Money. Now, there's something we all worry about. Me, I tend to think about it in terms of food budget because with my tiny income that's one place where I can cut corners. Once the bills are paid, there's sometimes not much left.
On a good week, my food budget is $15.....or $20-25 on a very good week. Right now, the budget is $0. Really. There's nothing available to spend. I've been on Zero Food Budget for a couple of weeks.
Currently, there's not a whole bunch in the pantry so I'm mostly depending on the stuff I've got in the freezer. No, I haven't bought packs of frozen goodies or pre-packaged meals. That junk is too expensive. What I have is stuff I've made myself. I buy clearance sale veggies, and I cook. Cooking is key. Soup. Baked beans. Muffins. Bread.
I keep reading news articles and blog posts about folks who do a "food stamp challenge" to see how little they can get by on. And every single one of them complains about how they suffer. The author who infuriated me most was one who had a dozen eggs and figured that she could eat two a day so as to save money; and she was so hungry all the time that one day she ate either 3 or 4 of the eggs. That is so foolish! If you've got eggs, what you do is bake! You make cornbread or muffins or other baked goods. When you combine eggs with flour or corn, you have a "complete protein" substitute--it's better for you than just chomping on a hardboiled egg. It also makes that egg go a whole lot further in filling you up to satisfy hunger. But, there are carbs!, you say. Well, yes, of course, there are; when you are working, you burn up calories and you need to be fed. People worry too much about "skinny" and too little about what is healthy. They don't worry enough about avoiding over-processed foods that are loaded with addititves.
But, as usual, I digress. Yesterday I wanted something.....something sweet, something different, something that wasn't soup. Yeah, I've been eating a lot of soup from the freezer. I'm not perfect; sometimes I like a treat and, yes, I sometimes (but really rarely) have good old processed peanut butter (it's a cheap quick protein). So I dug around in the pantry. There was a little bit of this, a little bit of that. So I made Peanut Butter Balls--a little sweet, a little protein, all good.
Mix together about 1/3 cup of peanut butter (I was emptying the jar) with about 1/4 cup of confectioner's sugar (estimating--you want enough to keep the stuff together but not so much that it gets crumbly) with 1 individual size box of raisins, and about 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (I had a few leftover from muffins I made last week). Stir it all together and form into 1-inch balls. And then enjoy!
I made 8 or 9 of them. Not something I wanted to eat all at once, so I'm keeping the rest in the fridge.
Soup is good for you, of course, but it's nice to have something a little extra sometimes--something that reminds you that brighter days are on the horizon. It helps keep you on track until the Zero Budget Days are done.
But here's the secret to help keep you carrying on no matter what battle you're facing: Philippians 4:5-6. Basically, it says simply,
Don't worry about anything;
give thanks for everything.
Life is good.