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Lessons from Liz: "Dollar Dribbling"

Do you ever go to the grocery store and find yourself wandering up and down each aisle trying to remember what you need? Are you putting things in your cart on a whim? I call this "dollar dribbling" and it happens when I shop without a list. If you see me in the store without a list, suggest that I come back later.

There are recommendations for groceries to buy suggested by the SNAP (food stamp) program. However, we could all follow that lead and fill our shopping carts with the same items—beans, potatoes, frozen vegetables, brown rice, fresh greens, and peanut butter. Peanut butter is such a great protein choice since you don't have to refrigerate it or cook it. No electricity needed!

MAM does not have a food pantry, but they have a list of pantries for each zip code in our area to serve our clients in need. Just ask at the front desk, and they will give you one. These are churches who have these pantries and only require identification that you live in their zone. Phone numbers are also on these pages so that you can call and verify the information before you go in case of changes. They don't ask if you receive food stamps as this is not government related. No worry! Just remember that they have many to serve so use only as needed.

Let your children help with food planning Give them the flyer from your favorite grocery store and and have them plan meals for the next week using specials. Then have them use their math skills and give you a total. I did this with a 10 year old in a financial class as he came with his mother. At the end I asked him what he bought and his reply was 10 bottles of soda. I bought a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut burner. We'll see who could last a week.

(Note: For those in need of SNAP, MAM can help with the application process.)

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