Financial meltdowns arise now and then, leaving us with no capacity to make decent meals or purchase essential household items. The month might have been accompanied by loads of bills, emergency expenses, or a saving goal that needs to be met. These might seem unavoidable, but so is the need to eat and top up on house supplies. Hence, if shopping for groceries looks like a luxury at the moment, here’s what to do:
1- Food Banks
If you have yet to think of food banks, you should. They are known to provide not only food but other house supplies as well. At organizations like Feeding America, you can easily access their 200+ food banks located in all 50 states. Feeding America also has grocery programs, such as mobile pantries, that provide free groceries. You can find these organizations online and use their website to locate food banks close by.
There are many other food banks across America offering food and providing people with groceries in times of need. Note that some don’t have a website, but they can be easily spotted on media pages.
Bear in mind that getting help from food banks sometimes requires eligibility. Many require a social worker, police, or professional medical referral. You can also find a trustworthy advice provider to refer you.
2- Free School Meals
You might be able to get your kids off the hook with free school meals if you are a recipient of certain benefits. This will lessen the amount spent on groceries in the long run. However, it also requires eligibility, and the rules are not as straightforward as one would wish. They vary from state to state and also depend on the benefits you get.
In schools receiving state funding, students in grade one or two may be eligible for free meals. In some states, students in grades one to five can have free lunches. If your children are not in this category, it doesn’t totally put you off the list. Free school meals are available to any student meeting specific requirements.
Qualifying benefits paid to your child’s account without interference might also make them eligible for free school meals. And if they borrow funds, they can have their loans written off with student loan forgiveness.
3- Free Food Apps – Olio
You probably never knew you could get free food on apps. To do this, download an app like Olio, select your neighborhood, and have access to food available nearby. Businesses and Samaritans offer meals to people in need. You do not need to meet specific qualifications nor divulge personal details. You just need to ensure that your notification is always on if you plan to call dibs before anyone else. Once you claim the food, receiving it is easy.
Facebook groups also give away food and household supplies in a similar format without collecting a penny, so be sure to keep on the lookout for them.
4- Do You Have a Few Dollars?
You can quickly get food cheaper in certain places than in most supermarkets. Most are not entirely free, but they will cost you much less than usual and help you put a decent meal on your table.
- Mid America Foods
The Mid America Foods programs offer discounted groceries for families in need. There’s no need for referrals or bookings, as they encourage all families to participate. Get on their website and check for your neighborhood’s guide to know where and when you can enjoy this offer.
- Community Fridges
At community fridges, you will have access to surplus food gifted by organizations within your locality. There are hundreds of them across the country, and they are usually offered for free. Make use of the internet to pinpoint which community fridge is nearby and their opening hours.
- Community Groceries
Got a few bucks? Then worry not about grocery unavailability. You can get a year membership at a community grocery store with that amount. As a member, you can get free meals three times a week. You are also entitled to free life skills classes and tips on imbibing a healthy cooking habit. Find one nearest to your house and get details on their offers.
Just like the program offered by community groceries, pantries can help with quality house supplies for a few dollars. It doesn’t require a referral, and you only need to work down to any local pantry nearby.
5- Food Samples and Coupons
Many companies within the US give out samples of new household supplies to people free of charge. This is an option to consider if you’re out of groceries and have no money.
If you lay your hands on free coupons, you can use them to buy meals in restaurants. Get some online and have them delivered to you.
- Request for a cash advance: If you’re working, you could ask your boss for a cash advance to sort out basic needs.
- Sell unused items: Look around for items you no longer need or use, put them up for sale, and earn a few dollars.
- Ask friends or family for help: This might be uncomfortable, but you will never know how willing they’ll be to help unless you ask. Phone a few, inform them of your situation, and see if they could lend you some cash or help with groceries.
In times of urgent bills and unexpected financial crises, you can get up to a $1,000 loan on online lending services like MoneyZap. If borrowing to pay for groceries seems like the right choice, you can get loan approval within 24 hours and a flexible repayment plan.