That’s how it starts. You buy that pre-packaged, pre-made, pre-frozen box of food and swear to yourself its just this one time. It’s been a busy week…you’re extra tired…its on sale… but in your heart, you know its more than that. One prepackaged food leads to another, and another, and another. Next thing you know you are darting around the store, looking furtively over your shoulder for anyone who knows you, going from one bright, shiny display to another. You start stashing the gloriously unfrugal, pre-processed goodies under your lettuce and veggies in your cart. You breathe a sigh of relief when you reach the car, unwrapping a twinkie and stuffing it into your mouth with an almost orgasmic rush of pleasure. You have a monkey on your back…and if it were wrapped in a colorful label you’d probably try to eat that, too.
This is not a cautionary tale of gluttony, or perhaps, maybe it is.
I’ve become fairly annoyed with myself of late. Years of dreaming of my first home, what I would do, how much room I would have for storage (ie canning, drying, jamming, etc.) I would have my garden every year, have plenty of room for bringing in my harvest. I would be happily busy running my dehydrator, pressure canner, canning pot, stock pot all at the same time. I’d be a veritable whirlwind of frugality and creativity.
Somewhere along the line, I rediscovered the ease of buying spaghetti-o’s in a can, cake mixes in a box, canned fruit instead of fresh, frozen veggies instead of my own, etc. Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing in and of itself wrong with buying these things. They are very handy to have on hand for times when you just need a bit of something quick. But when they replace good healthy food almost entirely, then something is very wrong.
I love reading all the sites on frugality and homesteading. I smile with understanding when someone pulls up nice big veggie out of their first garden. I grow envious of those who can do a shopping trip for 27 people with $13.25. I used to do better than I do. I used to do much better. So what happened?
Well, my house, which I love to bits, got ahead of me. My rooms are full of stuff that “might be needed” but then is never used. My memory of space allotment seems to be skewed because the item I see at the yard sale always seems smaller until I get it home, where it grows distressingly larger than I actually had room for. I started to buy shortcut items instead of making my own. The downward spiral began.
I’ve made some decisions. I need to better organize my time and reorganize my home. This is the year I get a grip on all this and, at least try, to get a handle on it all. I’m going to take it one room at a time, because otherwise it just feels overwhelming. I’ll start the “throw it out”, “sell if off”, “donate it” piles again. If we aren’t using it, won’t be using it, or just don’t have room for it… it goes. Storage will get gone through the same way. Once I’ve made room again, I’ll start the process of pre-making my OWN foods and mixes. This summer I WILL have my garden again.
Will I ever have one of those minimalist homes you see in magazines? No. I don’t even like that look. I love the feeling of warm, soft, comfy, whimsical things around me. But I can organize these things better. And if you are wondering, no it’s not to the point of seeing me on any upcoming episodes of “hoarders”, but it’s not the way I want things either.
So hang in there with me as I go through this process 🙂