Right, so... Deprivation-
With all the talking I've been doing about food and money and splurging, it'd be easy to think I've been feeling deprived.
Sometimes I do. Totally.
But not really more than I would if I had twice as much money to spend. Realistically, when I didn't keep track of my budget, I'd buy maybe two pints of ice cream a year. Same with the vegan mayo. Fancy cheese sub maybe every other month-
There are only three "meals" that I ate regularly this time last year that I might miss.
- Booze-y doctored fresh or jarred tomato/ veggie sauce and pasta, with or without fried tofu chunks;
- "meat"ball sammiches (again with doctored sauce) on rolls I didn't cook myself; and
- Bags of chips and spiced vegan sour cream dip stuff.
Those three meals (um...) made up about 85% of my dinners. Of course, last year I was also working full time, going to school, and not getting a whole lot of sleep, so...
The thing I really miss (other than that whole "don't have to eat oatmeal" bit) is being able to go out. ZOMG, I miss going out. I miss eating in a place, hanging out, not having to do the cooking beforehand or the dishes after.
I ate out more last year. Like once, maybe twice a month. I ate more tomatoes, either canned from super deals or fresh from the garden (note- hail *will* take out tomatoes in Laramie every time). I also ended up eating a lot of plain tomato soup or pita crisps, or Oreos for lunch when I overslept and had to buy food at work.
So sure, I'd like more chocolate, or spices, or lasagna. But chances are, after I had the first bunch, they'd just sit there. It can take me a *month* to eat a good chocolate bar- I don't like to waste them, and I buy the super rich ones. I really only use half a dozen spices, the extras are just nice to have around. And lasagna? I think I made two last year, and none for something like 4 years before that. Other than some leafy greens and the odd head of broccoli, there's not much I need that I can't--or won't--swing somehow.
I guess what I'm saying is, aside from my ongoing romance with potato chips, I (mostly) limited food luxuries at home and kept things pretty simple before. Not because I was being all that thrifty (um, chips?) but because there's only so much room in a fridge, or because the co-op in town didn't carry something and I couldn't get to the next town with a healthy-food store.
All of this doesn't mean that if the gourmet food fairy dropped off a pallet of artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and red wine I'd give it back. (Note to mom- This is not a request for any of those items.) I just don't dream of them all day long. For a minute or two when I'm trying to think up something to eat? Sure. I think anyone who cooks spends at least a couple thoughts a day on how nice it would be if they didn't have to cook or could use only the best of everything. Then they get over it, or work around it, or make plans for when they can afford it.
I know I'm coming across as frustrated sometimes, and bored, and whiny, and I'm not eating as much variety or even just food as I probably should. I know I lost my "voice" for a while there, and I'm trying to get it back. And I've got some shiny new medicine that kills my appetite dead, so the frustration will probably continue. A lot of that is life stuff though, spilling over into my food.
SRSLY? If it were *that* annoying, I'd just go get the damned food stamps.
ps- I'll get to the shopping later. For now, I naps.