Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Discipline in the Midst of Plenty

Ben and I have been quite the smart shoppers lately. We have been getting some great deals on meat (which I eat a lot more of these days now that I'm pregnant), and stocked up on a lot of staples at Costco this weekend. And, on top of that, a new Harris Teeter opened close to Ben's work, and they were offering some amazing deals for their opening week (plus a $10 off $40 purchase coupon from the paper). So, of course, we couldn't resist, and now have a fridge and freezer full of fresh fish, meat, fruits (woo hoo for cherries), cheese, vegetables, and, I will admit it, ice cream (chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla). AND our pantry is overflowing with cereal, grains, pasta, peanut butter, and cooking supplies. I don't remember the last time we have had such plenty. And yet, I'm feeling totally daunted and overwhelmed by the prospect of using this all up.

I suppose that this is what frontiers people lived like. There were times of plenty, when they canned, froze, and preserved as much of the harvest as possible (or as much of the slaughter), and then there were lean times when all of those reserves got used up. But in my modern world, I have rarely had to plan or budget for longer than a week. I make a meal plan for seven days, purchase the food, and then hopefully use it all up. It's all so neat and organized and relatively easy. There are one or two treats for the week, whose consumption we spread out. When you have a house full of good stuff, it's so hard to actually wait to eat it all up. I'll admit, we've been back from the grocery store for about two hours, and have already started into several of our treats: some almonds, some cheese puffs, and the cherries.

So I'm going to try to treat this situation as an opportunity to practice discipline when in the midst of plenty. If we can at least somewhat spread out all of this food and hold back from indulging in it all at once, then we'll have several weeks of healthy, good eating and come out having saved some good money. But if we just dive into all of it right now, we'll probably eat more than we usually do, and end up having to go grocery shopping soon, and, despite the good deals, will have spent more than we normally would. And with that, I'm off to have a (small) bowl of chocolate ice cream.

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