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View Diary: GOP aide goes on popsicle-fueled right-wing publicity stunt in favor of cutting food stamps (214 comments)

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  •  I hear you. (4+ / 0-)
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    wintergreen8694, SueDe, mayim, Lashe

    In my neighborhood, there are two "seasons" every month.  The first few days, our neighborhood supermarket is swamped (We are very lucky to have a local supermarket in this neighborhood.  And it's union and locally owned.)

    Also, our local butcher shop is completely swamped in those first few days of the month.  They sell in bulk at good prices, and extended families come in to buy big quantities.

    The second half of the month, these places are nearly ghost towns.

    There's no doubt people are getting hungry.

    If there's a chance that your situation could extend for a while, I have a few suggestions:

    1) Put together a month's menu, taking into account the sales at local supermarkets.  Buy the sales and buy in bulk.

    2) If you're not part of an extended family that makes it easier to buy in bulk, think about creating one.  Figure out how to buy wholesale if possible.  Farmers at farmers' markets, local butchers and bakers like to sell in quantity.  The price differential can be amazing.  I'm a meat eater raised on a farm.  Steak was almost a staple, but it's way beyond my means if I buy it in the supermarket at $10-12/pound.  We buy 25 pounds of loin custom cut and wrapped into porterhouse and t-bones for $6/pound.  We buy a bushel of peppers at the end of the season for a few bucks and freeze them.  This is because we're living as an extended family.  Next goal is to form a neighborhood CSA to buy tomatoes, apples and other fruits and vegetables in bulk for canning and freezing.

    3) If you have access to any sunshine, you can grow some things for yourselves.  We live on a small city lot with limited sun because of nearby buildings and trees, but we're growing our own greens in the summer, snow peas, and lots of tomatoes.  This year, I expanded to the front yard to interest our neighbors in the growing process.  We 're also growing tomatoes in 5 gallon plaster buckets that allow us to grow things on our largely unused front yard sidewalk.

    If you don't have sunshine or would like more room, that same group you form for the CSA can become a community garden group.  We're in a poor neighborhood with lots of vacant lots, and I'm eyeing several of them once we have enough interest.

    Our city has also had the foresight to liberalize the rules for raising chickens and other small animals.  Since we're engaged in rehabbing an old two-family house while living in it, we're not quite ready for that, but it's part of our planning.

    "It's embarrassing and humiliating. We're college educated professionals, both been through several layoffs."

    Again, I hear you.  We're raised to believe that we can succeed in the Dominant Economy if we're smart and work hard.  That's a myth.  We must learn to survive in Our Economy, and that requires developing skills, some practical and some social, that are completely deprecated by the Dominant Economy.

    You two sound like smart people, way too smart to be wage slaves for some corporation.  Embrace your "rejection" by this dying system and join those of us working to create a new world for that child who's on the way.

    •  This is the best advice I've heard so far. (2+ / 0-)
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      OutcastsAndCastoffs, mayim

      This is what I and four of my friends have been doing for years.  When one of us stumbles, the rest can temporarily carry the load - and we have all failed at one time or another.  Also all of us have access to each other's extended networks, both personally and professionally.  At this point none of us feels like our entire future is vulnerable to the whims of our employers.  It's quite liberating.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:36:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mutual aid. (0+ / 0-)

        It's the path to survival.

        You say:

        "It's quite liberating."

        That's what real libertarianism (not that Randian shit) is about: self-organization.  Check out a master: Buenaventura Durruti.  (Whether you acknowledge it or not, you're a revolutionary.)

        Who wants to be a wage slave?

        One option if you like what you're doing:

        Organize and take over the business where you work (See Republic Windows)  The IWW will help you.

        Another option if you don't like what you're doing:

        Make concrete plans to quit being a wage slave.

    •  We're pretty old school , actually. (1+ / 0-)
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      (At this point, I dream of being able to afford $6/lb meat...)

      We're already doing much of what you suggest. Gardening, canning, freezing, scratch cooking. Have been since before the days when we were making good money.  

      Hubby's worked as a chef/kitchen manager in the past, and I grew up learning to cook from my Mom, who grew up on a farm. We're both good at from-scratch cooking, and have a lot of recipes that can stretch a few ingredients over several days. I grew up learning about home-canning produce, and he taught himself years ago, so we do a lot of that. (I also grew up butchering deer at hunting season.) We make a lot of our own stock, etc.

      Many of the staples on the WIC list are part of our usual pantry contents. (Items many people don't seem familiar with - cheers to the MN WIC web site, which includes a ton of recipes for those new to things like dried beans).

      We're still finishing up the last of the homemade (home grown) tomato, pepper, and pumpkin products we canned and froze last year.

      Thanks to a long, cold, wet spring we weren't able to get the garden in until the past couple weeks, though we started collards and spinach a month ago since they like the cold. Collards are ready for a first harvest, but the spinach is lagging.

      Plenty of tomatoes and peppers, leeks, and two small raised beds of beans are in so far. We have the herbs, just need to decide which pots they go in. Still need to pick up onion sets - should be going on clearance about now! Since we only have room for a few raised beds here, some of all this goes into the garden at Grandpa's house - he's 94 and still wants his fresh tomatoes but can't get around well, so we get use of his garden in exchange for planting some of his preferred tomatoes. ;)

      I learned about ad shopping, sales, and coupons from an early age. Not the power couponing BS on TV, but the real, day to day kind. Some store brands are you friend. We especially watch for meat to go on sale, and always check for the little "special" stickers in the meat department at the store - usually good markdowns on items that dated next day. Since they're either getting cooked in day or so, or going straight to the freezer, we're happy with it. At the farmer's market, we watch for one of the local grass-fed/organic beef sellers to do his buy one, get one free specials. Great way to stock up on bones for beef stock, liver, and tongue for cheap!

      I'd love to have a couple chickens (you can have three hens in town) but this is not a good time to be adding "care of animals we've never had before" to our plate.

      I'd love to create a new world, but right now I just want to be able to pay the damn bills on time, you know? Working to change things feels like a luxury we can't afford/don't have time for. Which is really frustrating in and of itself!  I think this is the hopelessness Republicans want to see - and that they get off on, the sick fucks.

      On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. - Molly Ivins

      by Lashe on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:40:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good on you guys. (0+ / 0-)

        Sounds like you have an awesome collection of skills that you're putting to good use.

        That child on the way will have a lot she/he can learn from you two.

        Feelings of frustration, hopelessness, fear and helplessness  are exactly what these people are trying to spread.  Just by coping, you're engaged in defeating them even if it doesn't feel like it at times.

        Hang in there.

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