Living off the Land

26 Jul

So as I mentioned, the Bishop and I are feeling teh poor.  Oh, it’s entirely our fault, and involves escapades like how I accidentally bought Gucci eyeglasses, and we hired two babysitters last weekend, and one was because we went out to a super spendy, super delicious dinner and the other was because I had a cold and the Bishop was tired but mostly because having Awesome Emily here made the kids so, so happy.  So it’s not like any of those expenses couldn’t have been avoided by not having a fancy dinner out, asking the price of eyeglasses before saying, “I love them!  Put my prescription in them at once!” or playing with my kids myself, cold or no cold, but anyway.  

And really, we should be economizing all the time because we are living partially off our savings which shrinks every month despite both of us working.  I always blame daycare, which is, in fact, so spendy that I think they should be lining Toddler’s diapers with diamonds, but maybe it is our fault.

So on Monday I looked at our bank account and I went, “Gulp.” (I actually said, “Gulp.”)  I said to the Bishop, “Don’t buy anything until Friday.”  I transferred a little money to cover incidentals and to clear a few auto-pay bills, and set out to not-spend any money and to live off the fat of the land, or in this case, my full stocked fridge, freezer and pantry.  MAJOR first world problem – can the Mishegas Family go one week without buying NEW groceries but instead making do with the massive amount of perfectly good groceries that they already have?

I have kind of a famine mentality about groceries.  I developed it when Chaos was a baby, and I’d take her shopping and it would be so HARD that I’d think that I better buy a lot because who even knew when I was going to get to the store again?  So I’d buy about 20 of everything.  Way more than we could store.  Then, periodically we’d discover mouse poop in the pantry, immediately become squicked about all the SEALED SHUT groceries in the pantry, and toss a bunch of perfectly good uneaten food.  I mean, maybe you wouldn’t want to lick the outside of the box, but the contents had not been compromised.  Oh, I’m not proud of how we live, but it’s the truth.

So, all week this week we had the hardship of living off the contents of our well stocked freezer, fridge and pantry.  How did it go?  Well, as you know, I did have to break my resolve mid-week because we ran out of Pediasure.  However, I went to the store with a list of four items and I only bought those four items.  I walked through that store, passing up items that I *knew* we were out of, that I *knew* we wanted!  It was hard.  But I got the 4 items on my list. (paper towels, yogurt for Chaos, bananas, and Pediasure.) I spent $25.  A normal grocery run is AT LEAST $100.  

And we did just fine.  Nobody starved, or even suffered.  When I left work, I was feeling so frustrated with the whole thing because I was thinking there was nothing in the house, we were out of produce, and what was I going to make for dinner?  But then I found a zucchini hiding in the produce drawer.  And there was a package of tofu that had been frozen and was now defrosted in the fridge.  And I had a bag of rotini, and some tomato sauce.  And an onion.  So we had a pasta primavera with tofu, which is pretty much the same kind of thing that I make when I go to the store four times a week.  And the whole week was like that.  Last night I made veggie burgers and roasted cauliflower.  Normally I’d make fries with that, but since we didn’t have any fries, I didn’t.  And we didn’t miss them.  We had buns with our burgers, and I even had a can of baked beans.   Another day I used up two bags of Trader Joe’s falafels from the freezer, with a can of chickpeas and a chopped cucumber, and some tahini dressing.  Not too shabby. 

I will go to the store tomorrow.  I told the Bishop that we should probably try to live off the land most weeks, and he said, “Yeah, OK,” because I’m the one who is always shopping and as long as he gets regular meals, he’s not really bothered if the groceries are brand new.  And I got an alarmed post-it on Toddler’s cubby informing me that he is OUT OF DIAPERS.  “But we’re living off the land!” I wanted to write back.  I didn’t.  Instead i looked through the house.  It’s amazing how many clean diapers are just sitting around.  I put together a small bag of diapers for them.  

Do you think I can live off the land for another week?  I do.  After I stock up, of course.  What?  I may not have another chance to get to the store after this!

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