Budgeting on a
Low Income - Food Tips
1. Don't eat out or buy takeaways. You can eat so much cheaper by cooking at home.
2. If your house has some extra land plant a vegetable garden and look around for neighbors, friends and relatives with whom you can swap vegetables or other food. Ask for gardening advice. Don't forget there's also a lot of advice available free on the Internet.
3. If you have enough room on your land, keep some hens. Eggs can be swapped for vegetables or fruit, or even money.
4. If you live in the country the possible ways of stretching your budget are even greater. Small farmers will be only too glad to give you jobs in exchange for food items. Even dairy farmers keep beef cattle and/or sheep for their own freezers. If a farmer has enough work (pulling out and/or spraying weeds, for instance) you may even be able to barter a full side of beef in return for labor. If you live in a dairy farming community a farmer may be willing to teach you how to milk cows, enabling you to stand in for farmers who need a break. Small farmers are usually very generous with help and/or advice. If you're a good worker the news will soon spread!
5. If your own country house has a few acres you can even keep your own animals. This will give you meat for your freezer and earn a little money for you as well. Ask neighboring farmers for advice. And don't forget the Internet!
6. Make your own bread, especially if you own a breadmaker. If you bake a cake, use your oven to its capacity by doubling the recipe and freezing the second cake.
7. Have an occasional "scratch" meal. Your family's health won't suffer with beans on toast (or something similar) once a week. If they're still hungry they can fill up on bartered or home-grown fruit.
8. Freeze any vegetables from your garden that you can't use at once or haven't been able to barter for something else. Tomatoes can be turned into pickle or chutney.
9. Bottle or freeze any oversupply of fruit, or turn it into jam.
10. When expensive vegetables that freeze well are on special, buy plenty, as long as your family likes them. Just make sure you freeze them on the day you buy them!
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Copyright 2001 by Laraine Anne Barker
Edited by Michelle Jones
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