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Cheap Food & The Ever-Popular Discipline

September 20, 2016

I can remember my mom telling me as a kid about a phase in her college years when money was really tight. Unfortunately most of us don’t know what that looks like, since borrowing and assistance is always a click away and very acceptable. I realize this is not the case for everybody but it is for wayyyy more people now than even 20-30 years ago. Anyway, back to Mom…during that chapter she subsisted on peanut-on-pancake sandwiches for a couple weeks at a time. Cool right?! I mean, not cool that she was so strapped that this was the only thing she ate in those periods, but cool that she DID it.

In especially the past 6 months, as I’ve made huge dents in my debts and can see beautiful light at the end of the tunnel, some of my eating and eating-spending choices have changed for the better. In our era of fast-food and cheap-food, it is often tempting to just grab something cheap from The Golden Arches or Yo Quiero Taco Bell. You can get lots of calories for just over a dollar and sometimes, I choose this.

Oftener, however, I choose NOT to do this. And think, “I can stay hungry for a little bit longer. I’ll be home in X minutes or hours and can eat then.” And sometimes the food at home is limited to a peanut butter sandwich or eggs, but the principle of choosing to eat at home is a sound one and I always feel like I’ve done good things for the good ol’ self-discipline muscle. Dave Ramsey talks about living on “beans and rice, rice and beans” while paying off debt or trying to save. We ate A LOT of rice growing up (the brown, healthy kind) and it’s now a food I crave about never:) And beans…well, I kind of forget about them unless they’re in a burrito or other Mexican dish. It’s a good thing that Dave is talking FIGURATIVELY. He’s talking about simple foods that don’t cost very much but go a long way. Some of my favorite simple meals that would probably be Ramsey-sanctioned are toast and eggs, pancakes, PB&J or PB&H, oatmeal, homemade burritos and pasta. Basically carbs, as I look at that list:) I feel like I’ve got to state for the especially health-conscious that each of the above usually have a fruit or vegetable with it, making it a balanced, well-rounded meal. There.

My sister and I were talking last week (shocker) and one of the 13 subjects we covered in that conversation was simple meals at home. Even cold cereal and toast, while not the healthiest meal on the planet, is probably better than anything you could buy ready-made at a restaurant. Plus, it has the benefits of being economical AND being good on principle – meals at home are plain and simple good for your soul and discipline! And to make them feel less starving-student-like, set the table, put the milk and cereal on the table and say a prayer of thanks for it. And smile with satisfaction at your growing self-discipline. AND with gratitude that you’re not eating it for weeks at a time like my heroic mom.

Bon appetit!