Living On A Prayer

Grocery list for broke people

I remember a time when I ran out of money a week before I was going to get paid again. I ate what little food I had but it was nowhere near enough to make it through the week. I paid a big price for it. I borrowed $20 from someone with the agreement that when payday came, I would return $40. 100% interest in less than a week. Wow!

After that week, I made sure that I would always have food available. Here is a list of the items I purchased and kept in my apartment or house from then on.

  • Bread – two loaves
  • Peanut butter – one jar
  • Jelly – one jar
  • Powdered drink mix – one container (I didn’t want to drink only water)

Let’s face it, you can eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches three times a day and survive. I’ve told my kids the story and have always encouraged them to keep a similar list for themselves.

Shopping for those less fortunate

When my kids were younger, one of the things we did as a family was to shop for groceries to donate to those less fortunate. We did not have a lot of extra after a divorce but it was something we could do for others and remember how fortunate we were.

Each week, we would go grocery shopping. One of the things on our list was to shop for others. The kids were given $10 to shop for others. The restrictions were that it had to be items that would last. Dry goods, mixes, rice, pasta, canned goods, etc.

Some of the things that made it in the cart were:

  • Pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce mix
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Rice
  • Ramon noodles (I won’t buy those anymore)
  • Soups
  • Canned meat
  • Snack cakes
  • Drink mix
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly

I’m sure there were other things but we were able to fill a couple of bags with groceries each week. I think it not only taught them to be grateful for the things they had but to shop with purpose and with a frugal eye.

At least that is what I hope the message was.

North Texas Food Bank


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