Monday, March 29, 2010

Stone soup

I don't plan to get into a whole lot of griping about Obamacare... but I did discover this weekend the first impact of the new legislation on my family.

Starting in 2011, there will be a cap of $2500 on Flexible Spending Accounts (that doesn't directly impact us right now, we're way under that) and you will no longer be able to use those pre-tax monies to purchase over the counter medications.

So that means that the $20 or so per month that we spend on bandaids, tylenol and cough drops will no longer be able to be spent from our FSA.  Which means we'll obviously reduce our contributions, resulting in an extra $14 per month in our paychecks.  And if I add that to our grocery budget, we'll have $214 per month for groceries *and* medications.

But that means I have $6 less per month for those items.  I know.  $6 a month doesn't sound like much to most of you.  But run those numbers and tell me how in the world I am supposed to not notice it.  Right now, we have $200/month for groceries.  That is $6.58 per day (averaged out over the year).  That is for 7 people, remember, which means I spend less than a dollar a day per person to feed my family, on average.  No, I don't know how I do it.  For one thing, I skip a lot of meals.

I guess if I institute a one day a month fast for everyone, we'll be okay.  We'll even have an extra $.58 per month to spend on groceries.

Like I don't have enough stress right NOW in feeding my family.

Anyone have a recipe for stone soup?  Or tumbleweed soup, as we have more of those available than we do stones.

3 comments:

Tristan said...

(((HUGS)))

I hear you there. Have you tried any gardening to help boost the food in the house? I know our gardening helps out, and our church and many communities offer garden plots for free or a small fee if you don't have anywhere else.

I have also heard of families the help work a garden/farm during the summer and receive food in trade instead of pay.

Just things we've done or considered!

Debra said...

Tristan --

We have a tough time with the gardening (it is so dry and sunny here), but are really working at it this year. Last year, it was only a couple pepper plants and a couple tomato plants. This year, I told my two Boy Scouts that they have no choice but to earn the gardening merit badge... that will get us two hydroponics gardens (or a hydroponics garden and a compost bin), and it means they each have to grow I think 6 types of veggies (and 6 types of flowers!)

We looked into working in exchange for food, and have a place where that might be an awesome option... but I think the decision is that the distance involved is going to make that not as practical as we'd like.

Great suggestions, and hopefully we'll be implementing them!!

Deb said...

Oh my gosh, Debra! How on earth do you feed your family so cheaply? There are only 4 of us and I feel like the grocery/walmart bill is my biggest struggle. Keeping us in milk and bread alone is ridiculously expensive. I am thinking of baking my own bread, but the start up costs are kind of daunting.

Anyway, I don't have any stone soup recipes, but I have managed to deconstruct the Mexican Gumbo from Q'doba's if you guys like spicy food. I make two crockpots of it at a time and end up with 18 quarts for my freezer. Email me if you want the recipe.

Hope you are having a better day!