Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Tyranny Ends

We've learned a lot from my food fug and subsequent cookbook cooking experiments. Realisations for today are that a week long menu plan doesn't work, planned leftovers don't work and that we buy way too much food. 

It's all to do with barriers. When we were paying off our debts, saving up for the car, saving up to move and all that stuff (the first three of which cover the period 2003-2010) it was good to have the barriers. Having barriers meant we could rationale our thoughts. Obviously getting out of debt was for the best, paying cash for a car was for the best, overpaying on the mortgage for the old house was a good idea but the barriers protected us from feeling too glum about having no spare money. 

All those games we play with ourselves, sealed pot challenges, making something from nothing, finding free things to do, it's good to convince ourselves that they're the best thing to do because it removes anything else from the equation. If we're already doing the best thing then having a holiday or buying the plants we'd actually like rather than swapping plants with our family to get things for free, all those things would be daft. We've been in that mindset for a really long time and those thoughts really helped, they freed us up to achieve our goals rather than kept us thinking about what we'd given up to get to where we were going. 

Now though, those things aren't working and I'm looking around at how the barriers have closed me off to some things so much that they're, well, not exactly harmful but just not helpful. Being organised with a menu plan and shopping list means that occasionally I think about food sitting needing to be eaten when I should be thinking about nothing more than the fun time we're having doing whatever it is. Having booked the three nights away we're having this year and trying to cram as much into that time as possible is making me think about all the things I don't get to see because I won't leave the rabbits. I know there's always stuff going on, but it's only now I realise how I've used things as protection from the wider world. 

All this to say, I'm only going to menu plan for 4 days each week and make up the rest. When it comes down to it, I'm not all that bothered about food. If I have cereal for every meal for a day, it's fine, I won't keel over. Food is a big part of life for some people, but it's not for me yet I let it have a giant hold over me. No more! As I've mentioned before, I once lived for weeks on only rice, frozen peas, tea and popcorn, it's not a good dietary choice, but I'm still here so not having a huge variety of foods available to me all the time won't do me any harm at all. I embrace it.


  1. I just wake up in the morning and think, "What shall we have for tea today?" If there are leftovers I'll concoct something from them, If not then I'll start from scratch. Life's too short to menu plan.
    Love from Mum

    1. Hi Mum. I think menu planning was great when we needed to keep a tight hold of everything. But these days things are less regimented so I think you're right.

  2. I sometimes write a menu plan for the month, but very rarely stick to it. I think I do it because then I have the security of knowing that I have enough to feed us for the month due to having such a tight budget. I don't spend any more on food if I change it, I just turn the ingredients into different things.

    1. That's the reason I started planning, from 2003-7 we had a grocery/household budget of £90 per month so we needed to know there was enough food.

      The main thing these days is that something the evening meal just doesn't happen. We go out and just have a snack when we get back, there are some nights Dan gets called to a late meeting or has to go to London or somewhere. If we've been shopping we either end up stashing things in the freezer, eating for the sake of it or on rare occasions, wasting food.