I don’t know if there’s a modern version to the old saying, “Kill two birds with one stone” or not; but that’s exactly what I did. I got a challenge on my hands. I’m determined to travel as far as my income will take me so at least twice a month I sit down, crunch numbers and work on my budget. Sometimes as if I had some dramatic income change, I’d work on it a third or fourth time. That’s what happened about three months ago when I found $150.00 and I didn’t have to hunt down the owner because it belonged to me.
Had you seen me in the grocery store three months ago, you would have seen me pushing a cart filled with enough groceries to feed what look like a family of four. If you were a tenant within my 29 story apartment building and saw me loading up my personal utility cart with those same groceries from the car, you may have thought that I was fixing to host a pretty awesome party. Up until three months ago I was spending anywhere from $250-$275 a month on groceries and I live alone.
I never thought just how independent my children have grown to be until now. I mean all this time I’ve still been literally grocery shopping for them. A variety of chips, juice assortments, snack cakes, cookies, 10lb. bag of potatoes, family size portion of pasta, chicken and beef. Bags of Apples, Sweet Clementines, bunches of bananas, Hot Pockets, and Pizza Rolls. I would buy large jars of Miracle whip, Ketchup and mustard. Loaves of bread for sandwiches. Cooking oil, five pound bags of sugar, flour and cornmeal; dozens of eggs. Fruit roll ups, Pop tarts and the list goes on.
What I was doing was preparing for their visits, seeking my own satisfaction of a job well done. I wanted to see their smiling faces look into a perfectly stocked pantry; just like old times. Back when they’d come home from school, practice or simply just from playing outside and wanted a quick snack. The ooh-wee thanks mom, what a life saver kind of smile. I wanted to be prepared. I had to be prepared. I needed to be ready, willing and able to cook whatever their hearts desired; just like old times.
Today they’re twenty-one and twenty six and because of their busy schedules they hardly ever come to visit. The good thing is that we text, talk or FaceTime daily; and to me that’s a lot better than nothing.
As you can imagine the amount of food I wasted was absurd and it’s still rather embarrassing; but I’m happy to say that I’ve since learned from it. I said in the beginning that I “killed two birds with one stone.” Cutting my grocery bill in half was the first, the second was losing weight and exercising. I’ve never been a junk food junkie so once I started to cut my grocery bill in half and purchase only what I would eat which included oatmeal, lots of spinach, salmon, almond milk, beans etc. naturally I began to lose weight. That in turn allowed me to do something that has always made me happy, and that’s exercise. I started going to the gym.
This single with grown children life is definitely going to be a journey for me because my children have always been a huge part of my daily life since the age of sixteen. They gave me life and now… Now after all these years I’m forced to take care of nobody but me. I have to force myself to be good n’selfish (imagine that on a t-shirt) ha,ha! At forty-three I’m discovering that I am very unique woman. I sit silently at times and ask myself am I really free to do anything I want? You are free to do anything you want, I reply.
I got a challenge on my hands. I’m determined to travel as far as my income will take me so at least twice a month I sit down, crunch numbers and work on my budget. Sometimes as if I’d had some dramatic income change, I’ll work on it a third or fourth time. For someone who turns on the television maybe twice a week I have to ask myself, do I really need cable television?