Yard, garden and Congress critter playing poor

The other half of the front yard finally got de-thatched and some organic lawn food added.  I’m giving it a good watering today as I had a few places the grass was starting to brown a little bit. I have not mulched the front yard area as much or as long as I have been working on the backyard and it needs more water until I can get more of the wood mulch next month.  I’m watering a little more often as I have laid down new grass seed in the back yard.  Both of the lawn areas need more mulch and some grass seed as a remedial efforts continue, but I have had several of the neighbors notice a difference and it’s not all wishful thinking on my part.  One neighbor’s garden sort of died while on vacation during our little heat wave so I showed her my garden and she said she would take any extra produce from the squash, tomatoes, herbs and the grapes I can’t get use/preserve.

Smokey the cat discovered the straw in the front beds and seem to enjoy laying in it while I puttered around in the front yard.  Smokey acts more like a farm cat rather than a city cat as she loves to hunt and if I have straw bales around she prefers laying on top of those straw bales rather than enjoy a kitty condo.  She also sort of patrols around the house  and alley way to keep out any feral cats though she leaves the cats a couple of houses away alone, as long as they stay away from “her domain”.  We still don’t have the industrial strength dog yet but I’m still looking and will add a new cash envelope to save up for a dog and pet costs.

I did a little bit of shopping and found some more of the Progresso recipe starters for 50 cents a can.  I have used these for a couple of meals and they work great for a good sauce without using a lot of energy or heat to slow cook.  These also work great for leftovers to make a very nice meal to use with beans, rice or pasta to extend your servings or use for camping instead of hauling fresh milk, cream, butter or cheese for a one skillet meal.  The Progresso website has some great recipes for using squash as well as meat leftovers for a hearty meal. Some of our Congress critters have been doing a test of what it is like to survive on min. wage and supposedly via 40 hour work week of $7.25 per hour. They will have to live on $77.00 per week after housing costs and such.  That is $1160.00 per month and you don’t have payroll taxes at this income level though you do “contribute” to SS and medicare. So your net income is about $1025.00 per month and I can tell you anyone making that is probably eligible for all kinds of assistance from EBT, Medicaid as well as housing and energy assistance. For a single person EBT is $189.00 per month or about $47.00 per week even in a cheap state like Idaho and while you may not eat high on the hog considering the rising cost of food you can eat a healthy diet.

Plus what is up with buying canned sardines and saltine crackers these morons think is “Poor People food” ?  Heck I can get whole chickens for about a dollar per pound then roast, pan fry or rotisserie  and eat for nearly a week by using the leftovers.  Just to be conservative and not buying in bulk you can buy 2 pounds of rice, beans and pasta for about $6.00 at any dollar store and that converts to about 20 servings of food. You buy a whole chicken or two let’s say you get for 99 cents per pound and costs you a total of $10.00.  Lets add a little more protein with eggs for breakfast and a snack and 18 pack will cost about $2.00 lets add some oatmeal or grits  heck you can buy $5.00 dollars worth and you will get about 6-8 serving per pound so breakfast is covered.  Wow we are already over $20.00 per week and we have not bought crackers or sardines.  You will need some bread probably a one pound loaf per week on average for one person. So you buy a 5 pound bag of flour for about $2.50 add some yeast, a one pound package is about $2.00 -$3.00 and lets get crazy and add 1 pound of Kosher salt so you you can make 5 minute artisan bread cost about 50 cents per one pound loaf counting electricity costs.  Wow we are up to $30.00 and now you can veggies, fruits and some basic cleaning supplies. I try to eat fresh fruit and veggies from my garden so I’m not up on the cost of veggies and fruit but I would think you could buy enough fresh, frozen and canned each week for around $10.00 per week. A container of Tang and coffee or tea would last about a month and cost $5.00-$10.00 total or about $2.50 per week for drinks. Let’s add in a few multi-taskers like a gallon of vinegar $2.50 per gallon, Dawn Dish soap $3.75 for a 40-48 oz. bottle, a pound of baking soda a dollar. Add a 4 pack of TP and a 3 pack of paper towels at a dollar each and you can get by even starting from scratch.  For under $50.00 you  will have enough to survive and even thrive every darn week if this what you buy for groceries. While there are few items missing if you use this as a general type shopping list you would have extras leftover for the pantry and as you built the pantry you could shift your buying to first aid, sanitation/personal hygiene even buying stuff for the garden in a couple of months. That’s without buying in bulk and paying the most on a per pound cost.

I make about $17,000.00 a year net, your average congress critter makes about $15,500.00 per month gross. That is not counting the perks or per diem a congress critter gets along with all the other benefits of paid transportation and vacations or the benefits/retirement they have voted for themselves. Needless to say I’m less than impressed about them taking the EBT or min. wage challenge.  You want a challenge Congress critter? How about you live on my income and I will live on your income for a month and then we would see how things work out!


12 Responses to Yard, garden and Congress critter playing poor

  1. Dannyboy53 says:

    Jamie if you make that grass grow then you’ll have to mow it…unless you get a goat!

    You’re right about the “congress critters”. If they tried to live on our salary they would probably run out of money within two days…TOPS!

  2. denim3225 says:

    Thank you for sharing the progresso website. I have not give much thought to progresso products,but I went there and seen all sorts of recipes,I was thrilled,again, thank you.
    I personally eat pretty well,so I don’t get where the sardines and crackers fit. I do watch when I watch people in the store, they are not shoppers , and buy carp and spend tons of money for just a few days of a so called meal. My yearly salary is a Little over 8,and I manage. No help.
    I am slowly building up my pantry,after depleting it but that pantry saved us.
    Take care and have a good week

    • Jamie says:

      denim, I like the progresso products though I can’t afford to pay full price for them. When I find them on sale I snatch them up.

      I’m doing pretty good on my income overall and I do get a bit peeved at folks that try to play poor and then demand more taxes and more money because they are morons incapable of making a simple budget. I’m still holding the line on my food budget at $150.00 per month and prepping but it is getting tougher in this economy.

      I think the idiot congress critters have no clue how us serfs actually eat. I saw moron critter eating cold Campbell’s condensed soup in the back of his limo as he did not have a can opener or stove or a microwave safe bowl to heat it. Funny he thought it tasted terrible. Nor did he catch the irony of his pic.

    • Jamie says:

      I saw quite few of the recipes use Progresso stock of some sort. Well I can make my own stock easily and while I still sort of suck at making cream sauces I’m getting better as I practice and have ingredients on hand. I will cheat on sauces if I can find a good product.

  3. denim3225 says:

    Sorry for the type ‘s, I am using my kindle so it is harder to type on.

  4. Jamie says:

    Dannyboy who knows if the SHTF I may get goats from my aunt if no one is concerned about enforcing city codes.

    As far as the Congress Critters go they simply prove how out of touch they are compared to the middle class and lower income level citizens. I know I can pay my bills, buy food, garden and prepare for any small disaster on my budget. Sometimes it calls for some work and going without but it is doable.

    The water main issue sort of blind sided me but even without Dad’s help I could have sold some of my silver and got tight on money to pay for it. I would hate to sell my silver as it is my insurance for inflation but I could if it was needed for survival.

    I’m good for most of the basics for over 12 months but I get somewhat upset when people try to play poor and don’t seem to realize that the poor don’t have any backup when something breaks at the wrong time of the month and the Economic system wants everyone in debt with no backup savings.

    Buy food now and preserve it if you can afford it. Build skills and try new things that will help on your basics. It’s getting darn tough to hold the line but if you are solid on food water and energy build on security and backups.

  5. Marilyn says:

    Sadly there are too many who, if given a 5# bag of flour and some yeast would wonder what to do with it. Let alone how to make soup from scratch.

    • Jamie says:

      Marilyn : you are probably correct. I certainly made a few flour bricks trying to make bread. But we have to let folks know that trying and practice is not a failure but simply one of the steps to become proficient. We have an entire generation that has been told they are “special little snowflakes” and when they get in the real world they are completely blindsided by life. The kids are not bad people but they did not grow up with the basics and when life get’s hard they were taught to retreat and play it safe rather than embrace failure to learn and grow.

      These young people are starting to see how they were lied too about playing the game. The younger generation that will listen is who we need to reach out to and get prepared and teach. We screwed up and believed the politicians about how inflation was growth and debt was good without any productive input to the economy.

      Our fault we outsource community to the government. Well we screwed up but that does not mean we can’t fix things at a personal level as the government is the enemy as I see it.

  6. SciFi Chick says:

    I’d love to watch a congress critter live on what I make. No, really. I would! Some call the way we live as poor folks. Personally I think we are richer in many ways than those $^*#) They’d shrivel up and cry within a month and be begging for relief in two.

    • Jamie says:

      Sci: I agree the Congress Critters are only exposing just how out of touch they are to the average middle class or lower. Heck I’m doing very good compared to many people and I’m not all that high on the economic food chain. These congress critters get paid more in one month than what you and Denim in a year and we are supposed to be impressed about living on a food budget of $50.00 per month or having an extra $77.00 to spend on food and transportation per week. Hell that is high living to most of us.

      One month you congress critter you trade you paycheck of $15 grand for the about one grand or less of denim or Sci-fi and then lets see how you feel about living on a shoe string budget.

  7. Dannyboy53 says:

    Boy howdy! Marilyn, SciFi Chick & Jamie, you all knocked it out of the ball park!

    Amen to that Ladies.

  8. Jamie says:

    Sci-fi I wish the same but I doubt they could last even a month on your budget and work load.
    I don’t get the sardines and cracker thing either. I have canned sardines, smoked oysters, saltines and cheese and crackers but they are a special treat for a movie/game night and not a normal prep/budget item.
    Another idiot congress critter supposedly made pancakes and cereal for breakfast that cost over $6.00 for a couple of kids and I can’t imagine that unless they bought premade pancakes in the freezer case and some very expensive brand name cereal single serving bowls. I’m having a very difficult time trying to figure out how the can spend so much money on what they think is “Cheap Food”.
    Even an expensive box of cereal is about $3.00 and Bisquick or Krustez can make a make a heck of a lot of pancakes for $3.00 for a 24-36 oz. box and both should be good for over 14 serving per package.

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