I have an avid interest in social welfare programs in this country (it is perhaps why my education and career took the trajectory that they did). For several reasons, the one that captures my attention the most is food stamps. One, it is one of the most “visible” programs available. Two, it is one of the most hotly debated programs and three, it is perhaps the easiest one to fix. That’s where this project comes in.
I know how hard it is to eat a healthy diet when you only have $25-$30 per week (and sometimes every 2 weeks) to spend on groceries. You find yourself stocking up on cheap things like ramen, pasta, and sugary cereal. You find yourself hungry at the end of the day because, although you ate the calories, you didn’t get the nutrition your body needs. You find yourself gazing longly at the dollar menu. You find yourself in a battle of wills with your credit card because you know that all you have to do is pull that thing out and you’ll have $200 worth of groceries instantly. I have been there, done that, got the pen (the T-shirt was too expensive). And it wasn’t pretty.
I remember how excited my husband and I were the day we realized we could bump our grocery budget up to $50 a week…we felt so rich! Now, as I reflect back on that time in the not so distant past, I want to make sure that others have the skills that I lacked to make those difficult times a little easier. Sure, you can save on groceries by shopping at Aldi or buying a box of food from Angel Food Ministries, but if you don’t know what to do with the ingredients once you get them home, what good are the savings?
By compiling the information in this blog, I hope to educate people on the basics of cooking. How to stock a pantry, how to select proper cooking implements, how to shop on a budget (even if you don’t use coupons, which I typically do not) and how to follow a recipe. These are the basic principles of cooking that many, many people do not know, which at one point, included myself. I am hoping that by sharing the knowledge passed on to me, more people learn how to cook and make wise use of their food dollars.