Need to reevaluate a few things…

Right now the most important one is my grocery shopping budget. My husband losing his job caused serious financial issues. We even had to nearly starve ourselves for 3 weeks right at the beginning before we were able to get emergency food stamps, but the second issue was getting around. You can’t pull cash out of your food stamps to take a bus to the grocery store, and the nearest one is an almost 3 hour walk one way, which is difficult for a pregnant woman and a baby. My husband had to stick with me constantly since I have a history of fainting during my pregnancies, but it was impossible to get enough groceries for a whole month without a car or a way to get around.

Our first real shopping trip with our food stamps, we had to being our flimsy little metal shopping cart and our kids’ wagon. The cart broke down completely right outside of the store so my husband had to drag it home and ended up slicing his leg open. Fortunately some older gentlemen took pity on us and gave us a ride home. They had explained to us that they were on their way to the VA hospital to visit a friend which was perfect timing because our apartment just happened to be on the way.

During the last shopping trip I was having a particularly difficult time with the pregnancy and we didn’t have any diapers for our baby so my husband had to take the wagon and do the shopping on his own. The wheel on the wagon is really messed up now and about to break because of the constant effort we’ve had to make to just get groceries. There’s a little convenience store caddy corner from our apartment, but it’s so expensive and we really hate shopping there.

The reason I say all of this, is because without proper ways to get around, we’ve had to stick with foods that keep long in the pantry and don’t take up so much space, but can still last us the month, so we have to buy in bulk whenever possible. This usually results in a lot of processed foods and foods that are starchy and high in carbs, and since I have a history of gestational diabetes (and probably have it now, even), and I was already pre-diabetic before this happened, I really can’t be eating like this anymore. There’s no way we can shop better this month, unfortunately, though. My husband doesn’t get his first paycheck until the 30th and we’re living off of kitchen scraps right now as it is. Since we get our food stamps this week, then we have to do our shopping this week.

This gives us two big problems though. The cart is broken and our wagon is almost broken as well. It can’t handle another trek to the grocery store and though we’ve managed to scrounge together enough bus money, we can’t take the wagon on the bus. We’ll be bringing the stroller with us and that will help a little, but regardless, my husband will still have to carry bags and I might have to as well as push the stroller. So we definitely won’t be able to buy a lot of food, so healthy low carb options probably aren’t going to be possible this time. Realistically we only need enough food to last until the 30th, and I’ll be able to take a bus to the store again and do more shopping, and I’ll also be able to call a cab, so there’s no limit to my shopping and I’ll be able to make better decisions.

That’s where reevaluating my shopping comes in. Since I’ll have more freedom to shop (so long as I can come up with cab money, which shouldn’t be an issue by the time my husband gets his first October paycheck) I can be more selective about the food I buy for my family, which makes things much easier on all of us because I can feed my family properly without worrying about running out by the time we get our food stamps. It will probably take a few checks before we can once again can pay for food with cash, so hopefully we can still get our food stamps at least until then. That’s something different to worry about for a different time though.

So I guess the point of all this is that starting October 17, I’m going to be doing a monthly challenge post on here. I need to update the DHS office about my husband’s new job and my daughter’s change of custody anyway, so I’ll have a better estimate by October 17 of what I’ll have to spend on groceries anyway.

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