Food: It's killing my budget (an open letter)
By HeatherB on March 03, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
I should preface this missive to you by saying that this will not be an accusatory, woe is me, note. This also has nothing to do with our generally tumultuous relationship and the way that I come to you for comfort and you end up becoming my worst enemy. (P.S. My hips say 'Hi!'.) This is about why I'd rather have you prepared and plated beautifully by someone else rather than by someone else than taking the time and saving the money to do it myself. I mean really, a $12 salad tastes so much better than any salad I could whip up. And it looks so pretty, too.
There's our problem; I like you - nay, LOVE you - I need you to survive. You bring people together and sometimes you provide comfort when needed. At the same time, you do cost money. Quite a bit of money. So whether it's lack of imagination to create something from scratch or because of an over zealous quest to try to whip something up from scratch, there is always food. You, getting in my way and for some reason constantly impeding on my ability to budget because it's just there.
A friend of mine and I used to have weekly discussions about our very strong feelings about grocery stores. We both had these grand dreams to get accidentally locked in a Whole Foods, left to ransack the place. We'd arrive at work on Monday mornings telling each other what amazing new food thing we found that was completely off of our respective grocery lists. Or sometimes it was on the list like my weekly packages of five dollar organic cantaloupe or the latest frozen food item from Trader Joe's.
I love going out for a nice meal and wining and dining over large glasses of wine and pasta that I could easily have found in my pantry but it's just so good with that extra helping of fat provided by a restaurant. Don't you think? Even if it does cost $15.99?
Oh, food, I need you but I also need to put my foot down. I need to budget for you more wisely. I need to actually think about my eating out options and sticking to a grocery list. I need to comparison shop and prepare for extravagant dinner parties that will still cost less than a meal at my favorite establishment. I need to learn to make macaroni and cheese with lobster and be my own executive chef and to bring in my lunch.
If I'm so cautious about the cost of other life necessities - clothing, shelter - then why is do I find it so difficult to deal with food? I can stop shopping for 90 days but with you, my dear food, that isn't an option. I'll be sad to let you go in some regards (oh my God, the sushi platter for $22 at 677 Prime) but we both know that it really is what's best. For my hips and my wallet.
Related reading on grocery shopping on a budget:
HeatherB also blogs about food - particularly her love of the filet o' fish and wine - at No Pasa Nada.
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