Two grocery shopping excursions into the month of January have already provided fruit for reflection.
Per one of our January resolutions, we withdrew cash from the ATM machine about seven days ago...with the sole purpose of using it for groceries and eating out.
The idea behind this experiment is if we limit ourselves to a fixed amount of money for food every month, maybe we'll be forced to analyze or reorganize our eating habits...for the betterment of our waistlines and pocketbooks.
And let me tell you, when you only take $100 to the local supermarket exclusively for food purchase, you do start reevaluating your habits.
A disclaimer first: due to deals I'd taken advantage of in November and December, not to mention trips to Costco, our freezer is set right now in the meat department. Thus, it's possible my numbers for the next month will be skewed, since high meat costs won't be part of my bill.
First of all, I pay much more attention to prices and deals and coupons. Naturally, right? Also, where I spend my money is much more crucial. It's been a few years since I've purchased boxed or prepared meals, etc, but I look now for more bang for the buck. A bag of lentils proves much more versatile and costworthy than a tube of hamburger. (Just last week I tried lentil burgers on the whole crew - and yes, we knew we weren't eating meat...but hey, everyone ate theirs!)
My list now tends to contain mostly fresh produce and dairy, and that is what I mostly stick to. Just this morning I skipped about six aisles in the middle of the store...and did what nutritionists, doctors, food gurus, et al. refer to "shopping the perimeter".
In the end, I procured most of the items to prepare the following meals for dinner this week:
Crockpot Hamburger-Veg Soup
Reuben Pizza (You *know* I'm excited for this one)
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Remember, I'm feeding five people in addition to myself...and my total bill today was around $57. I anticipate another trip later this week to pick up some blue cheese crumbles and green peppers...but that's it. And that's good for me.
So I got to thinking (which I do sometimes, but not much around the holidays), suppose the government followed this same principle?
Suppose government officials only spent cash they actually had in their hands? If they shopped the perimeter, what things/agencies/positions wouldn't make it into the shopping cart?
*author pause for audience reflection*
You see, that's what "Be Food" is all about! Food, and everything related to it, is a giant metaphor for me...for life. It's how I make sense of the world! It's how I solve problems!