Hello dear friends, I know that I’ve been sadly remiss about posting this last week. I am still getting used to working swing shift at my new job and have consequently been taking lots of naps in the morning when I would normally write. Excuses aside, things are going well here as I hope they are with you.
Thrifty I have been. I cut down on our food budget again, we’re $100 down from where we started and doing just fine. I have gotten better about buying things on sale and, now that I have time that isn’t all devoted to homework, I can shop around for the best prices. I am paying for groceries in cash which has caused me to be more aware of what I’m putting in my cart. It really is harder to part with cash than it is to swipe a card and I’d forgotten that little fact. If I have to dole out $5 of my cash food budget on junk, I’m a lot less likely to do it since that’s money that cuold go to meat or something else that we actually need.
On the silly side, I am working afternoons and nights now so that, now that I”ve finally gotten better about buying and using what we need and knowing how to use what we have, I am no longer the one cooking at night. My husband, for the first time in 17 years, has to fend for himself. And, since it’s going to be a regular thing and not just him doing for himself for a week while I’m gone with the kids, he can’t rely on pizza every night. He’s going to have to learn how to cook things that we both like so that I can heat up dinner when I get home. He’s game though. He made steaks night before last and had one for lunch the next day as well. I feel bad making him do it, after all, it’s been my job for many, many years, but it’s what’s happening now and we knew what we were getting into. I’ll just have to teach him the favorites and he’ll be fine.
I’m still not eating much meat. It’s just not as attractive as it once was. The funny thing is that I’ll eat it at a restaurant, but not at home. I am the model of what the book and the documentary were talking about. I feel like the meat at a restaurant is so far removed from the farm that it’s almost not the same thing at all. When I buy meat at the store I am very conscious of the choices I am making. When I order a steak or chicken at a restaurant, it’s almost unconscious. It doesn’t seem like the same thing at all even though I know, logically, that it is.
I need to be more aware of what I’m doing when I go out. In the house or the grocery store, it’s easy to be aware of the statement my dollars are making. At a restaurant or department store, it’s a little more removed from the immediate. The company mediates for you and, becasue you’ve shopped there or eaten there before, it seems natural to do what you’ve always done. But department store clothes are still made of fabrics whose production you may or may not want to support. Restaurants still get meat from the corporate meat distributors and feed lots. It’s slowly sinking in to me that, even if it’s second nature to do it, doesn’t mean that doing it is right. However, I’m also coming to realize that sometimes there just isn’t a choice involved. How exactly am I supposed to stop supporting all agribusiness? I won’t be able to shop at the grocery store ever again basically. I won’t be able to go out to eat. My clothing choices will be limited and quite expensive. I just can’t do it.
So, we’re back to this:
Sometimes there’s only so much you can do. I am back to ground zero – making soap, laundry, and dish detergent, hanging clothes, mending what I can, turning off appliances and lights, and gardening. The basics that will save money and are green. I will keep looking for more ways to save and do what I can to make them as green as possible, but there’s only so much I can do with limited money and time. I refuse to feel guilty though. I am doing what I can and that’s the best I can do. The goal is to be able to do more but, until then, I will keep plugging along and know that even my small actions are making a difference.