Friday, August 27, 2010

Pantry Makeover

When considering our budget and our health the immediate thought most of us have goes to food. What is being spent, what is being eaten. For a very long time we (I) spent loads of money on food. Grant it, organic and free range is expensive but I always seemed to have so much excess in the fridge and cupboards. I shutter to think about the amount of produce that has gone to the (gasp) garbage, compost, chickens or rabbits. Plan of attack? Purchase enough for only a week. I'm still working on that end of it but doing much better. Next plan of attack. Increase whole grains and legumes while decreasing meat consumption. This is a difficult idea for me. Most of my life I have been over weight. Eating "carbs" tends to help me keep the weight on. I've spent so much time being frustrated over the problem that then I give in, buy meat (regular factory farmed) and then feel guilty about the animals and the way they lived their lives and the way in which their life ended. Please don't misunderstand me. We are a meat eating family but we gave up factory farmed meats a while back and then in order to loose weight I went back to factory farmed food for roughly a month. I can't do it. I feel guilty. How can I loose weight while eating grains and legumes? Easy. Portion size! As an American and a lover of vintage and antique goodies, I've become aware through the purchase of kitchen goodies that our portion sizes have increased dramatically over the last 50 years. Ouch! I have a cooking set for my Westinghouse roaster that is supposed to feed a family of 4. When I first saw it, I couldn't believe it. It seemed so teeny tiny.
My 3rd decision for making over the pantry was to no longer buy processed stuff. I can make bread. Why don't I? Laziness or a lack of being prepared. Oh my. I love convenience. The kids have been on a bagel kick lately. Do I really need to buy bagels? Nope. Besides, the store bought goodies have so many more ingredients than what is needed.
Lastly, we've pretty much given up on eating out. Sure, we have our "weak" moments but overall they are becoming fewer.
I'm hoping that with the changes that we have made and will continue to make that not only will our waistlines continue to shrink, but that our contentment in simple foods continue to grow and debt will be paid down and eventually off. Once we've been completely transformed and no longer have our weak moments, I believe our family could have upwards of $300 a month to use towards debt. That's upwards of $3600 a year towards debt! Imagine the interest that will be saved. Just the idea excites me.

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