Originally Posted May 18, 2020 in the Archive
We’ve reached a period in this pandemic where the belt has tightened here at the Eating Normal kitchen. I did not qualify for state unemployment, and now I must wait an extra thirty days for additional pandemic unemployment relief. It’s game over for bigger grocery orders. There’s no stocking up anymore. It’s time to learn how to use coupons and cook with what can be bought cheaply.
And I know I’m reaching this point later than a lot of people in the United States. I’ve been lucky to mostly enjoy the first month of my furlough, but that’s over. The struggle bus has come to town. We won’t even be doing a new cookbook next month. We’ll be engaging in a redemption tour of previous cookbooks to reduce the amount I’m spending on this hobby. That will continue until I start working at my furloughed job, or find a new job. Whatever has to come first.
It’s just my husband and I, so in some ways we are still fortunate to not have dependents counting on us for everything in their lives. Whatever I spend money on for groceries is for two people only, and in that way, spending 100 bucks a week on groceries can sound a bit extravagant still. That’s being generous. My aim is to spend LESS, but the max I am setting for myself is 100 a week.
How am I, a bougie foodie who usually spends upwards of 150 a week to get fancy shit for my meals going to manage that? Coupons, baby. Coupons.
The grocery store closest to us has online ordering where the specials of the week are available for viewing and use, so this makes it a lot easier for me to achieve. I spent literally thirty minutes today min-maxing my grocery order based upon what meats, dairies, and frozen items were on sale. I got myself down to under 90.
Whats on the list? Two packages of chicken thighs on sale for 1.49 a pound, 2 packages of Italian sausage, a 10 pound bag of flour… You know, the important things. What I’m not buying is a BUNCH of anything at one given time. I’m avoiding the brands I normally gravitate toward in order to capitalize on a sale instead. Some of it is painful since I got used to that good brand name life, but my poor person instincts kicked in pretty hard this week. I almost bought off brand soda.
I don’t think my husband would forgive me for it.
So, what this means for Eating Normal is the following:
We’ll get through this together, and hopefully the pivot I have to make in regards to this project will be useful for a wider audience. Thanks for sticking with me. Let’s get to cooking.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird. Pledge monthly to our patreon!