In my last post I mentioned that things had been quiet around here due to our very tight budget… and the past couple of weeks things have gotten even quieter. We are having a hard time putting food on our table. Every November and December we have to literally tighten our belts, this year more than ever. Around the end of October our much relied upon garden frosts over, we quickly use up our storage vegetables, and our grocery bill increases as my income slows down.
As a wife and mother the struggle to come up with delicious meals using up what’s in the freezer and pantry at first feels productive, but once the main ingredients have been raided and all that is sitting on the shelves in front of you are olives, enchilada sauce, and lots of pasta, the feeling of “I’m doing something” quickly becomes “I don’t know what to do”. The kids get plenty to eat, after all they love pasta in any form, but it’s incredibly frustrating. We have wonderful neighbors and friends who made us dinner a few times last week!
As a “food blogger” the situation has been downright depressing. I love creating recipes to share with all of you. I rely on the creation of those recipes for my daily routine and structure; planning, shopping for, prepping, cooking, and serving dinner is what punctuates my days as a stay at home mom. Sharing what I make gives me an outlet for that creativity and helps me work, meal by meal, towards larger goals. As someone who makes her living photographing food, writing about food, and creating recipes, it’s an embarrassing and frustrating place to find myself.
The point of sharing all of this isn’t to encourage pity for us. We have a million things to be grateful for and our struggle is very temporary and we have wonderful family members we can ask for help if we need to. We are making the choice to try to make do with what we have and to not put groceries on our credit card. Since we live paycheck to paycheck, as so many families do, it can get really tight in between them. With a new paycheck deposited we can head back to the grocery store to shop for this week. This time has been hard but next week, next month, and next year will be better.
The reason I wanted to share this was to remind myself, and you, that “hunger” doesn’t always look the way we think and that this time of year can be a hard time of year for families. The struggle to make ends meet can be overwhelming this time of year. There are so many ways to help support families in your community from donating foods at your local grocery store or food bank, or donating to a larger charity like Feeding America.
I really hesitated to share all of this, and I don’t actually know what to say in closing but I hope you all are happy and healthy and getting plenty to eat!