I want and just lower quantities

    Like

    • Anita
      March 7, 2019

      All the beef and pork prices are climbing higher in this area. Some beef is priced at ten to fifteen dollars a pound. Pork chops are 4.50 a pound. I haven’t had steak in a very long time. I don’t eat a lot of meat variety anymore because of the expense. When I do get a good deal on meat I stretch it by using in soups and stews. I’ve also been eating more offal.

      Have you ever used hummus as a pasta sauce? I haven’t yet but I’ve heard its good. There seems to be lots of recipes for it.

      Like

  6. Lynda
    March 2, 2019

    I also cut my bell peppers up and store them in the freezer for cooking. I wait for the lowest price I can find and then buy a bunch of them. Krogers often bags up the bells everyone else has passed up and sells the whole bag for 99 cents. I don’t mind buying those because I am going to prep for freezing anyway so the bits that go to the compost still make for a serious savings! I love your blog. It is such a help. 🙂

    Like

    • Anita
      March 7, 2019

      I like the bagged discount peppers too but I haven’t seen any for quite awhile. Those were such large peppers I felt it worth paying for them. Thank you Lynda. I hope you are ok after the storms in your area.

      Like

      • Lynda
        March 7, 2019

        I agree, when they are large they are worth buying extra! 🙂

        We are fine here, Anita. I don’t know what it is about where we live, but any time there are storms like these they seem to float over and land on the other side of our little burgh. I have no clue as to why. (topography?) The worst we got in 2011 was debris from one of the hardest hit areas 80 miles to the west of us… we heard that one when it floated over our heads! 😱
        We now have an underground shelter if that should ever change!

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        • Anita
          March 7, 2019

          I’m so relieved to hear you are ok. I remembered you had gotten a storm shelter. But, to use a shelter you need to be close enough to get into it. 😉 I was worried maybe you were out and about when the storms came through. I get some storm protection from that big 5 story warehouse behind my house.

          Liked by 1 person

    • 4paws2love2
      March 8, 2019

      I do the same thing with onions, but not the red ones, they do not freeze well. then when I have something in the slow cooker, or make soup or stew, I just chop off a few and add them. They are not good for raw recipes once they are frozen. But so nice in heated ones.

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      • Lynda
        March 8, 2019

        Thank you for sharing this, 4paws2love. I will have to try this with my onions next!

        Like

        • 4paws2love2
          March 9, 2019

          It works really nice, when you get a big onion and only need half of it for a salad or something, I hate throwing stuff out, and a cut onion does not keep well. So I just cut it into slices or pieces and put it in a freezer bag and toss it in the freezer. I use a quart bag usually. And just keep adding to it till it is full. I have had them last almost 5 years in the freezer. Found a bag way at the bottom when I replaced a freezer. they were still good. I also used to put peppers in with them, then if I were making an omelet, I just broke off a chunk to put in with the eggs.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Sandra ONeill
    March 2, 2019

    Thirty pounds of potatoes and forty of chicken does seem extreme.

    Like

    • Anita
      March 2, 2019

      Only thing I could think of for a reason to give so much is either its inventory time or they were given more donations than usual due to the government shut down. Last month there were many government employees getting food help but not this month.

      Like

      • KAYTHEGARDENER
        March 12, 2019

        March is also the beginning of Lent (= more fish supplies) & St Patrick’s Day (potatoes, carrots & onions)…

        Like

        • Anita
          March 13, 2019

          Gosh, I hadn’t thought of that. I do have plenty of fish from my brother in the freezer.

          Like

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This entry was posted on March 2, 2019 by in $10 a week food budget, 1940s (WW2) FOODS, DIABETES AND FOOD BANKS, FRUGAL DIABETIC.

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