Saturday, March 30, 2013

Premise #5: Meat Is For Creatures Who Run


So here it is Wednesday again, and I did not do my due diligence and take inventory on Monday, make a meal plan on Tuesday morning and a shopping list on Tuesday evening, so I had to do it all today. Blah.

Also, (alas), I must report that I did not do so well with food dollars this week.

We went out. More than once. The kids had $16 for snacks in the food court. Mr. Gomez and I spent $27 at Johnny Rocket's (including tip) for a burger that we shared, onion rings, fries and two milkshakes. I bought two teas and an apple fritter at a Wawa for $4. I spent $30 all by myself at Ram's Head for two ciders, a burger, an order of fried pickle chips (could've been good, but weren't) and some fries I didn't want. HOWEVER, because I was out with friends and they didn't want their fries either, I brought home half a burger and an abundance of fries to some very grateful teenagers.

So that's $77 worth of crap food, which I count more as entertainment than nourishment.

In the You Need Less Than You Think department, sharing a burger at Johnny Rocket's is something Mr. Gomez wouldn't have considered were we not on a restricted budget, but as it turned out, we were both stuffed, and saved ourselves ~$10 on not ordering two burgers. One of the teas from Wawa is in the fridge- I didn't drink two on the road. Last year at Ram's Head with these same friends, I had soup and a beer and called it good, spending only ~$12. I'll know better next year- order just an appetizer and save both $ and calories for beverages.

Premise # whatever it is, Meat is for Creatures Who Run is blatant heresy against the meat marketing industry. However, I am a daring sort, and will dare to say that we don't need nearly as much meat as we consume. We certainly do NOT need bacon at breakfast, sliced beef at lunch and roast turkey at dinnertime, nor do we need to clutter our salads (leaves! in a bowl! to eat!) with crumbled bits or whole slices of animal product, we just don't. We don't NEED meat every day. We may have become accustomed to that, but our ancestors, (not that long ago, in the scheme of things), did not get meat every single day because why? Because they had to CHASE it. And then they gorged on meat, had to gnaw sticks and walk a lot to avoid constipation, then went back to eating nuts and berries until the next bit of meat ran past. We contemporary Western humans just barely walk from our sofas to the car, from the car to the supermarket (and back, yes, back), and then we return to our natural state of mitigated stasis. Certainly we don't have to run to get a meal. Also (and I think this is important) unless we've strayed very far afield, there is nothing chasing US.  By and large, running away (or after) and climbing trees are no longer part of our everyday activities. We don't traipse through dense forest in search of sticks before we can be warmed by a fire, nor do we shiver in icy streams or cold rains when we bathe. Our human and pre-human ancestors, they burned some calories, man. But we? Not so much.

(This is the part where I decide to not complain that the seat heater in my car isn't working.)

Look, a cheetah needs meat. But it doesn't get an antelope every day. If it did, it would soon be too fat to chase one, and then it would starve.

Meal Plan

Wed- Asian stir fry & rice, w/chicken? (from last week)
Thurs- chicken soup (still haven't made it yet)
Fri- tuna casserole
Sat-spaghetti & garlic bread
Sunday- Easter Dinner with Gomez's family
Tues- yams, corn and black beans
Wed- salmon cakes

Okay, so I just made that meal plan and haven't even hit Post, but already rearranged the order 3 times. Problem is, I don't know when Gomez will be home.He likes tuna casserole but not salmon cakes. Yams, corn and beans is not his idea of a real meal. I'm not even going to bother making spaghetti if he's not home- if I need a meal, I'll make Stupid (cook the pasta, heat the sauce, throw on a handful of cheese, DONE.) but I just can't bother with cooking meat when the kids and I don't care very much.

Speaking of which, when we were at the grocery today, I found I had a surplus of a few dollars. Like, seven. I told the kids they needed to agree on how to spend it, but they could choose how it was spent, since I'd found all the things I needed. They could choose Saturday cereal and candy, or, hey, here's the meat case.

"Eh," says Pugsley, "we had meat last week. Also, we'll have meat when we're at Auntie's for Easter. Let's have junk."

Alrighty, then.

Shopping has been done, and also Pretend Shopping, which I did first, so there are a couple of items that don't appear as "hard" figures. Based on other Pretend Shopping trips, I can estimate.

List:                                                  Target                                  Costco, Aldi

Milk                                               3.89                                       2.99 (Costco)
Butter                           (2.50 x 4) 10.00                                       7.50   "
Baugettes                                        5.00                                       5.99   "

Sugar                                              2.99                                       1.89                                                                          
Cream                                            1.69                                       1.49
Tuna                                               1.35 x3 =2.05                         .79 x 3 =2.37
Angel hair                                       1.22                                       1.69
Peas                                               1.14                                          .95
Green beans                                   1.14                                       1.49
Penne                                             2.00                                       1.00
Salmon                                           2.79 x2= 5.59                        2.69 x2= 5.39
Saltines                                           2.54                                          .99
Shaky Cheese                                 2.99                                        2.39
Saturday Cereal                              2.50                                        1.99
Candy                                            1.45                                           .69
Sweet Potatoes                              2.15                                         1.19

  Estimated Food Total @ Target: $47.24        Actual Food Total: $47.50

Yogurt                                              2.39                                         1.99
Dog Food                                        11.00                                        8.99
Hmmm. Unless my estimates are off by more than a 'few' cents, it might've been simpler just to shop at Target this time around. Hmmmm.

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