I write a weekly article for a news site and I am doing some research on an emergency menu plan. Basically if you were faced with a sudden reduction in income for a period of time, what is the least amount of money that you could live on for groceries? Hillbilly Housewife has an emergency menu plan, but I want to try creating one on my own.
So if you were faced with a layoff, have lived on food stamps, faced a major expense and must reduce the amount of money you spend on groceries, what would be a fair grocery amount for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids? Actually, I would like to do two separate menu plans, one for 2 adults and 2 small children and one for 2 adults and 2 teenagers.
In figuring out the amount to use, I am struggling with how much I should figure that a family would have in the pantry or freezer. I thought it would be a minimal amount such as some flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. As to the freezer and fridge, perhaps a small amount of ketchup and mustard. What do you think?
This emergency food plan would be temporary and would last from one week to two weeks with the goal of saving grocery money to be used towards an emergency expense or until unemployment benefits/food assistance is available. I also want to provide menus that are nutritious, albeit humble. I realize that a big part of saving money will be that an individual will have to learn to make a few simple items from scratch.
Why now? A major employer in our area is laying off 250 people. Also we are seeing more and more people in our community struggling with the effects of the Great Recession. I remember hearing on the news two years ago about people in California living in tent cities and all the job losses. Being as Iowa is located in the center of the country and our economy is more farm related, we did not feel the effects of the Recession until much later and hence, we will recover later than those coastal states.
So what are your thoughts to an amount of money per week for the two family scenarios and also to a minimal amount of food that would be in this family's pantry/fridge/freezer?