Countless stories of unemployment are heard all over the US and the rest of the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic continue to raise fears about housing and the ability to put food on the table. At last count, there were 30 million Americans who recently filed unemployment claims over the month and half.
As states push to try and find healthy ways to reopen slowly, we now hear concerns of meat shortages. All of this is going on as we continue to deal with non-food shortages of things like disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes, personal protective equipment and even hand sanitizer.
So much of this can leave people in a state of anxiety and panic trying to figure out simple things like being able to eat. Fortunately, I came from a family with southern roots and we knew how to make food last but not everyone has that experience.
Check out the tips below to help you and your family make your food last to as we work through this unprecedented time:
- Consider starting a vegetable garden. If you don’t have a yard, purchase planters for your balcony or patio like the City Picker Raised Grow Beds. I just ordered them so I hope they come in handy. If that’s a financial strain, no worries good old pots from the dollar store will do to start your garden.
- Unless it’s spoiled or expired, find ways to use every piece of food or food like liquids you have at home. Fried rice can be made from rice you had the night before. Little shreds of bacon or vegan bacon can be used in muffins, eggs, potatoes and more. After getting my hand virtually smacked by loving friends, I’ll never throw away another heel of bread again when it can be safely made into bread crumbs or even croutons for a salad.
- Think about trying apps like Honey to get the best bang for your buck. It works as a browser extension or standalone app to find all the latest and greatest sales prices and promo codes for things in your cart when doing online shopping.
- Social media is your friend! If you’re not on Instagram get an account and follow pages like Cheap Lazy Vegan or Cheap Cooking Good Looking. They offer great meal ideas with a low budget in mind. Pinterest is great too but I find Instagram easier, and more frequently updated in many cases. Plus it’s interactive in case you have questions.
- Don’t be afraid to get marked down items. I always ask the grocery store when they get their produce deliveries so I can plan to go the day before they arrive when they mark down perfectly good items. The cost savings is amazing.
- Need seeds or plants for that vegetable garden? Dry out seeds from things like peppers, grow your own garlic at home, start your own potato plants from ones you have, and more. Check out this cool page on growing from leftover stuff at home.
- Freeze, freeze, freeze! Almost anything can be frozen. Don’t worry about making big meals or leftovers going bad. When sealed and stored properly, you’d be surprised at what you can freeze. Everything from lunch meat, applesauce, butter, avocados, fresh herbs, some kinds of milk, cheese, and even frozen casseroles can be safely frozen and reused later.
Don’t let a fear of scarcity make you feel like you won’t make it. Take inventory of what you have at home and use these as well as other creative ways you have to make them last. Don’t give up on those flour or corn tortillas, there are a bunch of different ways to use them and lots of other things. You can do it!
Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Sheldon