I have been thinking a lot lately about what I eat and what my family eats.
I have seen quite a few blogs that preach about getting a family food budget down to $40 per week. Quite a goal I must say and there are many that are able to do it, which I find amazing, honestly. For awhile these blogs had me inwardly berating myself for spending what I do (which is honestly not that much), and wondering why I struggle so much with clipping coupons (I hate it! I find it frustrating!)...I never seem to find very many that I can use. I thought and thought about it. Then it hit me...one, most of the coupons are for things that we don't or rarely use. I try to avoid purchasing convenience foods as much as possible and I find that most coupons seem to be for over processed, over packaged, chalk full of unknown scary ingredient type foods. That's not to say that we never buy those things... we do have our little pleasures that often come from a chip bag or pint of Ben and Jerry's. Second, there is such a push in America for super cheap food...we want everything but we don't want to pay for it. And we are willing to sacrifice our health and well being for high processed food that supposedly tastes good but, doesn't do a body any good. And also we feel that spending more then 10 minutes a day cooking is a waste of time that could be better spent some other way. I personally would rather pay a little bit more for better food and spend a little bit more time in the kitchen making something wonderful (at least that's the goal). This would equate better pay for small farmers and hopefully increase the push for more focus and availability of local foods. Why aren't we willing to pay more? Why aren't we willing to take quality ingredients and form them into foods that nourish our bodies and nourish the bodies of our families? I read a post here (I can't seem to find the exact post) and something just clicked. Sara talked about how it is privilege to feed ourselves and our families everyday and that we should put the best that we can into the food that we make.
I don't want to discount that many families are hurting right now due to this poor economy. Everyone has to do their best with what they have and what they can afford. Also, I know that there are many that hate to cook, so convenience food is the answer. I also don't want to make it seem like we never eat out or get fast food...we do, however, I know it's not the best that I could be giving to my family but, sometimes I just don't want to cook. And with all of that said I have decided that I am not going to beat myself up for spending more then $40 per week on groceries.
To be honest I often stay away from soap box issues here on the ol' blog. I never want to start a ruckus or insult any one's sensibilities...if I did, please know that it was not my intent and if you do decide that you want to give me what for, then all I ask is that you be gentle...I can be decidedly thin-skinned, just ask my husband. I wouldn't mind a nice healthy dialog on this...maybe you have some points to share that I have not considered?