Archive for Recession

Recession Diet

Nobody likes to talk about the gloomy economic conditions that the US has endured the past year or so. People are tightening their budgets left and right and probably the biggest area to get cut was eating out. I cut that out of my budget about three years ago when I revolted against big city living and uprooted my family for a small desert town in the southwest. Our restaurant choices went from thousands to about fifteen. Dining out became a luxury not a common occurrence that we had grown accustomed to as a city dwellers. I noticed that my daily activity didn’t chance much, but my waistline was shrinking. I attributed the weight loss to my lack of access to fries, burgers and all those “healthy” salads at the chain restaurants that I craved so much.

Last summer the economic was in a down-ward spiral. Just in time for my husband and I to start a specialty retail store in our small tourist town. That’s when I unofficially started my recession diet. I really did not think too much about losing weight, I was too busy trying to save every penny so we could operate our new store. I used to love weekly grocery shopping, leisurely strolls through the aisles on Saturday nights (yes, I have kids – this is the best time to shop), searching for weekly specials not thinking too much about how much this will cost. With our current economic situation I now have an agenda when I enter the grocery store; it’s a short detailed list of essential food items to get through the next week. I no longer buy name brand foods or the little “extras” that add to your bottom – line. I search for sales on staple items, make my own sauces and plan out weekly meals that can be used for lunches the next day. We now have portion control when serving meals to have leftovers. We no longer have a pantry full of snacks that everyone was accustomed to, nor a freezer full of heat ‘n eat meals. My teenagers are forced to actually cook their food – what a novel idea! I once made stove-top popcorn for my daughter’s birthday party and all of her friends commented on how good it tasted. Some had never eaten popcorn cooked like that!

It has been three years since relocating and I have lost a total of 20 pounds with zero exercise – 15 since last summer’s economic spiral. My family is not starving, just being more frugal with our food resources. I did not plan to lose weight, needed to. This past year of budget tightening has made me realize that we don’t need all the little extras to nosh on during the day; like an endless supply of soda in the fridge, or four different bags of chips in the pantry. What we need is food on the table three times a day, to have meals with our families and a little sweet tea to drink.

Linn is a mother, teacher and small business owner. |