Monday, April 12, 2010

Austerity, oh yeah!

I went grocery shopping this morning like I always do on Monday mornings. That's the really good thing about working on Sundays, my weekend is everyone else's "Back to work" day.

I really needed to go grocery shopping. There had been no bread in the house for about three days, the milk was probably OK but it was a little past it's expiration date. We had no fruit. There were still carrots but you would absolutely have to peel them before eating to get all the hairy bits off. We could have made few more meals out of the lentils and onions in the cupboard, but no one wanted to eat like that any more.

Nope, we didn't lose a job. We didn't have a tragedy.


Our family is pretty good at shutting down the spending when we need to. We can all wait to get hair cuts or new shoes or fancy shampoo. The living room carpeting is more than thread bare and we love our 10 year-old-couch.

But this was a mission. I was ready to clean-out and clean-up and to live on what we had in our house. No money. No shopping. No buying. Time to make due and make it work.

It was like going to a nudist colony! Freedom! Well, if I had ever been to a nudist colony and if I thought that being nude was a freeing thing. I don't. I'm from Minnesota. There is nothing freeing about being nude. No. Who would even think that anyway? But living on what we had in our house was extremely liberating!


We ate the food that was already in our house. We baked muffins and rolled out creative pie crusts. We made a quiche with chives from the garden and fake sausage and buttery pie crusts. There were some strange lunches. And some kids standing in front of the fridge, well...pondering. But we made it through. We had to buy bird food and dog food of all weird necessities. And there was one point when we had to decide between sanity and coffee. Coffee won.

But for all the weird meals and interesting combinations of food, I'm really glad we did this. Our fridge is clean, our cupboards lean. And with the money that we would have spent on groceries for just one week, we bought a share in the garden-farm of a friend of a friend....a CSA. We've got a share, we're part of the food chain! It's amazing.

And now we have the prettiest eggs, ever!

Thanks to our good friends who connected the dots and helped us have beautiful eggs! I can't wait to see what comes in our big bag next week!


corinnak said...

Oooh - chives from the garden! We've got some of those too, thanks to you! We've had some de facto austerity weeks recently, I must admit, mostly through lack of going to the store rather than intentionality!

ms. kitty said...

What a neat thing to do, Kari! I've been looking at how I approach food, myself, and committing to a sort-of discipline of considering each thing I put in my mouth for its meaning (that is, why am I eating this?) and its real value to me (that is, its nutritive value). It's an exercise in getting rid of some of the clutter in my eating habits. Who would have thought that a scant handful of raisins after dinner would taste as good as a bowl of ice cream? (well, you can't get raisins in Chubby Hubby flavor, of course) Or that having apple slices available would make it easier to choose fruit over cookies? It's a revelation to me.

Thanks for your post. I might have to consider if I could do that too.

Kari said...

@C--how cool is that? Chives that keep on keepin' on. I have some more to share. Maybe I'll bring them up to school today.

@Kit-mindful eating can completely blow your mind! Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver?? Good stuff!

ms. kitty said...

I loved Animal, Vegetable, Mineral! Read it as soon as it came out. Got some good ideas from it, too. Thanks for the reminder!