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BJPENNY70 SparkPoints: (72,020)
Fitness Minutes: (35,484)
Posts: 4,772
3/20/12 12:15 A

I had no idea things were that expensive in Chicago. Here in the south things are expensive to us, but not like that. It truely is the best place to go here to the farmers markets and flea markets. Gas is 3.65 here. No parking meters at the farmers market or flea market. Wow! I am so sorry you can't get assistance. That really stinks. It really isn't fair either when a person is having such tough times. We manage, but we live on a super strict budget. We can't go over that budget because there is no more money if we do. We very rarely eat out and if we do it is somewhere where it is the cheapest food. We don't go anywhere much only when we have to get grocieries. We go where the sales are. Once again I am truly sorry you are having it so bad. There are so many folks suffering financially. Especially people with children. This is the worse condition I have ever seen our nation in. Lots of folks suffering. Is you company going under? I really have to pray for you right now, that God will work something out for you.

MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (158,043)
Fitness Minutes: (145,595)
Posts: 3,957
3/19/12 1:12 P

The City of Chicago has "farmer's markets" where the city tries to make money. Meter parking is $3.75 PER HOUR in the neighborhoods and $5.95 PER HOUR near the big one downtown. Gas is $4.69 or so a gallon and the veggie prices are HIGHER not lower than the few veggie specials at the store. I appreciate the suggestion, but here, there is no way I can afford to go to or buy from those markets. I don't qualify for ANY kind of government help - because although I have to help my mother, she has Social security, so I am not her "sole means of support" I cannot afford to give her more than 50% of her total living expenses, so she does not live very well and neither do we. My life persists in getting worse by the day, because my company can't pay me yet, we are losing the office this week (they can't pay the rent either.) I have known nothing but financial desperation for so long I don't remember fun or laughter. I truly don't.

BJPENNY70 SparkPoints: (72,020)
Fitness Minutes: (35,484)
Posts: 4,772
3/16/12 11:06 P

I am so sorry you are having things that hard. Check out the USDA.gov and see if there is anything there that can be helpful. The best place to buy veggies and fruits is at a flea market, road side stands, or some farmers markets. The prices can be much lower than in the supermarkets. That is where we go. I will pray for you and your family. God bless you! emoticon

IDAHOFLOWER SparkPoints: (19,045)
Fitness Minutes: (23,210)
Posts: 439
3/16/12 1:55 P

I've been a single Mom and devoirced twice. The stress to comfort myself put on the weight. Plus raising my husbands two daughter, who worked against me. We all made it so no excuses for me. But I worked a lot of jobs and pray your life gets easier.

MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (158,043)
Fitness Minutes: (145,595)
Posts: 3,957
3/16/12 10:40 A

Yes, IDAHOFLOWER, I consider the weight loss to be the most important thing, too. It is the "reward" for all the effort. The "prizes" I was referring to are the ones you see when you click on "see recent winners" below the sign in wheel after you spin it. It shows DAILY winners of DVD's, Spark Books, the Recipe book, etc. Things that truly augment the weight loss journey but that I can never hope to be able to afford to acquire. That's why I said my only hope was to win one of those items. I would LOVE to see some of the SparkPeople sponsors provide prizes, clearly promoting themselves with their names on the items, but to make more of the valuable tools of this journey available to more people. It does seem that most/many of the members can afford to buy what they need. But there are others, like me, who are desperately struggling to be able to afford food at all. I was always thin, too. The weight came from stress and a total diet of Ramen noodles for months and months (with ONE dollar burger a week - that's all!), lack of sleep (desperately working for overtime dollars) and the ongoing pressure of being the sole support of two households. Eating healthy has put me thousands of dollars in debt - I can never even begin to pay that down, I am using cash advances to look like I'm making payments, and the hole gets deeper every month. Winning something I couldn't afford to own would be the highlight of my month! I AM back at my goal weight - but the financial stress in my life is still so debilitating - and I see Ramen noodles back in my future.

L-RIOT Posts: 348
3/16/12 9:57 A

I won 250 goodie points once but it doesnt' count towards you daily points. It is random and I also hate that it doesn't spin like a normal spinner. You could never guess what its going to land on.

IDAHOFLOWER SparkPoints: (19,045)
Fitness Minutes: (23,210)
Posts: 439
3/15/12 1:02 P

I hope the weight loss to be my prize. I was thin when I was young and remembering that is helping want to get the weight down.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 56,659
3/15/12 10:29 A

Prizes show up randomly on the wheel. I hope one comes up for you eventually!

Coach Jen

MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (158,043)
Fitness Minutes: (145,595)
Posts: 3,957
3/15/12 10:07 A

emoticon I LOVE SparkPeople. But I have NEVER (in over 7 months) even seen a prize come up on my sign-in wheel or my bonus wheel. I'm not saying it was there and I didn't win it, I'm saying it was NEVER there. I see that people win things all the time. I have never even had a chance. I am active, I am dedicated, and I have extreme financial hardship. The only way I can EVER get a Spark item (would adore having!) would be to win it. Aside from the wheel, is there another way to win anything? I have signed up for every "sweepstakes" I saw, but I have never in my entire life won anything. It didn't matter in the past, because I had a normal life, but now, it is my only only only hope.

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