Friday, October 7, 2016

food rules

R E A L I T Y 

I didn't expect that brushing up on frugal food strategies would send me into such a mental slump. Titles like More-with-Less and Good and Cheap are full of great tips, but also include sections on "making due on a food stamp allocation".  Ugh.  That felt like a low blow.  It's unsettling to think that we could possibly sink slowly toward needing government assistant for food.

This whole situation is such a distraction from what we intended to be focused on right now. I should be mapping out school assignments for the kids, planning my long run schedule, and working on my side hustle ideas.  Instead we are building a survival plan, and trying to cut our monthly spending by half.

We've had no hint that any movement has started on the job search.  I knew it was going to take time.  But secretly, I had hoped that we'd get lucky enough to find something fast.  I even kept my first blog entries on this topic in draft mode to start because I thought this was going to blow over quickly, before I'd have time to write very much.  HA!

The hardest part of my week was hearing my seventeen-year-old son scold me when I suggested we go somewhere interesting before Steve finds a job and is too busy to travel ... "Before!? Uh, no!... Because, money..." he said.  Ouch! I hate thinking that the kids are worrying about all this.

It's hard to conceal the realities, though.  No matter how much I work to feign hopefulness, they can see that our money engines have slowed.  There's also the challenge of dressing up economy foods so that they look more inviting.  On paper frugal meals look interesting and tasty, but they often lack that certain visual appeal on the plate.  How can we make peasant food more attractive?

Where is the intersection of nutrient dense, healthy, satisfying and cost effective, simple, beautiful?  I am looking at food as fuel for our bodies, not as entertainment.  I've (nearly) given up my foodie ways.  We just want simple, healthy, delicious food (that can be prepared for $2 per person).

Challenge accepted!  

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