Discount: It’s what’s for dinner

Saw this at Walgreen’s on deep discount, so I bought 2 of them. There’s nothing wrong with it. No idea why it was marked down. It tasted delicious, with a splash of red wine and the rest of the leftover pizza sauce mixed in. I could have added some mushrooms but I forgot until just now. Oh, well. I am wryly amused by the “Last Chance” sticker, though. Don’t miss out — this stuff is going, going, gone…

This is the kind of thing one can buy and be glad when one is on food stamps. I recount this little victory because today has been another one of those days — not where I wanted to dial out for home-delivered sesame chicken, but where I just felt grumpy and out of sorts about not having what I wanted. (Insert appropriate moralizing here, to remind me of my privilege and luck and blessings and so on.)

I wanted half and half in my coffee. I love half and half in my coffee. In fact, before this month, I would have said I’d rather have nothing than coffee without cream. Literally — I call half and half in my coffee one of my few vices. (The others are long, hot showers and rampant use of my First Amendment right to free speech. But that’s about it.) But I’ve been drinking it black since we ran out on the weekend. I didn’t go grocery shopping, and dairy products are not on sale at the farmers’ market, though I would have bought some there. No trip to the grocery store, certainly not just for one item that only I enjoy. Nope, not on food stamps. Not on this budget.

And that was kind of it for me today. Just made me feel off-balance and funked out. It’s a little thing, I know, but as we’re told, it’s the little things that make life worth living, blah blah blah. So I’m recording, in my brutally honest way, that these little losses, these individual sacrifices, as small as they are, add up over time for a hungry person, and can contribute to a sense of fatigue, of depression, of hopelessness, of unending sacrifice, and of rebellion at whatever cost.

I used to be a hungry person with hungry kids, and I had blocked out this stuff, and now I begin to remember. And  thus begins the inner monologue of, “This sucks, why can’t I have what other people have, it will never get better, and damn it, I don’t care if I don’t pay that bill. I want a hamburger (or whatever) right now.”

No judgement — not saying it’s right or wrong. It just is (for me, in any case).

Wednesday’s Menu (<-- photo!)
Breakfast: Patrick: zucchini frittata; Julia: toast, cherries, coffee, Advil; Austin: Hot Pocket; Simone: nectarine
Lunch: Patrick: salad; Simone: Leftover mac and cheese; Julia: cereal and milk, peach. Ana: Hot dogs (“brunch”).
Snack: Julia: Hershey bar* (leftover from baseball snacks), cherries, water, Advil.
Dinner: Spaghetti, red sauce (canned, with 1/2 cup leftover red wine from May guests and 1/2 cup leftover pizza sauce added), leftover pizza-delivery Parmesan on top; steamed carrots and cauliflower; 1 slice each garlic toast (butter and garlic sprinkles, free bread). Dinner cost: approx $2.79 total, or 55 cents each with leftovers.

*Doubles as antidepressant. Should be listed in medical budget.

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One Reply to “Discount: It’s what’s for dinner”

  1. I know it’s a dumb thing to comment on, but the steam coming out of the pot on the back of your stove is making a really great photo! I love it.

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