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Larry; evidently you come from a financial strata way above mine. We have to collect pop cans that has a 5 cent rebate each, for a whole month in order to put gas in our 17 year old vehicle for one trip into the nearest town. Our shopping consist of whatever is going at the food bank. Every couple of months we manage to scrounge enough to actually go buy food in a grocery store instead of the food bank. One time we happened to visit a farm when somebody said their chickens had stopped laying, so we said we would take them. Spent the next five hours killing, plucking and gutting the birds so we could put them into a freezer. that lasted us a couple of months
Potatoe, rice, and pasta makes a solid base for a meal. To stretch the food you cut up the good stuff, a small piece at a time. Oh sure, one chicken breast makes a great meal for one person, but dice up one chicken breast, add half an onion then add some spices to the mashed potatoes and you can feed four people enough that they feel they had a meal. The bulk of the cheap potatoes fills the stomach and the diced up other stuff adds flavor and for those who like to kick it up a notch you can add some cajun spice or similar.
Dollar stores have begun to carry food stuff with long shelf life so we often find two cans for a buck or one can of something the brand name stores charge $3 – $4 each. Spices are available at one quarter the price big name stores charge. Spices are wonderful because they can liven up sssssomething that is otherwise bland tasting. When seveal people join together to pool their pennies and quarters you can get stuff in bulk and divvy it up.
Another waay we have found to stretch the food budget is to delay breakfast. Dawdle over tea or coffee then have some cerreal or day old from the food bank around noon. Tea is wonderful for quelling hunger pangs. We usually drink a couple of pot fuls each day. we finish up with a late dinner and dawdle over it to make it last longer. Effectively we manage on one regular meal per day.
When the food bank has real lemons we make lemonade. Half a lemon in a jug of ice cold water gives the water a nice flavor touch so that way one lemon sliced thinly can make enough lemonade for two days. Grandpa and granma grew their own. We plan doing that as well as soon as we find someplace that is not 20 foot deep gravel bed. In the meantime we have to make do with what can be grown in flower pots that people threw out at the dump.