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Free lunch... But homeschooling

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So I am not currently homeschooling but that is the goal, I'm hoping for next year.
My question is this, I've got 2 in school currently. We don't qualify for food stamps but do qualify for $.40 lunch and free breakfast. So that's only $.80/ day or $4/ week for my kids to eat 2 meals. We are struggling and go to the food bank as it is (2 of our 3 kids are disabled, yes we get SSI but is barely covers gas and expenses related to their disability).
Are there any programs that help homeschooling families offset food costs, when those families qualify for free/ reduced lunch at school?
by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM
Replies (41-44):
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 2:28 PM
We already do all those things and more. We raise our own chickens (end cost is about $.60/ lb of meat) and can in the summer from our garden.

We get Wic for our toddler but he has a high fat, protein, calorie diet and it gets expensive (mainly cause he eats more than 2 adults and half a gallon of milk a day).

Quoting monkeybunns:

Can you teach music lessons?  Do you have a talent you could teach classes for?  Do you have a Bachelor's Degree-if so you could try applying through's a real legit place to make money but you have to have a degree and focused time you can tutor students online.  Have you tried asking a church for help?  I'm sure you've already cut out cable, etc but is there anywhere else you can cut you budget?  We lived on about $100 a month for groceries for all meals 3 years ago because we didn't qualify for food stamps and had an insane amount of medical debt so we just had no extra-some months we had less than $100 and it was very hard but we could do it by me making bread from scratch (buy flour from bulk bins or at least compare prices between bags and bulk), buying whole chickens and cooking them in the crock pot then making a couple casseroles from leftovers as well as chicken noodle soup (buy meats bone in and you can make soups which make the $ stretch a lot more).  You can freeze the leftovers so that they don't go bad sitting in your fridge.  It's time consuming to make everything from scratch but you save a ton of money.

by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM
Oh and thx ladies. There are some things I'm going to look into.
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I think it might help to look at your budget and spending habits.  Usually if you don't qualify for assistance but can't get food, it's because money isn't being handled properly.  (No offense, please.  I used to work with helping families learn to budget, so that is just what I've experienced in that field.)  See where you can trim the budget, settle up debts, reduce bills, etc.  It might also help to change your diet to something that has more "staples" like rice and beans, and less of the bigger cost items like processed foods (which sadly a lot of foodbanks have to pass out instead of better options b/c of what is donated) and smaller meat portions. 

If you don't already, go to several grocery stores in your area every day for 2 weeks.  Notice in store sales that seem to recur on a weekly basis, and compare prices.  For example, my local Baker's has boxes of veggie pasta 10 for $10 every Thurs.  Finding these sales (which are not usually advertised!) can really help stretch that dollar.

One thing I've found that really helps people see where the money is going:

Pull up the last 3 month's of bank statements.  For each month, add up these categories

1.  How much is spent on food from a grocery store.  (Include things like candy bars at a gas station, or DH's vending machine snacks.)
2.  How much is spent eating out.  (Include coffee from a shop, any and all fast food, pizza deliveries, lunch at the cafeteria at work, etc.)
3.  How much goes to phones
4.  How much goes to gas.  (Then HONESTLY look at your driving and see if there is a way to cut that down.)
5.  How much goes to clothing.
6.  How much goes to cleaning supplies.
7.  How much goes to pets.  (Count it all, right down to vet bills and cheap fish foods.  Every penny.)
8.  Entertainment.  (Include buying or renting DVDs, Netflix subscription, internet, etc.)

In a seperate chart, write down your monthly bills that MUST be paid.

Debts  (Credit Cards, med bills, etc.)

Many people don't know this is an option, but if you've lived in the same place for more than a year and haven't been late on bills more than once or twice, you might be able to get a "flat rate" plan from your utility companies.  What this does is averages the amounts spent on things like water, gas, and electricity based on last year's usage.  So instead of having your gas (heat) bill jump up hundreds of dollars, you pay the same price year round.  This prevents sudden surprises in your bills so you can maintain a proper budget more easily.  For example, in the summer my gas bills were below $70.  But in winter they would climb to over $200, even close to 300 on the coldest of months!  On the flat rate plan, I pay just over $130 every single month of the year.  In 12 months, they'll re-evaluate my usage.  If it has gone up, my monthly amount will increase slightly.  If it went down, they will decrease it slightly.

by Member on Dec. 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM

We have bought those big boxes at Sam's Club that are for fundraising. They have like full size candy bars. The box is usually $15 and it has 30 candy bars that you sell for $1. We have looked into other things but with the other ones you have to sell like over $1k.

Quoting Monkiebut: What do you mean by fund raising?

Quoting Bleacher-mom:

I haven't found or heard of anything like that. However, we have done a little bit of fundraising that has helped off set some of our costs. That might be something to look into.

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