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Thread: Extreme Poverty Foods and Meals

  1. #21
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    We have a friend who lived on macaroni and cheese throughout college, and developed a lifelong addiction to the stuff. At 25 cents a box, tough to beat. For Christmas one year as a joke, we gave her a big carton of the EXPENSIVE macaroni and cheese. Movin' on up! But seriously, I lived on peanut butter and jam on whole grain bread for much of my college years and the ones right after. I could still live easily on beans, rice, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, etc. if I had to. Easy and cheap to grow (except for the rice) and they store well.

  2. #22
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    When I was just out of college and lived in a tiny apartment for $80/mo, I saved money by eating alot of the cheapest tuna fish I could find. NEVER AGAIN!! I keep thinking back to all those things in those tins that just didn't look right. GAG!
    Yes, mac and cheese was a staple too. How fortunate most of us are to be able to eat good, fairly fresh, nutritious stuff now.
    DH tells about how he lived in a codemned frat house while in college (no longer a frat house) where there was no heat in winter and open windows. He ate alot of cereal that he added Tang to, since it was so cheap. EEEwwwwww.

  3. #23
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    These stories are making me cry. The one about the youngest child almost dying from poisoned mushrooms!! Please tell me s/he is fine today and a healthy adult!!!

    And the depression stories-so much lard.

    Why all the white bread though? Here, whole wheat is the same price.

    We were poor as well growing up. For us a treat was water with sugar added to it and oil and salt sandwiches. We too ate bread dipped in coffee for breakfast (with a sprinkle of Nestle Quik in flush times-mmmmmm)

    For me, I remember the cabinets always being bare. Dinner was always pasta with homemade sauce. My mom is an infamous horrible cook so we would all sit there watching the sauce and pasta congeal...couldn't leave the table until we finished eating-ick. The only thing worse that awful pasta is awful COLD pasta

  4. #24
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    When our kids were small our running joke was that it must be Sunday if there was meat on the table. In truth we were broke but had it pretty good. We gardened & canned heavily, foraged some (morel mushrooms and dandelion greens mostly), I hunted and fished some and we got pretty good at watching sales. Starch was a common filler, pasta or potatoes. Both were very cheap. A $.25 box of mac & cheese with a little extra milk and a $.50 pound of additional pasta went a long way! DW made all our bread. Beans of every size, shape and color were in the mix almost daily and got extra flavor because soup bones from the store were free in those days. The butcher called them "dog bones" but everyone we knew used them in soup before the dogs got hold of them.

  5. #25
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    oh I forgot one. This is pretty funny and not so much a meal more of a 'snack' My brothers and sisters and I were convinced if you chewed glossy coloured pages from our Sears catalogue it would turned into gum. Apparently someone knew someone who tried it and it worked. So on a few occasions (we were never very quick) we would tear pieces out of the catalogue and chew, chew, chew our way to gumball heaven. I always tore off purple paper because I loved grape flavoured gum. I remember sitting there, chewing this horrible chemical tasting paper waiting and waiting and seeing my baby brother with red dye dribbling down his chin (he was partial to cherry)

  6. #26
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    We had it pretty good growing up since we gardened, canned, raised chickens and rabbits for meat, and hunted....everything that moved (squirrel, rabbit, deer, turkey, froglegs, quail) and we had three ponds stocked with bass, catfish and crappie. I know mom streatched a lot of meals with "creamed whatever on toast". I liked the hamburger in white gravy on toast but didn't like the creamed egg on toast. I hated tuna and spent 'creamed tuna on toast' nights in tears.
    Mom talked alot about growing up in a family of 10 kids and breakfast was milk and bread and butter, lunch was bread and peanut butter or butter and a bit of apple or carrot, and dinner was usually a piece of cornbread and beans or cornbread in milk with sugar. Grandma would only cook on weekends when grandpa was home (when farming went bust he worked construction in Kansas City building tall office buildings downtown and would take the train home for quick weekend visits). Mealtimes on weekends grandpa ate first, then the boys and then the girls and grandma. Mom said there usually wasn't much meat or veggies left by the time it got around to the girls eatting. No wonder they all had such tiny waists!!
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  7. #27
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    My favourite lunch as a kid was warmed milk (milk was cheap then) on torn pieces of white toast and brown sugar.
    It was years later that Mom told us that treat was saved for the last couple days of the month (paid monthly then)
    when there was very no money left.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg View Post
    When our kids were small our running joke was that it must be Sunday if there was meat on the table. In truth we were broke but had it pretty good. We gardened & canned heavily, foraged some (morel mushrooms and dandelion greens mostly), I hunted and fished some and we got pretty good at watching sales. Starch was a common filler, pasta or potatoes. Both were very cheap. A $.25 box of mac & cheese with a little extra milk and a $.50 pound of additional pasta went a long way! DW made all our bread. Beans of every size, shape and color were in the mix almost daily and got extra flavor because soup bones from the store were free in those days. The butcher called them "dog bones" but everyone we knew used them in soup before the dogs got hold of them.
    It's a funny thing too, soup bones used to be cheap, but they don't seem so now. WHEN you can find them, as they aren't sold much, they are over a dollar a pound! I no longer think of them as the frugal food they once were.

  9. #29
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    Hot water + ketchup=tomato soup...sorta

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat View Post
    Hot water + ketchup=tomato soup...sorta

    God no! I remember resorting to that and it was awful. Perhaps Tomato flavored water.

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