I grew up in a low-income family. We (almost) never went out to eat, and clothes came from the Goodwill, and then only if you absolutely needed them. Foreclosures and repossessed cars were common. We moved around a lot, once even staying with my dad’s father- five kids in one small bedroom. Most people would find it small just for one person.
That lifestyle also included food stamps. In fact, early into my marriage, I came to the shocking realization that I just kind of expected food stamps to be a part of life. No, I wasn’t “bumming” off the government. I just never expected to financially stable enough to buy my own food. To have one or two or three hundred dollars from your own pocket to buy food was incomprehensible to me. Who has that much money?
Consequently, I felt separated from everyone. Those who could casually talk about the things they buy or going out to eat, seemed to me to be just brazenly announcing how much money they had. How much they were not like me. I still struggle with that.
When it comes to my grocery shopping, these feelings are compounded. I’ve been doing a lot of research. Do you have any idea what is in our foods?? Most of it isn’t good. Much of it is toxic. There are few options for true “healthy” eating at a grocery store. The ones that are good, like organics, are insanely expensive. Again, who has that kind of money?
If you recognize what I’m talking about, then you’re the one I want to talk to. In my search for good nutrition, I’ve read a lot about buying from the farm. About getting good, grass-fed meat straight from the butcher. And I can’t help but think- those doors are closed to me. I can’t do that. I can only get what the state allows.
So I want to take a different spin on things. I want to show, from a “poor family’s” perspective, just what you CAN do to get your family good, healthy food. Because for a certain class of people, it’s more than just “living on a budget.” It’s being limited in your options, because you can only go to certain stores with that EBT card.
Follow me on my journey, and maybe you’ll learn some tips yourself. Healthy eating CAN be possible, even if the farm is not.