I’m writing this on a day when I was doubled over in pain because I’ve hardly eaten this past week. Several people associated my lack of eating with my undiagnosed depression, which makes sense now that I’m aware some of my thought patterns are not completely normal.
However, nowadays, my lack of eating can be associated with the economy. I’m not shy about discussing my finances and my slight problem with fulfilling immediate desires leading to me using my credit card (Shhhh. Let’s not talk about it. I still haven’t missed a payment; in fact, I’ve been making extra payments this month). Between rent, electricity, all the other bills, and wanting to travel for the sake of sanity & tranquility, I simply don’t have the funds to spend six dollars on a 12-count of eggs. I used to be able to spend eighty dollars a month to feed myself, including purchasing all the veggies everyone consistently tells me I need.
During my most recent grocery trip, this is what $15 got me:
- A 4-pack of toilet paper (I would’ve gotten instant rice if this wasn’t an ABSOLUTE necessity)
- A small carton of egg whites (cheaper than buying a carton of regular eggs)
- Store brand creamy peanut butter (the smallest jar)
- 4 bananas
- Store brand mild sausage
- Half a gallon of store brand 2% milk (didn’t have enough for my lactose-free milk)
- Store brand baby spinach
- Store brand cranberry-grape juice (I need something with flavor to chase my pills)
Truthfully, it was $19.08, but my grandmother’s $5 Easter blessing helped cover part of it. The blue post-it note at the bottom of my desktop? My payment plan for my credit card. The white paper opposite of the blue post-it note? The bill from my wisdom teeth I have yet to pay because the IRS needed that money before April 18th.
I know unexpected costs are a part of being an adult, but it would be nice if I could comfortably by a week’s worth of food for $20; the food above is enough for a week of meal prepped breakfast bowls and peanut butter banana snacks. It’s already bad enough that gas prices are a little out of line, and this is coming from someone who drives a Kia that’s supposed to get good gas mileage.
As I’m writing this and took a brief social media break, this was the first image to come up on my Instagram feed (@allsimplyjay), and it perfectly sums up where I—and a lot of people—am at in life.
My friend Reeve, whom I interviewed on my podcast, made a really good point when we recently caught up for breakfast. She said with the current state of the economy, it’s easier to go out to eat than to buy groceries.
As I spend several mornings looking at a half-empty pantry and mostly empty fridge, I definitely believe she’s right. I either need to get a higher paying job to feed myself, keep praying that prices suddenly drop, or all of the above.
Just when I was ready to try all sorts of new recipes and expand my palette, the economy said “Lol, no.”