Home Family Art Homemade Frugal Living Travel

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Applying the phrase "every dollar spent is vital" - 7 read-a-long

I'm currently reading the book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", by Jen Hatmaker and I've joined this blog read-a-long by Marla Taviano to discuss each chapter on Tuesday's. Here is a bit of background on the book (from Amazon):
"7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”
This week's prompt is:
Tell us what you’re doing to mutiny against excess in the area of food.
My commitment to reduce excess food is to eat up freezer and pantry food. This past week I've relentlessly pulled out all the little things that have been shoved into the back of the fridge:
  • hummus - served Sunday snack
  • potatoes and carrots that were looking a little sad and shriveled - roasted with the tiny garlic pieces that usually get thrown away because they are so small
  • hot pepper cheese wedge - thrown in hubby's work lunch
  • popcorn for snack - it was hidden in a pile in the pantry, kids loved it!
  • oranges loitering in the base of the fridge, served at every meal
  • 7 grapefruits that a recent visitor had left behind and because I hate grapefruit juice I mixed it with apple juice and it was surprisingly good!
We didn't go to the store until produce was cleaned out. I even cleaned up a bag of sprouting onions by cutting off excess sprouts and saving chopped up bits for homemade refried beans.

Once our fridge was down to condiments, I sent husband and kids to the store armed with a grocery list that precisely matched our meal plan for the week. Meal plans are a wonderful way to stick to a budget because you buy only what you need. Check out this link for a beautifully designed template from "The Better Mom". She let's you download it for free!

However, even with this ruthless planning and meticulous eating everything in sight, I still found myself longing for something "more" from Whole Foods as we strolled past on Sunday to reach the office store. The smells coming out the door of "better" food options lingered. I think if Jen had not written so relentlessly about the temptation of having so many options I might have caved but I didn't. I also ignored Chick-fil-A on the way home from today's doctor appointment and guess what - I'm still alive. I didn't die from starvation of not having that chicken burrito.

One quote from Jen's book 7 has stuck with me as I contemplate every purchase - "What if I believed every dollar spent is vital, a potential soldier in the war on equality?" It works in a loop in my head: "every dollar spent is vital"

Having this on repeat makes it easy to walk away from the temptation of "better" food options and to eat the food I've already budgeted for.


Hislove Endures said...

I am so disgustingly wasteful with food. Forgetting about it and letting it rot. My favorite way to use up food that's about to go bad is to put it in my husbands lunch!!! I've thought about making a list on my fridge of what needs to be eaten up soon, and using that to help guide our snacks/meals.

I've been wanting to try menu planning for quite a while now, but haven't done it yet. I'm gonna check out the template you linked to. Thanks for sharing it.

Oh, Chick-fil-a has the most amazing burritos!! I am not a breakfast burrito lover, but theirs is out of this world!

Brooke F said...

its amazing how creative you can get for those "throw away" foods, when there isn't something more tempting right beside it.

rubberbacon said...

Hi there, you comment really made me laugh, my husband is also the human "garbage disposal" of the house hold. He swears I will only eat a food 3 times before I'm done and forcing to eat the remaining leftovers. Best of luck with the meal template, it's also been a huge time saver in the quest for "what's for dinner"!

rubberbacon said...

I really have to agree with you! Another reason to eat everything in the fridge before buying more food!!!

Marla Taviano said...

We did this too! And it was so fun to have to be creative and crafty with what I had left! I felt like I was one of the Boxcar Children or something. Great post!!

rubberbacon said...

Thanks Marla! Really enjoying this weekly read-a-long!!!