Friday, October 29, 2010

Eating Out of the Garbage

Ha! I thought that might catch your attention. And it's not in the least bit untrue.
Last night, the hubby and I dined on baked MahiMahi fish tacos on whole wheat tortillas with beautiful diced tomatoes, cabbage and lime zest garnish. The only part of the meal I actually paid for was the 99 cent side of noodles (Lipton, baby)
Now, not all of this was found in the trash. The tortillas, and the veggies, even the lime was bought with WIC's new fresh produce checks. For those of you not on WIC, or who have graduated from the program a while ago, WIC now provides you with fresh, frozen or canned produce. If you know how to properly shop for produce, you can seriously score with the two $6.00 produce checks you get per month having two kids under age five.
Not only did I get the head of cabbage, one nice tomato and two limes, but I also got a Tyler-sized bunch of bananas and about 5 gala apples.
But anyways, that's not entirely off subject, because as you can possibly tell, this blog post is about living for less money! But back to eating out of the trash, that's what you came here for, right? The juicy bits.
Well, we ran out of coffee that morning, (tragedy, right?) I seem to remember one of those big tins lasting all month. The money left on the foodstamps was for milk only (no cheating!) and so we were doomed to go until the 5th with NO COFFEE. Dear, sweet Jesus.
Tim went out, like he does every morning to look for cans and came back at the customary time with a normal to good amount of what we call, "White Trash Cash." He then mysteriously told me, "You know, I don't always get what I want... but I always get what I need."
Ok, my interest is piqued. I'm like a child on Christmas morning, whatd' I get? whatd' I get?
In the past, he has returned from his forays with plenty of cool stuff. He says it always makes him think of the lady's nightmare from "Look Who's Talking" where the John Travolta character says, "Hey! Just because it's free doesn't mean it's no good!" We have each gotten about 3 pairs of new shoes, he found a pair of nice Dockers with the tags still on, and the cool silver bracelet I'm wearing was found in a dumpster. He particularly likes finding canned food. There's nothing a dumpster can do to canned food.
Well, this day was particularly profitable. He found a vacuum sealed package of ground sirloin, (the good stuff) An unopened package of Chicken Breast (he opened in and it looked freezer burnt, so he didn't bring that home) and a package of individually vacuum sealed MahiMahi tuna fillets. All still frozen solid. I love vacuum sealed packages... that's proof to me that everything is still good and safe.
All that luxurious food is one thing, but you know what else he found? An unopened jar of Folgers crystals!!! Enough to last until the 5th!
Not the tacos I made, but just as nice-looking!

Talk about a miracle from God. He's still reeling from that. More than we even did when we ate those lovely fish tacos last night. That was nice and everything, and picture perfect (but the batteries in my digital died.... grrrr...) But we NEEDED that coffee.... NEEDED. And God and the dumpster provided.
To anyone who missed the words, "vacuum sealed" and "unopened" and is still sitting in from of their computer saying, "Eww" Remember, we are on a very low, fixed income. These things that my husband finds on his "adventures" are an absolute Godsend, not even counting the cans that keep us going the rest of the month after my check is gone (on about the 8th.)
I figure it's the perks of being terribly poor. I don't see people with nice cars and Coach bags getting free stuff on a daily (or at least a weekly basis.) So judge if you must... but I have a brand new pair of DCs and a silver bracelet and we ate MahiMahi last night. It's a nice life.


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