More On Meals: Making Changes

If you're open to new ideas, new ways of thinking and new behaviors, imagine the possibilities, the endless possibilities. Kind of like this pie. I would never have thought of this on my own. But once you see something done, a whole new light shines and you get inspired to think!  

So it goes also with making adjustments to shopping, cooking and eating habits. Things have a nasty way of changing. Families grow or shrink, waistlines do the same and so does income. And though I would prefer to have my figure shrink while my figureS grow...sometimes, it just doesn't go that way. But it can. You just have to MAKE it happen.  
  • Swap a fat. Using vegetable oil? Switch to extra virgin olive oil. 
  • Swap a sugar.  Processed foods have a ton of sugars all with different names. If you don't want to eliminate all sugars, at least swap out your white, refined sugar for some stevia
  • Swap a brand name.  Pasta by ANY name is basically pasta...even the whole wheat or whole grain varieties. Don't be afraid of store brands when it comes to basics, like pasta, dairy items, baking supplies, spices, etc. Seriously, why pay $5 for a bottle of cinnamon when you can get a perfectly exceptional bottle for $2. I know, a lot of it is psychological, but once you try it, you'll understand. 
And here I am, after having fully come to terms with the fact that the kids are not coming back...and we are now just two instead of four....here, now, I have to adjust what we consume. We do not require a freezer full of meat or a 10-lb. bag of potatoes, which will cause a rather nasty gnat infestation if one little spud decides to go bad and you don't realize it! Hell, we don't even need a gallon of milk, because it will NOT get used and instead will go bad. Three bucks, flushed. Not to mention the fact that if you eliminate milk and ice cream, and you try to go back, you will discover that you have greatly decreased both your need and your tolerance for the stuff. That and, if you think about it and research it...milk is disgusting. Yet again and probably as mentioned before, cheese makes the world go round. That's the one thing I just cannot cut out at this time in my life.  Maybe someday. Now is not that day.  

It's also good to get acquainted with cooking and then freezing large batches of stuff, like soup, lasagna, etc. Hence, a hefty supply of aluminum foil (also store brand) and freezer bags or containers in individual-sized sizes will greatly aid you in creating a wealth of foods without creating a ton of waste. One thing I've had great issue with over the years. Makes me cringe to think about the food that has been wasted here and makes me just feel horrible. Live, learn, know better, do better. 

When it comes to waste, I know whereof I speak. I left my 'real world' job on June 1. I took complete stock of exactly where our money was going. The results were nauseating. And, here, some four months later, the grocery bill alone has been CUT by $400.  CUT. $400. Two people. When you work in a big box retail grocery facility, you can find some very idiotic ways to blow wads of cash. When you stop working there and come home to work...you can find some very INTELLIGENT ways to STOP blowing wads of cash and you can take complete stock of what you really need versus what is just impulse. 

I guess it's about getting completely, unabashedly REALISTIC about your living situation, your eating habits and just how much you want to spend or save. Once you realize that you CAN save a metric fuqueton of money and yet still eat, breathe and sleep in relative comfort, you can create meal plans that will reduce your food budget even more and still keep your tummy from rumbling.  More on that later.  Next time, I think we should delve into the joys and ways of saving money on foodstuffs.  I'm not one of those "Couponista" types....I hate any word with the suffix 'ista' on it. I really do.  But yeah, perhaps tomorrow we'll discuss how us normal people can take advantage of money-saving techniques. 

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