TABLE 5

Quotations Describing Coping Strategies

SubthemesQuotations
Coping strategies used within the home
 Making shopping lists24: “We started to plan, we go and get food for a week...If we go out to shop, we go and make the list, we don’t just get there and grab this and this, and everything. Because sometimes things just get wasted and you don’t use them.”
 Cooking at home25: “Before we ate a lot on the street, then it was like double spending, because we ate that, on the street, and also we have to cook food because he always carries his lunch to work, so it was double. So I’d prepare food and the rest, since we had eaten, we had leftover food…”
 Delaying paying other bills26: “…it’s the same with food, for example, if there are still things for cleaning the house, well we leave this for next week and so on…also the television, if we’re not watching it, it must be turned off. At home, if no one is in the room, we just keep the light bulb off, because these are very minor things, but they really help.”
 Prioritizing food over other expenses27: “Food comes first, first is the food. If we don’t have enough for a pair of shoes, to buy clothes or a garment or something, food comes first. There must be food…material things don’t matter.”
28: “There were times that I’d stop paying the phone to buy food, it’s important, the phone but food is more. So I didn’t pay the telephone, or sometimes I’d say to the lady if she could wait for me to pay the rent, and she told me yes.”
29: “I make an effort so that my daughter doesn’t miss anything…I’ll run out of money, the date to pay the phone bill comes up and I haven’t paid it, because my priority is that my daughter has food.”
 Relying on food staples30: “God doesn’t forget us…even if its beans with tortillas there is always [food] in the house. I mean…I won’t tell you that they’re big meals, but even for the basics we have that.”
31: “I had nothing to feed them, so well…sometimes I only had tortillas and cheese, so I gave them that.”
32: “When we don’t have a lot of money, it’s like beans with rice, or sometimes eggs with tortilla only…that’s just what we eat when we really don’t have much.”
Coping strategies that rely on social support networks and other services
 Relying on social support networks33: “There was a time when we had to pay this…Bills, the phone, rent and then the children needed diapers, milk. But at the same, the solution is that my mom helps me too. My mom backs me up a lot, and well she helps me by giving the children things while we pay the rest…the good thing is that we have a lot of relatives and we borrowed from our family.”
34: “We communicate well, one of us is in charge of paying the electricity bill, someone else pays the rent, someone else the food.”
35: “My brother used to live in New Jersey, and he moved to New York and moved in with me. So, that...he...he paid for the rent. He helped me.”
36: “A friend of mine sometimes tells me, let’s go here, and she helps me. She helps me, or sometimes one of my sisters helps me, many times. My sister sometimes brings [food] to me, or sometimes…yes. Also a friend of mine. She gets food stamps, she helps me.”
37: “I’m going to be honest with you, since her dad always works, and I sometimes go to a church and that’s where they give me apples or melon and there they even if it’s just an apple or a banana…every day, yes.”
 Relying on federal assistance38: “Thank God I always have enough money for food because I took government aid for my two children…that helps me a lot. Because if I didn’t have WIC, I do feel that I’m not going to have enough money at home.”
39: “At WIC they gave me ten-dollar coupons. Even just ten dollars, well at least it was enough for buying some fruit, some vegetables.”
40: “I’ve tried to apply for foods stamps, but because I don’t have a stable address, they can’t help me.”
41: “It runs out before the end of the month…and right now she doesn’t have any milk…so now we buy it with our money.”