Of Food Pantries and Circuses

 There are times, when being frugal, it pays to say ‘Yes’!

Take this week, for example. I work at a job that is well-paying, but sometimes I need a bit of assistance in the financial department of my life. When it comes to food, I am frugal, but there are times when the bills are more demanding on the bank account. I have to make decisions, sometimes tough ones. I am doing well with the 30-day Spending Freeze, but it means, for me, sparse shopping, which means not always having fresh fruits or veggies. Welcome the Food Pantry! This was my week to visit.

I use only one Food Pantry, and it’s open times are very limited. I have to rearrange my work schedule, once a month, in order to pick up my food. I am a celiac and have IBS, as well as being lactose intolerant, so my food list is geared toward those food allergies. But, we do get to go in and ‘shop’ with the assistance of a volunteer (bless their hearts). You start at the fresh fruit and veggie coolers, and they ask you ‘Would you like this, or that, etc..’ And they fill your cart for you. I say ‘Yes’ to most everything, and if they want, they can throw extra in the cart!

Well, there are always surprises, because they are also putting together your special diet box in another area of the site. I don’t get to see this box until I get it into my car. There are always some really special surprises! Plus, I have been going to this location for 3 years (on and off), so many of the volunteers have gotten to know me, and will put the extras in. Sweet people.

Of course, once everything is sorted, and taken care of, I get to get down to the business of cooking or preserving the fresh produce. That is where the fun begins!

The dehydrated bananas are so good – like a banana candy. The bonus of putting the muffins in the freezer (I did receive 2 packages, and indulged before freezing!) – I will forget about them for a while and then, weeks down the road, ‘discover’ a sweet treat!

Part of being frugal, when free food is offered, is to be a grateful recipient.

We had a Circus Day, this week on Friday, at work. We had lots of fun, and lots of food. At the end of the day’s festivities, the leftover food gets given away to the employees. I am on the Fun Committee, and spent my day assisting with the different activities, and serving the food. So, of course, I am going say ‘Yes’ to the free food. Two hotdogs, 2 bags of chips, 2 sodas and 2 cupcakes were my weekend gifts.

All in all, it was a good week for being frugal.

Stay tuned for what I did with the Food Pantry food.

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