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How to Survive Being Broke

Updated on October 14, 2013

What I wouldn't give for a cheeseburger

Until you have counted change to buy a "Big Mac" or went through couch cushions to buy a soda, only to share it with four children, do you know what it is like to be truly broke. For many, bills come too early and paychecks come too late.So what is the answer? What is the big fix to stretch your wallet? Planning. By budgeting your finances and planning your meals, you two can survive being broke.

Eat a lot of pasta

There is a reason why Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy, it's cheap, it's filling, and it taste good. There are a wide variety of pasta shapes and sauces. Pasta is so versatile that it can be made for vegans and vegetarians as well as meat eaters. The best part about vegetables is that they are cheap and you only need to buy the ones you like. Pick 4 or 5 vegetables all under $3.00 per pound, you can saute them and add to your favorite sauce. Top or mix with your favorite pasta and you have a meal for four for under $12.00.

Life for leftovers

I like to cook, and sometimes there is quite a bit left over. It can get boring eating the same thing until it is gone. By taking the leftovers and creating new meals, not only do you save money, you clear your refrigerator. Chicken is one of the best leftovers. You can add chicken to stock and vegetables and make soup, or add a little mayo, onions and celery, and make chicken salad. You can also use left over chicken to make enchiladas, tacos, or burritos. Of course beef is pretty versatile too, you can take left over meatloaf and mashed potatoes and make shepherds pie. Or you can take a roast and chop it up, add gravy, then throw over potatoes or rice. By utilizing your pantry and your refrigerator, you can reduce your budget.

Coupons are Queen

Most newspapers carry coupons on Sunday. Some of the papers even print the value of the coupons on the first page. However there is a rule that you must remember, only use coupons for products that you already use. It is not a bargain if you don't need it.This doesn't mean that you can't use coupons for different brands of the same product, after all we are trying to save money here.

More isn't always better

I am sure that a few of you have bought items in bulk, I have done it myself before. More can often be just spending more. Whenever buying in quantity you should compare the price to a lesser amount. Often the larger item cost the same amount per pound. When this happens only buy what you need. Also check sale prices, there are times when the larger product is cheaper than the smaller product. Also compare store brands to brand names, sometimes generic products will be the same price as the better brands, this is no bargain.

Final Thought

Living on a budget takes a little work and planning but it isn't rocket science. Bills may be one of the constants in the universe but they can be controlled and so can budgets. Carry a list to the store and do not stray far from it. A bargain is only a bargain if you need it and can afford it. So live long and prosper, and may you too survive being broke.


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    • velzipmur profile image

      Shelly Wyatt 3 years ago from Maryland

      great article thanks for sharing.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Learning to cook from scratch can be helpful. Often the ingredients in convenience foods cost only pennies and will save half the price of the 'kit' or mix if a person just takes a few extra minutes to make it themselves.

      Seasoning packets that cost a dollar or more to season meat often contain only a few pennies worth of spices.

      Peanut butter eaten on whole wheat bread or with milk, cheese, or yogurt provides a complete protein. Eggs are cheap compared to meat. Beans and rice are a complete protein. Any kind of beans mixed ideally with brown or whole grain rice, though white rice will do, provides a complete protein that costs pennies compared to meat. Corn and beans combined also provide a complete protein. These are all very inexpensive substitutes for meat. I've written an article on how to combine vegetables and other foods to obtain complete proteins, and that works great for either vegetarians by choice, or people who can't afford to buy meat.

      I've been poor most of my life. Grew up in a tar paper shack with no indoor bathroom. I know a lot of ways to pinch pennies and make them stretch 'til they're thinner than fine hair.

      You have some good ideas here and there are lots of people who need those ideas right now. Mostly, I think we need a new Congress that will stop obstructing every suggestion that might improve things for ordinary people.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I always like saving money! These are great tips!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

      Been there! one time in California, my family lived on the beach, when dad was out of work and until he got a job and got paid.

      Also when I was younger than that and living on a farm with my grandpartents, until my mom could work and get enough money to come and get us.

      Great hub, voting you up and interesting!