Friday, October 18, 2013

Round and Round We Go....and a Few Honest Opinions

So, switched real estate agents in Vt. The last one kept sending me listings of condos, for pity's sake! I don't think a condo association would be too happy with the goats!
So....looking at the listings the new realtor sends me, listings on, listings on the GSA site and so forth and so on. Our lease, such as it is, is up the end of March.
So....Vt., or NH.
Have to find a realtor in NH now as the VT one is not licensed to work in NH.
Now, on to some honest opinions.
The opinions are mine, not anyone elses and if they offend you, you need to pull up those big girl (or big boy) panties and suck it up...or just move on.
The whole mess of food stamps.
I am sure everyone read about the panic in some areas when peoples food stamp cards wouldn't work due to a *glitch*.
Then the free for all that occurred when another *glitch* didn't show food stamp cards balances and a few Wal-Marts allowed those shoppers to get whatever they want. (Wal-Mart has to pay the bill for that, by the way)
And then there is the absolute angry frustration that people that are NOT on food stamps feel when they see some use their food stamp card to pay for lobsters and thick steaks, OR conversely, pay for loads of chips and sodas and other *junk* foods.

First of all, I have nothing against feeding the hungry, especially hungry children. I had to get on food stamps in the past and they were gratefully received as a temporary help until I got back on my feet.
Food stamps, however, were never meant to be a PERMANENT *entitlement*. (and, boy, do I hate that word!)
Food stamps, in fact, were not meant to provide ALL the food a person/family needed every month. They were meant to ASSIST a family in having proper nutrition, to SUPPLEMENT their food budgets.
Food stamps can also be used to buy seeds and vegetable bedding plants. A lot of people don't know that.
I used my food stamps to buy flour, yeast, milk, orange juice, a lot of chicken (I am surprised my now-grown kids even like chicken, as much as I fed them when they were young!), plenty of produce, seeds and plants for my gardening efforts, etc. I bought mainly basic foods and I cooked/baked/prepared everything I could from scratch.
People tell me that folks on food stamps don't have the TIME to cook from scratch. Bullshit.
I worked two jobs, plus various side jobs and still managed to cook from scratch. Sometimes I had to do all my cooking for the week on my day off, so I could just pull something out of the freezer after a long day and put it in the microwave or oven.
I also did food storage in case my benefits were denied unexpectedly or my garden didn't produce sufficiently.
All that being said, let me get into the junk food debate...
If a parent using food stamps is taking home chips, sugary cereals, soda, and other *junk* food, they are creating health problems for their child that will become every tax-payers problem later on.
Diabetes and other chronic health problems are directly connected to our diets.
Cooking, shopping and nutrition classes should be a MUST for all food stamp recipients.
I have given such instruction to friends that were on food stamps. They were appreciative and found they could get more out of their food stamp allotment when they cooked from scratch.
I also think that ALL recipients of *entitlement* (ugh, that hated word again) benefits should have to undergo unannounced  and random drug screenings.
That pisses a lot of people off, especially liberal type people. I have no clue why.
As far as the lobster and thick steak food stamp purchases, I can understand that for a special occasion, but not for an every month thing. Also, I learned when I was on food stamps, that some recipients buy expensive items to sell so they can use the cash to buy things not allowed on food stamps. Like drugs and alcohol.
Look, I didn't buy JUST basics, at Halloween, Easter and Christmas I used my food stamps to get candy for the kids. That is reasonable. Kids need those special celebrations and occasional treats in their lives.
But they also need good basic nutrition and far too many are just not getting it!
Look ahead 10 or 20 years...if only 10% of those kids currently on food stamps develop diabetes (and I am being generous on the low side with that estimate), what kind of stress will that put on our health care system? How many tax dollars will it cost? How many people will not be able to work because of medical disability?
Too many people look at the short range and not at the long range.
We have 5 adults (over 18) in this household currently.
Dinner tonight:
Shepherds Pie
Iced Tea

Cost breakdown:
Bag of potatoes...I used 6 of them for the mashed potatoes...entire 10 lb bag was 2.99 (on sale!) still have plenty of potatoes in the bag. Enough for 3 to 4 meals.
Frozen corn, used half a bag. Bag was 1.00 (again on sale!)
Hamburger...I used 1/3rd of a *chub*, 6.59 (on sale) 3 lb chub.
6 cups of flour for the bread (rolls) and I made enough dough for a loaf for tomorrow, too. I buy my flour in 50 lb bags for around 20 bucks and I have no clue what that breaks down to in cups, lol!
Yeast, salt, sugar for bread....lets call it .50 for all as I buy those in bulk, too.
Salad....found salad *kits* on sale 2 for 5.00 Half a bag will be enough salad for 5.
I make my own salad dressing...50 cents of ingredients...more or less and it will be enough for 2 meals.
Iced pitcher will do it. I buy tea on sale for 1.50 for 100 tea bags and use 8 bags per pitcher.
Sugar for iced tea...again, I buy it in bulk and figure maybe 50 cents worth per pitcher.
Butter for bread....found it on sale for 1.50 per pound (YIPPEE!!!) bought a lot and froze it. Figure half a stick. We like butter. MUCH healthier than margarine.
Figure it out. That's for 5 full grown healthy adults.
I may even make some brownies for dessert. Found some baking chocolate I had forgotten about in the freezer.
We spend around 300 bucks a month for groceries. We eat well, no one is starving. I have snacks (healthy ones) available most of the time.
So there.....there's my opinion, my experiences and my menu for tonight!


  1. Thought you were making a new blog? Agree with you completely, btw. We're on FS, we're trying very hard to get off them, & we're grateful we have them. I make from scratch, grow what I can get to grow, check out books from the library on planting, old ways of cooking/preserving/making food stretch. I buy a $6 roast that gets cut up, usually goes us 8 meals. Those same cuts (stew meat, steak, fajita strips, bbq beef) would run us about $40 for the same amount.
    The only thing I will say is that it sucks being a family who is trying to make it stretch & be smart...when I buy bulk & for a month....I get dirty looks & smart remarks, like I'm doing something wrong. People shouldn't be quick to judge.It makes me just as mad when I had to check out people with brand new cars, a cart full of electronics, paying with FS & WIC. I know folks scam the system , but I've also checked out the lady using coupons to make her FS stretch with 2 little ones with her about to cry & just trying to make ends meet.

    1. As a former cashier, I saw the same things, Tina.
      There has to be some sort of middle ground.
      I was *judged*, too, when I was on FS. Made me feel gawdawful, but at least I knew I was using the FS for their intended purpose!
      And by buying in bulk you are saving money. Canning and preserving what you can gives you an *extra cushion* for those really bad months, too!

  2. Totally agree with your "rant". Had I done a post on it, there would be many, many more "socially unacceptable" comments and swear words. Not that it would ever happen, because as you mentioned there are too many bleeding heart liberals that would STILL make excuses for their behavior, but I think each and every one of those scum (yes, I said scum) should not only be kicked off food stamps, but be charged with theft.

    I've also noticed quite a few ads in our local free online trading post for a LOT of baby food formula for sale, almost every other week by the same person. How much you wanna bet that it was purchased with WIC funds?

    1. Sadly, I have seen those ads selling formula, baby cereal and baby food as well.
      I don't know what the solution is.
      If you take the benefits away from the parents that sell food stamps or items they buy with them (or WIC), then the children lose the little bit that does trickle down to them.

  3. Very good post, and I enjoyed reading your opinion on food stamps.

    I don't understand this real estate agent sending you condo material, this doesn't make any sense. Must be a ding bat, what can I say.
    Good luck with house hunting.

    1. We cut ties with the idiot realtor sending us condo listings. The new one actually *gets it*, I think. She has only sent us listings that make sense for what we want to do!

  4. Years ago when I found myself and two sons in a situation where I needed assistance, there were no food stamps. In those days there were commodities. US surplus where we went to a local warehouse and were given 10 lbs of flour for each person, a pound each of butter, dried skim milk, beans, oatmeal, canned chicken, etc. You we be surprised and disgusted at how many people turned their noses at a lot of that food. Just didn't take it. Or....took it and fed their animals or sold it. But, at least the food was good and healthy in those days. Saved me and my boys until I was able to get on my feet. I think they should still have commodities. Oh yeah, a big block of Velveeta cheese, too. I agree about having to take a nutrition class to qualify. People nowadays do not seem to know how to cook from scratch anymore. We were taught this stuff in public school back in the day. Enjoy your blog and point of view

  5. I've been saying the same thing about cooking classes for YEARS! I had food stamps when I was in college for one semester. When I went through the check-out at the grocery store the clerk looked at what I'd bought and said "Wow, you really eat healthy!" Yes, thank you. By the way, 50 lbs of flour yields about 133 1/3 cups of flour at about 6 oz. per cup. So that would be about 15 cents per cup. So glad you could find a new realtor; and good luck with finding the right place!

  6. Hi, just came across your site. In looking for a property, look for an "exclusive buyer's agent". They work only for homebuyers because they don't take "listings" and they work in the homebuyers best interesI. I know it well as my husband was the national association president some years back (NAEBA). Since they don't list properties they are willing to look beyond the listed market into the For Sale By Owner market too. They can help you find an agent or you can google exclusive buyers agent vermont or NH. I found a couple the first try. If you have any other questions you can email me:)


Because of a couple of rude people that left comments that included links to porn pages and such, I have been forced to start moderating comments again.