People frequently ask me, what does it take to get into the Bottom Feeders' Club. The Initiation rites are sooooo startlingly simple. I'll bet most middle class workers are in the running for membership, (along with urban poor and hippies, rural farmers, healthfooders and yoga teachers). Cuz they’re smart. Also, all those good folks whom I’ve seen at the Community Food Co-Op.ALL of these people are already in the winner's circle without even knowing it.And you are too, now that you’re reading this.

The initiation rite is to get a Sunday newspaper out of the trash. Find the food ad circulars. Take note of sale items that you adore. For me it’s V-8 juice or the clones of it. 4 big bottles for 5$? That’s a bargain. I’m going to go get that. The same store has whole Foster Farm chickens 79c an lb, watermelon 10c. I have made a list of what I want from that store. I may go several times during that week.

Next, I Clip ten manufacturers' coupons for things that you eat/ drink regularly. Line them up in front of you.  See if your favorite big supermarket chain has any of them on sale this week. You may have to go into the store to see. The good supermarkets still double coupons in which case, you walk away with bargains.

But it’s also smart to analyze, do you really need to eat this major corporation 'phony' food in the first place? All those 6 pack yogurts, I can make a dozen six packs out of a few tbsp of my last yogurt package, so why be tempted/ I can throw my handmade jam in that yogurt and have nice fruity flavors. My jam costs 90c for each big peanut butter jar size I make. So a coupon isn’t going to make me run for flavored yogurts even at a quarter a cup.

I analyze the JUICE offers with the same thinking. Nearly all juices and soft drinks are phony sugared colored water with 7%concentrate? Well you might like some....but paying 3$ for a quart of liquid has 'til now, put you off. Now there's a dollar coupon to help you out. They double it, so it’s now 2$ off for some sweet berry/kiwi or grape/cherry juice. My yoga teacher pals tell me cornsyrup additives and colors are harmful stuff  but here’s how I rationalize it. A jug of THAT JUICE makes me drive alleys to find ripe grapefruit to CUT it with. And if my 4 kids were still here (they grew up and left home. A really bad habit of kids today is that they also left the STATE), but if they were here, I’d use an old juice bottle to make a half real grapefruit juice and half the coupon’s purple sweet stuff. And they’d never know what hit ‘em!

See, this mom hedges her bets. I PLUCK UP ALL THE GRATUITOUS CITRUS lying around on California front lawns and alleys on the streets which I drive to get to the market. I have the places memorized where there’s always a lot of grapefruit. If I see the house owner, I ask “you want the stuff that fell off tree?” They say “No, but take the stuff ON the tree, too.” I don’t tell them that the only really ripe citrus is one that fell because then THEY might start eating their own citrus and then they wouldn’t let it get away. I just say ‘that’s alright.’ One lady leaves the fallen stuff on her stone fence between the bars, right where the fruit fell in her closed yard. I go home and wash off all the fruit’s exteriors in the sink, drain them, then JUICE them and throw this nectar into the bottle with cheap JUICY JUICE which I got for a buck for 64 oz, with a COUPON for a buck instead of usual 3.50$. 

SO LOOK AROUND you for what liquid might either CUT or replace that soda and make you live to age 200? If you have an apple tree that 29$ Walmart juicer might allow you to replace all soft drinks with apple juice for the rest of your life. I'll tell you, raw apple juice iced, as as close to the delight of the PERFECT ruby red, iced WATERMELON slice -- as happens. OR pear/carrot/apple punch with some lemon juice thrown in, to pep it up? Maybe parsley, too. Iron and Vit A up the wazoo, unlike the JUICY SCHLOCK JUICE. And FREE when you think of all the APPLES that fall from your neighbor's trees, which they don't want. You ask permission, get tons of 'em, then they get pushed thru this ingenious little juicer, which spins the fruit pith dry, sends juice coursing down a little spout! And makes compost for the yard! All in one fast motion!

You could juice all kinds of unique, high iron things like pears, maybe some carrots thrown in for that ORANGE color that makes you look glowy and suntanned year round. (I used to read palms at parties. A white palm was an American standard diet. A red/orange palm a healthfooder. I was always right, too. I’d point that out to the owner and say ‘more green food which gives iron, ergo makes hand red & more orange food for carotene, and you’ll be OK ) 

Remember with citrus, like grapefruit trees, oranges, tangarine --always pick up the fallen fruit which is totally ripe, unlike what stores offer (2 yr citrus, when fruit should stay on that third year.) How about a real sweet grapefruit juice pitcher with a quarter CONCORD GRAPE & lots of mint in it so it tastes like some fruit God never invented. Grapefruit with MINT tastes like pineapple --My fav use for peppermint leaves is the grapefruit thing.So I wait til the tree hands it to me. Then add sugar, water, and lots of peppermint stems, leaves and stir it, and leave the pitcher in fridge. A FEW HOURS later, the entire pitcher tastes like pineapple juice. The effect of my mint leaves. 

Anytime I'm thirsty, all summer and winter, voila ELIXIR is MINE! (and this particular bioflavenoid rich collagen supporting fruit makes sure you don't get strokes if that runs in your family like it does in mine! It keeps vascular walls firm, cell walls too, so you never get cellulite. This particular fruit inhibits diabetes too. So I’m sustained by what I drink. 

YUMMY. Not even a millionaire with all the Dr. Pepper he can buy or dead, canned pineapple, or the fresh, refrigerated Cranberry Raspberry/ Guava juices that cost 3$ a quart or half gallon…. can get all THAT outta his beverage! THE POINT IS bottom feeders don’t have to eat a welfare diet of potatoes and rice. THEY can avoid eating rich man’s food which is super tasty, super costly and will kill ya, get real sunshine in a bottle.

So if you’re a purist, throw away all pasteurized 'phony baloney' juices and cornsyrup juices and toss soft drink coupons. But if you have kids, they’ll feel better drinking juice out of that jug and will never realize it’s half real citrus. I let my kids have fruit sodas as long as they squeezed a big hunk of lemon juice in it first, for real live vitamins. Get those kids their treats, but teach them to vitaminize them with the real deal, citrus. Give them an energy that makes them pass theircompetitors at school in the fast lane. You seniors will Live to be two hundred years old using the FREE FOOD off our trees and our neighbors’ or the veggies from our gardens! (And always rent old cottages with a big garden space like I do, and read all my Easy no stress gardening for free articles at BOTTOM FEEDER’s site ONE, and GUERILLA CAPITALIST’s SITE TWO.

OK, we did beverages. Now let’s do PROTEINS! 

PROTEIN COUPONS- Study the coupons to see what sandwich fillings they offer, as that's a definite mainstay of life. NIBBLY TOOTHSOME PROTEINS are real important. There’s meat products, Tuna fish, Cheese, pre-made hummus, tofu and Peanut butter,  the number one sandwich ingredient in America. Do we really want to be eating that? These little cacahuate suckers have more aflotoxins than any food, more mold. More likely to cause joints to swell up than potatoes, peppers and tomatos. Peanuts also require more pesticides to grow, and STEINMAN in POISONS IN OUR FOODS sez PB is the numero uno poison food, with over 50 poisons on each single little nut so don't be tempted by the so called protein status of those dear little demon nuts. I know, I'm addicted, Nothing better than sitting down with the jar, a spoon and a crisp apple (found by the dozen under the tree on my neighbor's lawn) or a banana and stuffing yourself just this side of nausea. So why have peanuts around? They are not mankind's friend. Peanut coupon. Bye bye. (Or get PBUTTER at HFS where it’s bible sworn grown organically!)

So many products to stop eating. The only proteinacious sandwich fillings worth a damn is  your home made tuna salad, or egg salad spread, (made the no cholesterol way with. GENUINE HOME MADE OLIVE OIL mayo and tofu, seasoned delectably with dill, curry powder, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, sweet pickle relish, chopped olives, celery, onions and paprika and little fresh, cucumber pieces if you’re going to eat it right away) which you every other day. Keep it iced. Serve with lotsa salad stuck in the sandwich. Big ole drippy thing like the beef burger commercial .. if it doesn't drip it's not a BIG BOY. Always make your own mayo while you're at it, super easy. Pour a superb olive oil slowly into a pasteurized egg yolk (Drop in boiling water for 15 seconds.) add yolk while you're beating or whipping. Takes three hands. Salt, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice finish the job. Maybe a whiff of cayenne or black pepper.

FISH SALAD is the SAME RECIPE as tuna sandwich only you put FISH MEAT in it. I go down to the pier with my 4 kids and our THRIFT STORE rod collection and we get barracuda, bonita. (Always take the dark meat stripe off the fillet and give it to cats,). We’ve hooked sculpin, corbina, cod, bass, m ackeral, bonito. Big yachts come by and give us halibut. I clean, gut, freeze in plastic wrap* with LEMON JUICE (neighbors trees again,) all over the fillets. White meat of bonito is exactly like chicken, so you can make croquettes or tuna fish sandwiches. (*ALUMINUM can’t touch lemony acid washed fish!)  And Japanese SOUPS require bonito a cheap, trash fish any homeless person can afford, but it’s all the rage in Japanese Cuisine! Go figure.

Then there's hummos, a middle eastern ‘party dip’; (garbanzos mashed with soy, lemon, garlic, sesame tahini, relish, celery, onion, sesame seed, cumin) Freeze the batch on plastic wrap, but divided into sandwich slices which you insert into the toasted bread in the morning (your lettuce/mayo layer right against bread protects bread's integrity from moisture of thawing) by noon it's thawed. SO TASTY you can't imagine!! I serve it as dip at the L.A. Free Screenwriters' Co-op so we could be clear headed and write SERIOUSLY socially relevant screenplays! (Garbanzos may never show up on a coupon but canned beans do. Beans cannot travel to school in lunches, but week-ends, a can of beans gets fried in olive oil where you already fried onions, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, pieces of pork or bacon. Mash well so the stuff becomes pasty, serve on organic corn tortillas with avocado, salsa.) Garbanzos do show up on the bent rack, especially in markets which feature middle eastern, Iranian food.

Other bean coupons. Pork and beans were just on sale 79c for the major brand. Coupon said, ‘buy 4 get 80c off.”  I did. I keep a good barbecue sauce on hand. A black woman (another shopper), once told me, the way to make canned P&B taste fab was a slug of hickory flavored barbecue sauce. MAN, she was right. Also cook up a few strips of bacon and serve on top. That works hugely well.

For sandwiches for the schoolkids,take a slice of steak left over from dinner. Or chicken. Keep it cold overnight. Build sandwich in a.m. and drystack lettuce against mayo'd bread so the wet meat doesn't soak into the bread.Or give the kid the meat in foil, he sticks it in the sandwich.

These nice, cheap fillings go in between two pcs of sprouted grain BIBLE bread, EZEKIEL bread. This wonderful stuff is found in my store, and in most super markets now, but also in Trader Joe’s chain and all healthfood stores. What a treat you have if you haven't tried it. It's not flour based, instead it's all sprouted grains. ERGO there is no acidity in the teeth when you chew it. No need to rinse teeth. It is alkaline in reaction. All the minerals of grain which make us live forever with none of the acidity! VUNDERBAR! I toast that bread in am. Let it cool so no steam gets in my sandwich. Then make my sandwich. Or for breakfast I have it hot with my pat of butter, my homemade raspberry and lemon rind jam. EXQUISITE bread. Solid, grainy. But add a sand filling and THAT IS A SANDWICH, and a protein! Sesame tahini has more calcium than meat! The bread even has protein although it's 14 gms of carb per slice.  So you tell me, what coupons could be left in front of you? Bottled water? I use a Britta Pitcher to purify faucet water. Or get an on-faucet unit that you know how to filter-change. And get a vita mix, sprout your own barnyard grains overnight, throw away the now acidic water, then triterate into dough, add leavening and bake.

It’s a dream to get free of all super market shopping. I’m not making my own mayo or relish, I’m not making my own pork and beans, peanut butter. I do make my own jams as we have so much fruit falling in alleys in southern California. Also I believe in DUMPSTER DIVING behind markets for fifty pounds of fruit at a time.(I also sprout all the dented berries, grow the vines.)  I wish I had my own coffee bean tree. I do have lichee fruit trees, plums, peaches, oranges, lemons, sweet and sour, guava, apricot and grape vines but the squirrels, rats, possum, birds clean them out so no way I'm like the ancient pioneers…the kind of folks who all they need is a chicken for eggs. At one time, Puck Puck filled that egg requirement and she also was great conversation at night. Watched t.v. with me holding her round, feathered body and she answered every sound I made with a chicken purr. Why she's better than a cat in the lap is she doesn't do that clench talon thing on your thigh! OUCHEY! I love chickens, so no way I could ever raise and slaughter them! So I’m not prepared to be self sufficient. I use super market coupons for mayo and wait til Chicken quarters are 59c for or nearly 6$ l0 lbs, and I rinse them, freeze them in bags of two quarters.

If I had more space, the NEXT thing I’d need for frugal and superb living would be a goat for milk, as that milk is beyond delicious! And fat globules of goats aren't huge like cows, so very good for human hearts, perfect for human bloodstreams and growing babies. Now being a gardener, I haven't done that goat thing yet myself. Cuz goats eat your garden if you can’t fence them off.

You probably will always need a general store or super market for two things, as in the old days: for coffee and salt. Maybe olive oil. Meanwhile I shop at the ARAB MARKET where 32 oz. Of Olive oil are $5.99, half the price of super market. 

Observing these kinds of rules puts you in the Bottom Feeder’s club. And you probably already follow them. If you don't think that's really enough, and you wanna emigrate to a farm? That’s wonderful too. Make us a video documentary of you slaughtering rabbits, birthing goats, on a ladder harvesting fruit from trees & plowing fields. Because we city folk cannot imagine how much work a farm is. He who owns Soil Will Toil and the more soil…the more toil. Your only consolation is, you will be safe. When they close down all the dot coms and move all the factories to Guatemala, and our pink slip comes, we’ll have to follow you and move to the boonies and plant our apple trees. We’ll gladly buy your video.


This lifetime is the Plush one.

The wheat's up to our noses.

The vines are thick with grapes.

And some with bright red roses.

The trees along the streets

Have fruits that fall and rot

My neighbors cheer me when I take it

Offering all the fruit they've GOT!

We've Craigs lists to drum clients,

we crib codes for our sites.

We're working for our money,

all our hours days and nites

Next lifetime we should worry

Cuz this ain't poverty now.

Next lifetime I'll be the donkey

You can be the plow.

And if we're lucky kiddo

we'll have a small moist field

To give us some garbanzos,

some slight zuchini yield.

This life is comparative easy street

we're suckin’ up the gin.

Worry when the 22nd century comes

see what trouble earth is in.