The month is half gone and I’m halfway through my challenge of spending $0 on food or drinks for the duration. And, oh lordy, have I been whining about it!
It’s not because I’m hungry (don’t say starving unless you want to debate hunger versus starvation with me) or deprived or even out of options. I have a variety of meals and still more in the pantry.
I’m just spoiled. I want more variety. I want what I want when I want it without any worry of the cost.
Basically, I’m a huge whiner.
Luckily most of this whining goes on in my head otherwise I’m sure someone would have strangled me by now.
While driving to and from the Bay Area this weekend I passed approximately 2,000 In & Out Burgers. Actually one just said “Out” because the sign was broken. Hmmmmm burgers. Hmmmm fries. Both things I suck at making on my own at home. Plus me and hot oil is not a good combo. Not a safe combo.
Instead I pulled out my little travel ice chest and had a pb&j. Have I mentioned the pb&j project? I don’t think so… Oh well, another post for another day. This challenge has meant a few subtle changes to my routine. First is that I immediately throw away all grocery store circular ads. Without reading them. I can’t delude myself into thinking I can go into one and buy shampoo on sale. Ohhh no. In fact the one time I did go in (to cash in coins) I was staring at the floor the entire time. Why, oh why, is the candy display next to the CoinStar?!?
So I don’t look at ads. I also don’t plan my menus. I know, this is counter intuitive to the project but I do feel I need a bit of freedom. Otherwise I rebel, if only against myself. It’s been pretty cold here in California so I’m drinking more hot tea at home and coffee at work. I swear everytime I pass Dutch Brothers coffee the employees there are giving me sad eyes. I miss their brand of caffeinated crack…
Instead of thinking what restaurant sounds good, where I should pick up a taco (yes the voices are still screaming for tacos), I think about the options I have at home. Should I have the leftover lasagna or make a burrito? Lemon chicken or a salad? Lemon chicken on a salad? Once I start focusing on what I have, not what I cannot have, my mood improves.
I’m also a crafty little scavenger. I remind myself of the squirrel from the Ice Age movies. Cute little guy, a little obsessive. I took home the Thanksgiving ham from work. My grandparents gave me persimmons which I have no idea what to do with and my parents gave me lemons and avacados.
I cleaned. I know, not a huge surprise but I did empty the fridge, wipe it down and restock. Threw out some stinky food. Used up some other food. Overall tried to be a better cook and consumer. Next week I hope to tackle the freezers and then the pantry. Oy. The pantry.
Finally, I am so thankful for two ungrumpy old men who enabled me to eat out this weekend without spending. Although I left a clause in the challenge that last weekend would not count since I was on the road both my Grandpa and Old Man Adam were kind enough to pay. I did have a great time visiting with everyone, drinking, playing games, drinking, losing games (badly too), drinking and sleeping in. If I ever get two more days off in a row I’ll have to consider coming down again.
But for now I’m working on bootcamp homework and eating dinner at home.