I’m sure I am not the only one who has been frustrated, and often comes home with high anxiety, every single time I go food shopping. The prices in stores right now are so outrageous we actually shop and talk to ourselves in disbelief. I was once the person who made a list and bought was on my list. Sometimes I compared prices but mostly I would shop and be on my way.
That’s different now. I read the flyers that I once discarded and am always complaining in disbelief. Instead of just going to my usual supermarket, I now shop online at various outlets like Walmart and Boxed and search for the deals. I almost prefer it that way. You can sit in the comfort of your own home and compare prices instead of shopping in disbelief with missing aisles of items, the prices on the items they have and then, to top it off, the horrible customer service. So now I have to pack my bags or pay for a bag if I left my bags at home. Paying for a bag does not guarantee someone packing it for you. So I get home from shopping exhausted and angry. Not a good way to feel.
I have tried making different meals around the things I buy. I now do not throw out leftovers. If it can’t be used for another meal, I will freeze it. Pinterest has been so helpful in finding recipes with leftovers. In fact yesterday I made a delicious lamb stew with our leftover Easter lamb. I remember my mother (who grew up in the depression) saying “Waste not, want not” and now I understand where she was coming from. When it is more affordable to have steak at a restaurant offering a special, we have to take a closer look at our world.
Yes, I am tired of everyone blaming this on Covid or the war. They have definitely affected our lives but now people have to choose driving to work over having a decent meal for their family. When will that end. Every week you hear about different shortages and often I worry about others. For example, the shortage this week is on baby formula. Well, what do new mothers do without formula?! And it goes on and on.
We pay over $6 for a loaf of bread and now we scan the bread aisles and often try new breads that are perhaps not as healthy as our first choice. So are we compromising our health to afford food. It was common knowledge that many overweight people are low income who frequent dollar menus at fast food restaurants to feed their family. Now everyone (except the millionaires) contemplates every meal, every shopping adventure and every day of missing something else in the store.
Some ideas I have for leftovers;
. Make a stew with leftover meat and veggies. Add some spice, some celery and broth and you have another whole meal.
. Freeze leftover portions in ziplocks to use next time you make that dish and add it to it. I do that with tomato sauce, extra meat I can throw in a sauce and even leftover Italian bread to make into garlic bread.
. Buy family packs of meat when on sale and divide into dinner sizes and freeze.
. Have potluck dinners with friends. Assign each person a part of the dinner. Rotate this so the same person doesn’t get stuck with the main course. It’s affordable and always a fun time!
We all hope that these inflationary times will go away soon. Hopefully it will make us grateful for what we have and to make the most of what we have. We have had to learn to be less excessive in spending and really think hard about whether or not we need something.
So go on Pinterest to find some new recipes, come up with alternatives to expensive meals and most of all, have fun. Plan some summer fun with friends and share in the cost and prep, so everyone has fun and feels comfortable with spending. We have to be more cognizant of others that are “counting pennies” lately especially those with long commutes.
To better days ahead which we will appreciate even more.
Share some ways you are cooking or shopping differently to get through this inflation crisis…..