92% of Americans Can’t Afford Groceries: POLL

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Author of What to Eat When You’re Broke

A recent survey pointed out what we’ve been saying all along – groceries prices are hard to handle, and quality food has become a luxury that few can afford. The survey was sponsored by Lean and Fresh, a food delivery service, which sought a case study on how inflation was affecting American diets.

The survey respondents weren’t the people you might expect to be having trouble being able to afford groceries. It is not just poor, non-working people with a dozen children who are struggling.

Instead, 65% of the people who responded to the survey earned more than $75,000 per year. More than half of the respondents were from the biggest locations/economies in the country = California, Illinois, New York, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. The majority of those polled were either working or self-employed people, and nearly half of them had no children.

Here’s what the survey found.

The results of food affordability were alarming.

  • 87% said grocery prices are too high
  • 65.93% take fewer trips to the store due to inflation
  • 82% dining out less for the same reason (so it’s not a swap of spending, money itself is the problem)
  • 50-55% of people shop less, buy less stuff, and spend more time at home
  • 57% have to stop buying organic or premium ingredients
  • 74.60% would eat healthier if they could afford it
  • 57.5% are buying less meat and poultry

Given those statistics, it’s probably no surprise that around 50% of those responding feel unhealthier now than they did a year ago. When good food is not available, your health suffers.

Americans are losing buying power hand over fist.

Heritage.org released the alarming calculation that Americans have lost a whopping $4,200 of spending power per year during the Biden administration.

To put it in perspective, that’s just over $80 per week we don’t have for groceries and other necessities.

According to the website:

Heritage experts calculated this shocking number based on different sets of data. Consumer prices have risen 12.7% since January 2021, significantly faster than wages, so that the average American worker has lost $3,000 in annual purchasing power. Further, as the Federal Reserve implements tighter monetary policy to reduce inflation, interest rates are rising. Higher rates have in turn increased borrowing costs on mortgages, vehicle loans, credit cards, and more. The higher interest rates and borrowing costs have effectively reduced the average American’s purchasing power another $1,200 on an annualized basis.

Interestingly, American buying power increased by $4,000 during the Trump administration, which could make the drop feel even more dramatic.

Paycheck to paycheck isn’t working anymore.

More Americans than ever are living paycheck to paycheck, and as expenses rise while spending power decreases, even that is too much of a stretch for many. Obviously, we’ve always recommended emergency funds and not living by the skin of our teeth, but these days that’s easier said than done for many.

I’ve written before about how this is causing life-altering changes to occur.

While preppers have expected this kind of economic breakdown for a long time, the reality of it is still not easy. The past three years have really seen our system’s chickens come home to roost.

(What will you eat if there’s a winter power outage? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to learn more.)

What can you do if you can’t afford groceries?

If you find yourself in this position, try to keep your chin up. While it might be tough, there are still steps you can take to improve your situation. Not all of these steps will work for every person, but I hope that at least one of them will assist you during a difficult time.

Reduce the quality of what you’re buying. Of course, nobody wants to go from a healthy organic diet to one filled with the least expensive conventional food. But if your situation is dire, you have a choice: eat better stuff once a day (or every other day) or make the best choices possible on a limited budget and keep your tummies full. As a formerly flat-broke single mama, I’ve been in this situation, and every single time I chose full bellies over occasional premium foods.

Find ways to increase your food production. We have a wealth of articles on producing food on this website. Everything from gardening (even in small spaces or indoors) to foraging to scratch cooking for the basics can be done relatively inexpensively and can help a lot.

Learn how to cook tasty food inexpensively. I just finished a book called What to Eat When You’re Broke. It’s not so much a cookbook as it is a philosophical guide to getting the most out of the food you have on hand. I talked about such things as shopping frugally, stretching food further, using cheap ingredients to make tasty meals, and how I managed to keep my family fed when times were at their worst for us. My beta readers said great things about it, and I hope you find it helpful. Also, this weekend, I’ve put it on sale at a pay-what-you-can price so that everyone can get access to it. It’s especially important for books like this to be accessible.

Don’t waste food. Food waste is practically criminal these days, with prices as high as they are. Reduce waste by using all your leftovers, dishing out small servings and allowing seconds instead of throwing out what’s uneaten, and making sure to use your food up before it spoils.

Get help. Sometimes all the strategies in the world aren’t enough. If there’s no money, there’s no money. When it comes down to a choice of having something to eat for yourself and your family, you may have to swallow your pride and accept some help. Your church, community center, or food bank may be able to assist you with some groceries. As well, we’ve all paid taxes for umpteen years. If you qualify for food benefits like SNAP or WIC, take them. It probably won’t be much, but it might be just enough to get you over the hump.

And don’t let the naysayers make you feel bad. Many hardworking people are finding themselves in a situation in which they have to decide whether to keep the heat on or buy food. They’re making choices between needed medication and groceries. If that’s you, please, let others give you a hand up. I had to do it myself for a couple of months many years ago when it was a choice between my discomfort at taking charity or my children going to bed hungry.

You can return the favor when you get your feet back on the ground. I know that I do every chance I get because I’ll never forget how powerless I felt.

Here’s how you can help when others can’t afford groceries

If you’re in a good situation right now, consider helping out others who are struggling. You could donate to your local food bank, to the giving pantry at your church, or if you know somebody personally who is having a hard time, drop a few things off directly or invite them to dinner and send them home with leftovers. Obviously, I’m not suggesting you give away all your preps – but if you are able to spare some things to help others, now is the time.

And if you can’t help? Remember that kindness goes a long way. The person in front of you at the store using a SNAP card might be going through things you couldn’t possibly know about. Her tattoos might be five years old, gotten during better times. His expensive car might be about to get repossessed. It’s easy to judge people when you don’t know the whole story of how the person’s circumstances changed. Chances are, they’re already embarrassed to be accepting help. I know that when I was in that position, I certainly was. Don’t make it worse.

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How do you get by if you can’t afford groceries?

Have you ever been in a position in which you couldn’t afford groceries? How did you get through it? What strategies did you use? Looking back, is there anything you’d have done differently? And if you’re in that situation right now and feel comfortable sharing your story, please tell us what’s going on currently.

Please be kind in the comments. This might be the internet, but there are real, suffering human beings on the other side of the screen. If you’re mean, I’ll delete it.

Let’s discuss this situation in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • When I was younger, disabled and on a very limited budget, I had a food voucher once a month, with very little actual cash for basics. I was forced to come up with better ways to shop. Circumstances ave changed over the years but the lessons still hold.

    I do not use a shopping list. Quit looking for specific items, be creative. When I shop for meat, check to see if there is a deal. Today chicken legs are a better deal, maybe it will be pork. Another thing is troll the entire store for deals. Clearance items, overstocks are found in the oddest places. Stock up on deals when you find them. Also ask if you can get a deal. I needed shingles for a shed, didn’t care about color or style. I spotted a pile of broken bundles in the yard, I asked about them and got them for less than half price.

    Do not spend all your money on a single trip, save some for later. With even a small cash balance you can hunt for a deal later. Prices are always changing, even in the same store.

    Be a hunter. Every time I go into a shop I am hunting for a deal, you never know what you can bag.

  • In the 80s and 90s, my husband was caught in 5 layoffs/plant closures. We weren’t prosperous even before all that; just barely hanging on after putting him through college when his G.I. Bill ran out. The food stamp office told us we were ineligible because we couldn’t provide proof of income (the only income we had was from individuals who would occasionally hire us to clean house or construction clean up. They don’t give receipts.) Local churches had started a food pantry and they helped us once a month. We were glad to get it, but it wasn’t fresh healthy, balanced food. It was mostly expired cereal and yogurt, and canned goods. It was really embarrassing to go ask for help, but we had 2 kids and not enough food otherwise. We ate potatoes, biscuits and gravy, soup, beans/cornbread and very little meat. Income was up and down. During a week with income, I remember making chocolate chip cookies with cooking oil instead of butter or even margarine and counting out 4 chips per cookie. They were still wonderful and better than chips ahoy. We didn’t go hungry, but I clearly remember going to the grocery store and wondering what it would be like to buy anything I wanted. We didn’t smoke, drink, use drugs or have cable tv. An ice cream cone was a huge treat, but I’d feel so guilty.

    We learned to cook with less expensive ingredients (like the above mentioned cookies). I’d been cooking from scratch for years, so that practice helped. We put the kids on the free lunch program at school for one year. My husband learned to make challah bread, I made pizza with no pepperoni or meat, just cheese and onion. We were given a gallon-sized can of dried apples and I made pies. There was a lot of tuna casserole made with scratch white sauce instead of canned cream of mushroom soup. We made pretzels for snacks; my husband made marshmallows with the boys one night. They had a lot of fun and it was kind of an event.

    Mostly we figured out what we could do with what we had. We lived in a trailer park that backed onto a field, so we were able to hand dig a vegetable plot and had a garden.

    I completely agree with Daisy about being kind to people in trouble. It can be a very lonely time. Also, if there’s a canned food drive in your community, please, please don’t through your cabinets to give the stuff you don’t like even though t’s tempting. Instead, think about what you’d want to feed your family in the same situation. Be generous and give cans of tuna and vegetables or fruit.

    • In Sicily the more rustic pizza / calizone’s have nothing but pizza dough and Cheese. Not even tomato sauce. But because they are fresh out of the wood oven they are still amazing. It’s actaully quite authentic. 🙂 The cheese in Italy is of the highest quality however…

      Challah, now that is Polish braided Holiday bread adopted by the very large Jewish Concentration of immigrants from all over the world in Galicia ( Jews from Spain, Germany, Italy, etc.). If you add some sugar it holds for days ( sugar is a preservative). You do not need egg, but most do use that, richer people use saffron, but again not needed.

      Dont forget Bagels…basically boiled dough, then baked…they also hold a bit longer.

    • When my kids were little, we had little to nothing too… I made pancakes, a ot, with mayonnaise and water, self rising flour. For a change, I would add peanut butter or oats. They loved them and share those memories with their kids!

  • Several years ago my aunt was in a grocery store line with her usual basic foods that she would cook from scratch. Another elderly lady looked at her cart and said “I can tell you aren’t on food stamps either” and gestured to a young woman with a cart filled with convenience food and said “She’s got food stamps”. She was right on both counts.
    I discovered that quality canned soup goes on sale in late August and early September. Last fall in one weekly trip to the store I bought a winter’s supply (30 cans) for 99 cents a can and bought no meat that week or the next, using only beans, lentils, etc as my protein.

  • Soup is easy to make, healthy and very filling.
    Save leftover veggies and meat scraps in your freezer. Once you get enough for a batch of soup, dump it into a crockpot and add some barley or rice and some seasoning and a couple of bouillon cubes. Several hours later you have a tasty, nourishing soup.

    Add a crusty piece of no-knead bread (go to Jennycancook on YouTube for recipe and instructions. Very easy and cheap to make!) and you won’t miss fast food.

    Use coupons when you shop. Take advantage of seasonal sales and stock up. Try to set aside a little extra money every payday to take advantage of sales. Don’t stint on protein, but maybe use more beans, lentil, peas, than you used to.

    Have a garden!
    Nearly every town has a community garden plot. Lots of older folks own a house on a lot but can’t garden anymore. Ask them if they will split the cost of seeds and let you garden on their lot. Split the produce with them.
    Ask your church if they will let church members garden on their property, donating a share to the church for poor, elderly or handicapped members.

    Local schools may permit the same thing. Perhaps your employer might do the same.

    Use container gardens in places where you can’t till up the soil. Grow inside. Learn the Kratky method on YouTube.

    See about joining with others and ordering some things in bulk. Join in with someone to get a Costco or Sam’s Club membership. Maybe you don’t need twenty cans of tuna, but perhaps you have a friend who could use ten cans, and you can use the other ten.

    Don’t be afraid to buy a bulk item and repackage it. You might not be able to use a #10 can of tomato sauce all at once, but you can freeze it in smaller portions. You can learn to can and dehydrate, too.

    If possible, have a few laying hens. Many towns permit this. It only takes 4 large eggs and one cup of milk, plus any leftover veggies and bits of meat, to make a quiche. One quiche, plus a salad made from greens you grew yourself inside your home, and a loaf of homemade bread, can feed 6 people easily.

    Get a crockpot. Many used ones at thrift stores and yard sales. Easy to dump in ingredients, turn on the crockpot and go off to work. Come home to an already prepared meal and you’ll forget about ordering take-out. Learn about fire-less cookers and hayboxes, used by our ancestors to cook food with much less fuel.

    You can do this.

    Every human alive today is the descendant of people who have survived floods, famines, earthquakes and wars. My parents and grandparents survived the Great Depression and WW2. I learned a lot from them. You will have a heck of a survival story to pass on to your own kids and grandkids someday, if you don’t lose your head and don’t lose heart.

    • Nice ideas! I especially liked your idea of asking older people to let you garden for a part of the harvest. That’s genius!
      I’m one of those people who absolutely love cooking in my crockpot but this past year I got an instant pot and I’m loving making bone broth in 3 hours under pressure versus the 24 hours I was cooking in the crockpot. My mother in law will give me the leftover carcass from family holiday meal and it makes truly delicious broth. I get teased but we have the last laugh with soup in the freezer. My sister works at a thrift store and says they get in the instant pots all the time.
      Here is a YouTube on how to make a hay box.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hm7IVGjVVA She uses a cooler and towels and old blankets.

      • I didn’t really finish my thought about broth in the last post. I make all of our broth by using poultry carcasses or ham hocks. Sometimes you can get an extra carcass from close family members who would otherwise just throw them away. I love having soup or other meals I have frozen in the freezer to pull out when life gets busy.

  • My grocery bill nearly doubled from a few years ago. For the first time I paid over a $100 to fill my diesel tanks of my Ford Truck. It’s a used one over 20 years old. It used to be around $70 a few years ago and even $50 beyond that.

  • I continue to research home freeze drying. You can save significant money by food preservation (canning, dehydration, pickling, salting, etc.) and in some case you can improve the quality of what you eat by doing so shortly after shopping. The highest quality is freeze drying, based on the fact that ice turns directly to water vapor at low pressures. Not all that low–the Andeans freeze dry potatoes at 17,000 feet, which is about half an atmosphere.
    I looked up cabinet desiccator chambers today–the cheapest one was $500, which is too much. Several round can-shapes of 1/2 to 3 gallon size are available for less than $200. I got one from VEVOR for about $120 with a pump (defective). Holds vacuum for days. That will work for the vacuum chamber.
    The freeze part can be done in your fridge freezer.
    In grid-down, a man can pull the vacuum with a hand pump. I got mine at Walmart, air bed section, for about $12. I can only pull 1/4 of a vacuum myself.

  • Look for a salvage store in your area. I visit the one in a nearby town every other week. They specialize in dented canned goods and expired items, but their stock varies widely. Last week, I bought 32-oz pancake mix boxes for 98 cents, and they had another six months on the expiration date. They are always cheaper than Walmart but I do spot a few things that are cheaper at the dollar store.

    I often buy their frozen meatsm including sausages and bacon. Only one thing we ever bought there that was bad was two jars of spices. Must have been stuck on a container from China for too long in the sun. Phew! They smelled terrible when opened.

    In the past, we had a “day old” bread store. That was great for buying large amounts of bread and hamburger buns and freezing them until needed. We don’t have one here, but the salvage store will occasionally have Pepperidge Farm goods. Sometimes they have their high-end breads, other times their cookies. Always at least half off retail and usually not expired.

    My only other advice mpt pffered by others is to buy the 25 pound bag of white rice and the 12 pound bag of pinto beans at Sam’s Club. Sure, there is an upfront cost, but that is a whole lot of meals at a low price and you can use rice many different ways.

  • Hello folks, preparing your own meals is not only healthier, but far more cost effective. Items which are most affordable include: potatoes, carrots, rice, garlic, beans, bananas, chicken legs or thighs, lentils, and pasta. Search for recipes that utilize these ingredients. Stay strong in spirit!

  • Always be on the lookout for canning jars, even if there is only one at a garage sale or two at the thrift store. If it’s marked 75 cents, I’ll say “I usually pay 25 cents a jar. Will you do that?” And the answer is usually “Yes”. Dribbles and drabs, collected here and there, will add up to hundreds of jars. Grab a box of lids every time you go to the grocery store. Now…Fill ’em up!!!
    My 1st waterbath canner (blue speckled huge pot with a wire rack inside used to process high acid foods like jams, tomatoes, applesauce, etc.) was found at a yard sale. It was in great shape. The man running the sale came up to me and asked if he could hold my “big pot” but I didn’t want to let go of it. We were broke and this find was only $3. Reluctantly I let him take it from me as he said, “Oh and it’s 12 noon so everything has gone to 1/2 price”. What a blessing from God! God will supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.
    Health food grocery stores will sometimes give away boxes of their blemished produce to put into your compost pile or feed as chicken scraps. I sort through it first and pull out bruised apples, ugly zucchini, marked celery, etc. Wash and trim off what’s not perfect and enjoy the rest. Scraps THEN go to the compost pile. The apples the store throws away look better than what comes off my apple trees. Consumers expect PERFECTION and what is not perfect will get passed over again and again until it ends up being discarded. You may be able to score some free groceries and the store keeps it out of the landfill.
    Every day I try to “put up” something to eat in the future. I don’t slack off, I take this very seriously. I’ve had 13 dreams about famine…it’s coming. Even when I’ve worked hard and I’m tired and think there is nothing to eat around this house, I can throw together a nutritious meal in under 30 minutes and then be glad I didn’t run to the “magnificent mile of meals” to grab drive thru empty calorie junk food. Ask God to give you creative ideas on stretching your food dollar. He will.

  • I agree you should ask for help in order to feed yourself/family. However plenty of states have decreased (or even eliminated) assistance programs. The feds are likely going to decrease either because all of a sudden, the deficit is an issue again. Plenty of the same people who helped increase the deficit are on the deficit bandwagon again.

  • I carry store coupons in my purse whenever I shop. These are the ones that give you $5 off your next purchase and print out at the register. When I’m in a store especially the produce or meat section, I pay attention to people who might be in need. Elderly people particularly seem to be struggling with the high prices. If I see someone who looks like they could use some help, I give them a coupon and explain that I have extras. One elderly lady burst into tears. She wanted to bring her husband peaches but they were just too expensive. He had Alzheimer’s and she tried to find special treats for him on their fixed income. The five dollars meant she could get them. Cost me nothing but a moment of time.

  • One recommendation for those of you who are better prepared if you’ve got the resources to spare: try volunteering at one of those food pantries as I do. While what those pantries hand out admittedly consists mainly of the stuff that either didn’t sell or people decided they didn’t want after they’d bought it, that doesn’t mean it’s worthless or undesirable. The pantry where I work gets a lot of donations from the local grocery store of pretty much every kind of grocery as soon as it reaches its sell-by date, while the federal government sends our central supplier at Second Harvest a monthly shipment of surplus canned goods and frozen meat from its various price-support programs and such which Second Harvest then deals out more or less proportionately to us.

    The advantages of volunteering at such a food pantry (or maybe a soup kitchen or homeless shelter depending on where you live):

    1. If you regularly advocate for charity, working at one of these charities is directly putting what you preach into practice, which makes your words carry a little more weight with people when you’re soliciting donations from them; even more so than just making a donation yourself.

    2. If you’re humble and don’t want to make a big show of how charitable you are—in accord with what our Lord & Savior taught in Matthew 6:3—or wish to be discreet about your charitable donations for whatever other reason (e.g. you’re a prepper and you don’t want people to start wondering how you’ve got so much food available to you that you can donate so generously), you can easily slip your donations in with other people’s when they arrive at the food pantry (especially—as with some of my coworkers—if you happen to be one of the volunteers bringing them in).

    3. When volunteering at a charity, you’re working on the fringes of society, which gives you a good position from which to “keep your ear to the ground” and be vigilant for economic deterioration and social decay and other early warning signs of your civilization’s imminent collapse. While natural disasters and nuclear wars make for more interesting post-apocalyptic fiction, socioeconomic catastrophes e.g. the hyper-inflationary crises in Venezuela and Wiemar Germany and Zimbabwe are a far more common source of “apocalyptic” ruin for nations in real life, and the people providing handouts—whether from private charity or government welfare—are among the first to notice this kind of trouble is on the way since they’re the first to stop receiving supplies when civilization’s supply chains break.

    4. Speaking of apocalypses, if your civilization does happen to suffer a very sudden catastrophic economic and political collapse, less scrupulous scavengers and out-and-out raiders will ultimately plunder food pantries and soup kitchens and the like—but not before they hit more obvious targets like grocery stores and shopping centers and warehouses. Meanwhile, volunteers and any of the charities’ regular clients who think to come looking for one last handout will get the first pick of which supplies to scavenge, and a chance to consume the most highly perishable food on the spot (e.g. “The power’s out and the freezers are dead! Everybody have some ice cream before it melts!”).

    5. On a somewhat less dramatic note, in the months or years leading up to such a SHTF situation, most such charities won’t mind letting their volunteers consume some of the excess supplies for themselves while they’re working. Case in point: traffic has been surprisingly slow these last several weeks at the food pantry where I volunteer, and we’ve been so flooded with baked goods from our grocery store donor since Christmas (and the Superbowl, and now Valentine’s Day) that we’ve had trouble fitting all the food we’re handing out into our clients’ vehicles (which are usually clunky old compact cars or small pickup trucks). The pantry’s director and his administrative staff regularly encourage us to snack on these baked goods all we want and take some of them home to our families; otherwise, they’re just going to go to waste.

    6. Also, the laws governing charities forbid us from knowingly handing out unlabeled items and open packages to our clients—yet we pretty regularly get a few such “damaged goods” from our donors with nearly every shipment. If absolutely nobody wants these, we just have to throw them out; but my fellow volunteers and I certainly do hate to see otherwise good food go to waste like that, so one of us (i.e. usually yours truly—though not always) will often take these things home for personal use instead. If you don’t mind using macaroni noodles from a box that got torn open in transit or you like experimenting with “mystery meals” from cans that somehow lost their labels, you might just enjoy working for a food pantry as much as I do.

    7. Something I didn’t know until the pandemic hit in 2020: some state governments apparently deem charities such as ours to be essential services during emergencies. While our state never locked down so thoroughly that we had to use them, it did provide our director with some official papers to show to police patrols declaring us essential workers and granting us permission to travel to and from the food pantry in the event of a quarantine. While the state even hypothetically being allowed to impose such a quarantine is pretty creepy, one would certainly be better off having such papers than not during such a crisis.

  • When my husband was between jobs and I was home with 4 little ones the most I could come up with other than beans and rice or rice and beans was a 10 pound bag of potatoes. We had a few things in the garden but with potatoes I could make soup or mashed potatoes or a potato casserole and give us a break from beans and rice. A few onions also make a huge difference
    And one of my boys was remembering just the other day that for “dessert” they each got a small spoon of peanut butter and I called it a peanut butter lollipop.

  • I got rid of cable tv,smoking,drinking,soda pops,cut my own wood for heat,repair my own vehicles, stopped eating most all sweets,dont eat as much now i can afford to eat some organic food and i have lost some weight.I also bring my own filtered water where ever i go.

  • Suggest Just Asking for a Senior Discount. Some Grocery Stores Offer Them, “Only When Asked”!
    I’m in Northeastern Texas And Brookshires Grocery has this policy, on Tuesdays & Thursdays, but Seniors Have To Say: “May I have my Senior Discount, Please.”

    That “Discount,” And A “Point System” for their “Loyalty Card” holders that adds up when their own “branded products” are purchased monthly allows 10 cents off of a gallon of their gasoline for every 100 points. My wife and I routinely fill up one of our vehicles with 50 to 60 cents off of every gallon of gas. (That also applies to diesel).

    They Routinely offer Bonus Points For Certain Items and 2 for 1 specials, or Buy One Get One Free.

    Brookshire Brothers is a Family Owned Texas Chain. They’re a little higher than ChinaMart, but their Quality Is Much Higher.

    I buy SPAM. Some folks don’t care for it, but it now comes in “Turkey,” Hickory Smoked Bacon & “Chicken,” too. SIX Servings for each 12 ounce can. 180 calories per serving. Yeah it’s got Nitrites in it, but if it’s all you’ve got, You’ll Be Even More Better Blessed With It Than Without It!

    The Apostle Paul Admonished the “church” to pray to purify our meals: “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5, KJV.

    ALL OF US SHOULD BE Faithfully Praying For Ourselves & Others.

  • I remember when my boys were little and we had no food or money for food. I decided to go to church. I remember praying,”Please God, we need food. Please help me find a way to feed us.” That day, an elderly couple asked me if they could take us to lunch after church. I accepted and they took us to the nicest restaurant in town. We had leftovers to take home! I thanked God.
    There are things I would do now if I didn’t have food. I would pick dandelions and the leaves. You can eat both. In fact I will probably pick them this spring. I would ask the butcher for bones and make soup out of it. I would swallow my pride and ask for help. I would also pray for help. God answers prayers.

      • My parents were living in another country. But they came and got us. I was fortunate. I looked anorexic and could hardly eat my stomach had shrank so much. My kids ate at school. I couldn’t find a job ,though I had tried. Things are much better now. That was a long time ago. Now I know about foraging and I research local help that is available even though I have a job. I just want to know, just in case. I’m frugal and know how to cook things that I didn’t know when I was young such as bone broth, homemade bread, dandelions, and cheap cuts of meat.

  • Many years ago I strove to live on less than $1/day. Later that became invaluable when I was without a job and a single parent with three little mouths to feed.

    I got food stamps. Even with them I had to make most food from scratch in order to make them last the month. No boxed foods. Meat was a treat. Mac and cheese was made from scratch, tasted much better than prepared stuff. Eggs thankfully were cheap then. I picked up a hand-powered grain grinder, baked (actually steamed because we didn’t have an oven) bread, fresh ground grain is sweeter. I can go on, but through very careful budgeting of food, I was able to donate some food to those in need.

    Even though I’m in a much better situation now, old habits die hard.

  • Let me put it this way. If my son and his wife hadn’t split up, we were in a world of hurt after my wife lost her job. My SS took care or the household bills, and her income, was our grocery money.
    After the split, he called us begging us to move in, to help with the kids (he has custody). His work schedule was making it very difficult.
    We chip in what we can now to help spread food costs out, but before that, we were down to eating one meal a day.

  • Well, we have definitely seen our purchasing power go down at the grocery store since 2021. For about $200 we could easily get a full cart, of food or about 10 plastic bags full. This was before they banned plastic bags.
    Now, $200 gets us 3-4 of paper bags.
    Last week meat producers reported a surplus in their products. Was not they over produced. Consumers have been cutting back on meat, even cheap cuts of meat for cheaper alternatives.

  • I saw this coming over 10 years ago, and the real problem is how stupid the American people are.
    I live in an Amish Community in Missouri and the Amish Community produces almost no food for the community mainly because of the globalist created and run “health departments”.

    In my 10 years of warning and offering the well researched solution of “food clubs” not a single person in this area has had the brains to go in this direction.
    When they are starving though….. they will likely support the government taking and redistributing the food of those smart enough to prepare.

    A stupid electorate is the root of our food problem.

    I sure can’t afford to eat healthy, when the so called Patriot community is so clueless as to the causes and the solutions. Local food clubs would go a long way in solving our food problems. The idiots that call themselves Patriots must be waiting on their daddy, the government, to tell them that it is OK to plant victory gardens again….and that food clubs are a way to circumvent the globalist created and run “health departments”.

  • Too many causes to address them all here but let me try:

    A huge part of the problem is that the globalists that run this country have increased the taxes to the point that most can only afford what I call the “eugenics food” at the supermarket.

    Real food, food that produces health when eaten, costs twice what we are paying today. There is no way around that…… We need to address out of control confiscatory taxes as that is a root cause here that no one seems to see,

    They have prevented solution’s from being implemented to this by their county health departments, and various other interference with the free market. Fluoride slurping Americans are too dumbed down to see the obvious.

    I have seen no one see’s or address’s the fact that the globalists have purposely orchestrated this in a multitude of ways.

    I think that Patriots of today are too stupid to even understand Liberty and what the solutions really are.

  • Most/many people don’t realize that a lot of the Dollar stores and Big Lots stores sell food for like half (or less) the grocery store price. What type depends on the store – some even sell frozen food. The non-perishable stuff is usually either out of date or close to it, I’m presuming this is how/why it’s there & so cheap, but I have no qualms about eating slightly expired dry goods, things like Hamburger helper, Rice a Roni, Kraft Mac & cheese, etc., and also canned soups, beans, or corn. Also I’m fortunate to actually LIKE Ramen (sometimes I add frozen peas, or add sour cream to the beef flavor to make it pseudo-stroganoff). Also my favorite frozen pizzas are actually the cheap Totinos brand that are about $1 each – any flavor except the pepperoni. They are really good I even eat them when I’m not dirt poor! Unfortunately most of these foods are not healthy but it’s food. Another tip, in a lot of places in the US you can often find blueberries and blackberries growing at the edges of clearings or in abandoned/weedy lots. When I was a kid we used to get blackberries down by the railroad tracks all the time. I even stayed at a hotel recently that just had them growing out back by the drainage ditch, my husband was embarrassed I was eating them (but nobody else was except the birds and they were delicious). Another free food not that hard to get if you know where to go is fish! It’s a fun essentially free (or very cheap) family oriented activity you can do and bring home dinner at the same time. Your kids don’t even have to know you’re doing it because you’re poor! If you’re not sure where to fish in your area just look around, ask around at a bait & tackle store, etc. In some places I’ve lived, it’s even perfectly legal with a fishing license to set crab & lobster traps. Again it depends where you live but this is a largely untapped resource in urban areas. My last tip is don’t forget stir-fry. Cabbage (carrots, onions), rice, and soy sauce are cheap, and can make a very small amount of meat go a long way. If you garden, grow lots of bell peppers, carrots, & cabbage for that.

  • I am more careful with what I buy. I look at the.clearance shelf, look for closeout tags (this indicates a discontinued item), and am eating more plant protein and very little meat. Soups are a cornerstone of my meals because you can make ahead and freeze in batches. I make too much to qualify for foodstamps, but one of my daughter’s raises chickens and gives me eggs.

  • Don’t go grocery shopping or fill your tank on the 1st or 15th or holidays. Thats when they increase the prices of these things.
    The best time to go is on the Wednesday in between the 1st & 15th.
    Look high & low for the best prices as the shelves at eye level are the most expensive product. This company pay a huge amount to be there. They know most people are very lazy & won’t look around.
    Stock up when there is a sale.
    Learn how to preserve your foods.
    Get a good dehydrator. 1 that’s has a moter on the top or back not the bottom.
    It also needs a temp control as different food needs different temperature.
    Look at Facebook market place. Freecycle.com Craigslist. You can find them cheap as people find out it’s work & just want to get rid of the dehydrator.
    1 way to put away dehydrated food fast if to buy frozen vegetables & dehydrated them. You can even dehydrated meat.
    You tube Rain country, Homestead Tessie, our half acre homestead, off grid with Doug & Stacy , homestead Heart
    These people will teach you how to not only survive but thrive.
    Keep close to the Lord. He will never leave nor forsake us

  • In my early twenties, I got myself deeply in debt, then lost my job, My wife was in college, and worked part-time. We had $25 a week to feed both of us three meals a day.

    Look at the types of meals poor people around the world eat. Black beans and rice. Cabbage stir-fried to a soft crunch stage and seasoned with pepper and a splash of soy sauce. Handmade masa tortillas that are thick like pita bread and which make great sandwiches.. Pupusas (like a calzone but using masa) are easy to make, and are delicious. Fresh salsa and pico de gallo are cheap and way better than anything you buy in a store.

    Shop the discount meat counters. A couple of weeks ago I picked up several packs of bacon ends and trimmings for $2.58 a pound and it was delicious. Get a grease can and save your bacon drippings and ground beef drippings to use in cooking. It has a great flavor to your stir fried veggies. You can use your bacon grease to make the best refried beans you’ve ever eaten.

    Roast a whole chicken, then debone the meat and throw all the bones into a crock-Pot.with some celery onions a bay leaf and a couple tablespoons of vinegar. Cook on low for 24 hours then strain and you have excellent bone broth.

    You can get several meals out of one chicken. Chicken and grilled cheese on homemade Venezuelan style tortillas. Shredded chicken served over rice with stir fried cabbage. Chicken salad with coleslaw and a handful of potato chips bought on sale.

    Websites like food Network and Yummly have literally thousands of ideas for cheap, healthy meals. Use them, then use your imagination and what you can find in the stores with the money that you have. Buy and read Daisy’s new book (I have no affiliation with her) if you don’t have the “make something from nothing” mindset yet.

    When even that fails, do what I did, and get healthier in the process. I stopped making three meals a day, and cut down to two, but each meal was larger than it would have been otherwise. Even though the total food during the day was less, I found I was slowly losing body fat but not lean body mass. I felt better and I slept better and my next checkup showed me I was healthier. Maybe that would work for you.

    • Pupusas. Yum. Not to derail, but I went to an El Salvadoran restaurant a few days ago and the cheese pupusas were wonderful. If someone is hungry, and low on funds, some cheese and corn meal can go a long way towards a fulfilling meal.

  • I appreciate these articles and the spirit in which they are written. I always learn something (which is why I come on this site), and the comments always have some smart ideas and helps as well. I must say, we went to the grocery store and Costco over the weekend and most of the prices just made me wince and develop a (thankfully temporary) twitch. Nearly $6 for a dozen eggs? $5 (on special) for a 5 lb bag of store brand all-purpose flour? $3.19 for a can of Progresso soup? Geez. We are a lot better off than many, but we’ve cut wayyyy back on going out to eat or getting delivery, are cutting down on meat, and I’m doing a lot more scratch baking and cooking.

    HOWEVER… the headline to this article screams “92% of Americans Can’t Afford Groceries: POLL”. That’s untrue. I went to the poll you linked (thank you for that), and the exact question asked was, “[w]ith recent increases in grocery costs, do you think food is too expensive in the U.S.?” And 92.87% of people said “yes.” (I mean, of course… Duh, right?) But… the overwhelming majority saying groceries are expensive is NOT the same thing as what your headline says, that the overwhelming majority of Americans CAN’T AFFORD groceries. There is no question in the survey that asks whether people can afford groceries. There are questions about are you cutting back the number of trips to the store, eating less expensive food like meat, etc.

    Do you know what 92% of Americans who COULDN’T AFFORD their groceries would look like? I’m not saying, people who eat less meat, bake from scratch, etc. They can still afford groceries to at least keep their bellies full, even if it means their chateabriand and lobster are off the menu for now. 92% of people who couldn’t afford food would certainly be a mass starvation event and a humanitarian disaster.

    Why did you do this, Daisy? It’s deliberately untrue and misleading, although it might get you a few more clicks. And throwing the red meat out there about Biden? Like we were all so much better off under Trump? Do you really think Biden is trying to starve people? And more to the point, who cares about the politics? I thought you have said a number of times that you’re an independent but then you write throwaway political stuff, and lies in your headline, to get people more riled up. But hey, it’s all about the clicks, amirite?

    You’re smarter and, I thought, better than this. But this looks very deliberate, the headline with NOTHING to back it up with.

    Thank you for all you do on this issue. But this article is one of the reasons I have trouble trusting you or your authors or commenters, as your agenda seems all to often to outweigh facts, defy or lie about sources, or otherwise not contribute anything positive to the many things this site can do for the greater good.

    I’m disappointed by this. I was just beginning to believe you were not about the fray.

    • Very true. Also, I find it frustrating how food affordability is frequently framed in many articles: with rising housing, medical, and energy prices, there’s less money to buy food. Okay, but then food prices aren’t really the problem, right? It’s housing, medical and energy prices, yes?

      I recently bought 3 lbs organic potatoes for $3.50. So, working a fast food job for about 15 minutes. Two hours minimum wage can absolutely pay for a day’s food for one person, and good quality food too.

      And demanding low food prices just destroys any incentive for farmers to produce it.

      That said, if anyone reading this is having trouble paying for food, work at a restaurant. So many are hiring, and every restaurant I’ve worked for offers discounts or even outright free food. Sometimes the “free food” is not exactly policy…but managers look the other way (and eat it themselves.)

  • I accepted a transfer at my job back in the late 80s. They needed experienced staff to continue the business, and promised us raises, bonuses… And reneged on it all.

    I learned to shop on $25 a month. It wasn’t great food, but I didn’t go hungry. My meat was Buddig thin sliced sandwich meat, and I ate a lot of frozen vegetables cooked in ramen. Spaghetti. LOTS of spaghetti.

    That same shopping list is now about $55-60, and it’s still not the healthiest, but it does keep your tummy from grumbling.

    The Dollar Tree has spaghetti and noodles in 1-1/2 lb boxes for $1.25. Ragu and Hunts pasta sauce for $1.25. Get there early for milk and bread. Grab a few things from the freezer, like individual slices of Key Lime pie. Shop the dented cans rack at your local grocer.

    YOU CAN DO THIS. You just have to do it for a while.

    I’m about to become dependent on Social Security, and I’m figuring out how best to scale back to next to nothing.

  • I’ve been raising chickens for a while now and feed has become more expensive and of poorer quality. I have found out when my grocery with a produce department changes over it’s produce and the “old” goes into the dumpster. My chickens love the fresh produce they especially like it when I put it through the blender. Much of the produce is completely usable for my own use. That which I can’t use right away I freeze, can, or dry. I often have more eggs than I can use so I give them to friends, family and to the local feeding center.

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