I’ve been making calls for my candidate this last week or so, and during a conversation about the bailout plan with one female voter, she said, “You know, I wish someone would bail ME out, because I need it.” I think many of us can relate to this desire, especially now. Alas, no personal bailout this way comes, so we Main Streeters have to figure out how best to make do with what we have (yes, yes, I agree – this is totally unfair, but most adults already realize that much in life is unfair, so off we go to make the best of it.).
One area that is sure to take a hit in our individual homes is our food budget. Never mind that the cost of everything has gone up (damned oil!), but our groceries also are increasing in price at record rates. We aren’t in a position, like we are with gas, to cut back on our consumption (and force prices back down), so instead, we have to be a bit more crafty with our budgeting. In that vein, I am playing a little game (which, perhaps, I am calling a “game” so as to not feel depressed that I really need to do it) whereby I am trying to feed my husband and myself for as little money as possible. However, a key part of “The Game” is that our meals have to be interesting and not call out that we are drastically cutting our grocery spending. Not a psychologist, I, but this, in addition to referring to it as a game, seems also to be a tactic to keep us from being saddened at our current fiscal state.
So far, I’ve managed to feed us meals that cost anywhere from $3.94 for two people (Neighbor’s Farm Stand butternut squash lasagna – and, hey, that can be served 3 times to two people!), to six dollars and change per serving (whole roasted chicken with roasted beets, “caramelized” beet greens, and polenta). Math is not my strong suit, so occasionally my numbers will be off (though not significantly), and costs will vary from region to region, but the idea is to get your food costs down while keeping the quality high, and give you the incentive to brag about how good your dinner was – and then how little it cost you. (Um, can anyone else imagine doing that even six months ago? The “how little it cost you part”, I mean.)
I hope for all of us that we don’t have to play The Game for too long, but while we do, we should at least have fun and enjoy our meals. I’ll be posting menu ideas, recipes that I’m making, as well as some of my strategies for getting more food on the cheap, so please keep checking in to see what’s new and to see what other people are doing to keep their eating interesting while we wait for our own personal bailouts (I believe it’s called “The Lotto”, fyi.).