tagHow ToHow to Scrape By On Nothing

How to Scrape By On Nothing


Before I became employed in the career I am in now there were many days of heartache and sweat. Always wondering where the next meal was coming from, always stressing over what bills to pay and how to give each just enough that hydro, gas, water or cable wouldn't be disconnected. Sometimes I was successful in keeping all utilities on the go and other times I just couldn't make it.

I remember doing my taxes in 1997 and my net income was a measly 8,700 something dollars. Now to some they might say, "Hell I can make it on 8 grand a year!" but let me tell you this pay had to cover two kids, my wife and myself. We had a mortgage that took up almost all of the 8 grand a year itself. Let me tell you there were many nights when I went to bed with an empty stomach just so my kids could eat a decent meal.

There were other times I had to suck in my pride and venture down to the local food bank just to be sure there was enough food to keep them filled. Pasta, potatoes, and peanut butter became my main staples. Not that I am complaining though because now we are doing ok and I believe we appreciate the things we have more than people who haven't had to struggle as much as us.

During this time it was heartbreaking when my kids wanted to go to a show with their friends and we just didn't have the money to offer them this treat. Every once in awhile we would splurge and rent a movie for them though. I honestly think our lack of funds gave us more quality family time.

During this period though I learned a lot of ways to scrape by and if any of you are struggling out there maybe they can help.

I have already mentioned a few like not eating but you can only keep that up for so long.

When you live way under the poverty level you can't be too choosey on your diet so cheap foods high in carbs worked for us. You can make a whole meal out of potatoes with the right spices. Pasta is by far the best and cheapest way to keep your belly full. I nice dish to have is a plate of pasta with a nice cheap salad dressing poured over the noodles (although spaghetti sauce isn't that expensive if you don't mind no name brands), and the nice thing about spaghetti is if you make a huge pot you can get almost three days worth of meals. If you have never eaten left over spaghetti fried you are missing out. It is still a favorite of mine.

Peanut butter is good for protein if you are not allergic too it. Even the cheapest brand is a little pricey but if you spread it thin it can last awhile.

And don't forget people even in major chain grocery stores pricing is just subjective. You can barter with managers in almost any store to get prices lowered. Grab a dinted can or a crushed box and make them an offer. Better sold then thrown out.

Lastly I will talk about the dreaded bills. We all hate them just like we hate taxes but they are a necessary evil. But there are ways around having to pay your bills or at least get deadlines extended. One of the most creative ways I found was learned on a fluke. In a rush to get the bills out I wrote the checks and by mistake I put the cable check in the phone envelope and the check for the phone bill in the cable envelope. When the checks weren't cashed I was a little confused but sure enough I received a call saying that I had made the mistake from each of the utilities. This gave me an extension of more than two weeks. It soon became an "accident" on a regular basis. Since most of these companies have so many people that do the bill collections I never had anyone inquire why it kept happening.

Another way to scrape is to get just basic everything. Cut the long distance on your phone and put a block on collect calls coming in. If you absolutely need television get the most basic package you can get. You might not have the entertainment of the movie networks but at least you have some entertainment. At night be sure to put more covers on your bed and turn your furnace to the bear minimum. When taking a shower go in with your wife and take one together (have sex before you go in though because if you haven't you might find yourself using up even more hot water than usual).

Anyway there are just some ways to scrape by when you don't have the cash in hand required to make it in this world. I hope I helped some of you out!

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bydirtyjoe69© 12 comments/ 35454 views/ 9 favorites

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