Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Yesterday I was surprised by a sale that earned me just enough to justify a quick trip to the grocery store. A Godsend really, and I'm grateful. There are so many things that are needed but I knew I'd have to plan for a long game, and there was only about $15 to spend.
I had to shop carefully. I really wanted fresh veggies but the very few things that were on clearance were in too bad shape to justify purchasing--that's saying something coming from someone who is willing to put up with nearly any old or damaged produce. When stuff gets fuzzy mold, it's not worth the risk. The problem with fresh veg is that it's only good long term if you can make soup to freeze, and there was just nothing I could slot into the budget.
By the way, what is going on with celery? I chatted with a couple of ladies who were standing in front of the celery display. We were in absolute horror: celery was $4.99 a bunch! (Usually, it's less than $1.50.) What did they fertilize it with? Gold dust? I wanted celery more than anything and I had plans for it but I could not buy.
Instead, I made what I believe to be wise choices: flour, sugar, milk, eggs, margarine. If you have those things, you can bake. If you can bake, you have things that will last, that will fill you up, that will give you energy. This is always assuming that you've got the sense not to make a lot of silly things like cookies or cake. The stuff that works is bread, muffins, cornbread, biscuits--things that can give bulk to a meal. And, of course, my old standby: barm brack. Barm brack nearly always makes a bad day into a better one.
Finally, my last choice was literally a budget buster because it made me go $2 over my limit but I think it was worth it: 16 pounds of potatoes for $4. I managed to wedge a pound of carrots into my shopping as well. Potatoes answer to many uses (as well as being a good source of potassium), although I'm especially fond of making potato soup of supper.
So, if you're a health-conscious person (and, believe it or not, I am also), you're gonna be shaking your head because what I've got is a ton of carbs. You're not wrong about that. I would rather have bought lots of fresh leafy greens and tomatoes and corn and broccoli and oh-so-many things but I couldn't. I have to endure for a few more weeks until I get finances under control again. Sometimes you've just gotta do your best even if it isn't the best that you'd like. And you need to be grateful for everything, no matter what.
So, what would you do? What would you do if the pantry and the freezer were very nearly empty and $15 had to answer for much? That can be a pretty scary question, and it's a question that far too many people are forced to answer too often. I'm not alone in knowing what it is to need while being unable to supply the want. But I'm grateful for what I've learned about how to handle things as well as I do.
And now I'm gonna go begin the barm brack (it takes 25 hours start to finish--totally worth it) because I'm fortunate to have dried lemon peel that I got on clearance at the dented can store last month and I found a forgotten package of dried apricots when I neatened the pantry on Sunday. (Here, again, is the recipe for barm brack.) Then I'm gonna see about making some breakfast muffins with the old apples that have been waiting in the fridge.
Maybe I'll bake a potato for lunch. Truthfully, I'll cook more than one--too wasteful not to do so because electricity costs money, too--so that I'll have something for another meal later. By the way, if you don't want to smother your potato with margarine (I'd rather not; I really do Not like margarine but it was 85 cents and butter was $3--margarine is fine for baking, though), an interesting alternative is Worcestershire Sauce (yes, I know it's not vegetarian but it is the only non-veggie food on my menu). Surprisingly really tasty.
Life is good.
You never know what wonderful thing will happen next.