An article in Yahoo News explained how the rising food and gas prices are a double whammy for rural folks. The gist is that is costs more and now rural folks are suffering. I agree that it costs more for us rural folks. I'm not sure suffering is accurate to describe it, although belt tightening is definitely a consequence. The two people they used as examples were examples of wasteful spending and what not to do. I'm sure that the few items that have been written are just the tip of the iceberg on how these people live. I bet neither have more than three days worth of food in the house. I've provided a few simple suggestions to alleviate their suffering.
The article interviews two people who both live outside large cities. One is 30 miles away, the other 45 miles. The one who lives 30 miles outside of town said that her family lives in HUD housing, they receive Medicaid, they have food stamps, and still had the audacity to complain that even with all this they still struggle! It’s not that I’m not sympathetic. I would be if the person wasn’t so wasteful of what they are given. This complainer makes the 60-mile round trip into the city twice a week for groceries. She's not driving in for doctor appointments or work, but groceries. She said she spent $50 on gas to fill the car and it will be gone in three days. She was complaining that she’s had to pay $200 more a month in groceries the last couple of months – on top of the food stamps that she receives for her family of five.
What to buy. Look at the servings on the oatmeal container. Buy the largest non-instant container the store has. Since there are five of you, you will need to get 125 servings of oatmeal. Get four dozen eggs and three loaves of bread. Get a big box of powdered milk. Get some apples. That's all you need for breakfast for the entire month. For under $50 you can have breakfast for the family. This isn't the most exciting menu but it will get them through. Use some of the food stamp money to grow a garden.
The second person drives her 22 year old gas guzzler car two miles, parks it, and then hops in with a friend to carpool the 45 miles to grocery shop. She makes twice weekly trips to town and helps pay for gas. This lady lives on 20 acres and she’s been there for 12 years. She lives off grid in a trailer. She runs her generator three hours a day so she can watch the news and do chores. She raises chickens and has a garden. She can’t wait for summer when her chickens will start laying and the garden will provide fresh vegetables. She heats with wood and a propane heater. Her only income is Social Security. She wants the politicians to donate their paychecks to Medicare and food and services for children. She says they should step up because they are already wealthy and if they did this then it would give her faith and hope because she loves
Suggestions: Her situation is a little different. I wouldn’t say that she should only go to town once or twice per month as I thought the other person should. This woman is using the trips as her social experiences yet she still needs to stop the two trips to town each week to cut down on gas expenses. Once the good weather comes she should spend more time in her garden and expand it. She needs to either dry or can what she produces and not depend on it only for fresh food. Perhaps if the 20 acres is usable, she should rent some of it out to a neighbor. Become more self sufficient and don't base your happiness on what the government gives you.
Around here weare still using canned spaghetti sauce that cost 78 cents a can (at least when we don't use home grown and canned sauce). The store is now selling it for 96 cents and the calorie content is less! Why? Because they are adding more water and less tomatoes.