For some reason, when I accepted my new job, I thought I had 2 1/2 weeks until I started. It was actually only 1 1/2. So this is my last week of freedom. I’m definitely excited to start my new job – but also a little nervous just because it will be a new experience and challenge. And I have to admit that I’m sad my days of freedom are coming to an end.
To make the most of my last week being unemployed, I am getting together with a friend every single day. Yesterday, I went hiking in Golden Gate Canyon State Park with my friend Lauren (the wife of one of Travis’ work friends). Today, I am having coffee and potentially going on a walk (if the weather holds up) with a new friend from church named Holly. Tomorrow, I am going on a bike ride with another friend from church named Steph. Thursday, I am having my last Thursday morning coffee with Cathy (it’s the end of an era – we’ve been having coffee weekly since December!) Friday, I am going hiking at Red Rocks State Park with another friend from church, Renia, and her son and friend. So it will be a busy but fun-packed week!
A little update on the food situation: I had to cheat and go buy a few ingredients to make a dish for Easter dinner. BUT I picked a recipe for a wild rice casserole that I had the majority of ingredients for so I only had to buy chicken broth ($.99) and apricots ($1.50). I also made stuffing (which had been in my cupboard since Thanksgiving 2008) and had to buy celery ($.25) and an onion ($.75). (And yes, it turned out to be delicious!) With the sugar I bought for Travis’ morning coffee and my toothpaste with a $1 off coupon, I only spent $8 at the grocery store. I felt pretty good about my thriftiness.
Tomorrow night is care group and we eat dinner together beforehand potluck-style so I will have to buy a few more things for that (cheese and black beans). But overall, I’m making it work with the food we have. We had chicken alfredo with mushrooms last night. Last week, I made crusted chicken with tomato dill couscous. I also made udon noodles with carrots, raisins, red pepper and a peanut butter soy sauce (delicious!) – it’s a Betty Crocker recipe. So we haven’t been eating crap. But we also haven’t been eating as much fresh produce as we normally would (as in, we aren’t eating any right now). I have frozen vegetables left and even those, I am using sparingly so that we can at least eat some vegetables one meal a day for the rest of the week.
My only fear at this point is that when we do get more grocery money, we’re going to be so low on everything (including condiments, spices, and staples) that the grocery bill will be abnormally high and we’ll start this vicious cycle all over again. But since I will have a job then and have a steady income, I might try to convince Travis to let me have a little more grocery money. I think I could make it work if I didn’t need to have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables all the time. But the truth is, I do. If I don’t get enough sleep and don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, I get sick almost immediately. Case in point: I got sick on Easter. I don’t believe it was a coincidence.
But I am not deterred! I am determined to make this work, at least for the rest of this month. And I definitely have new-found respect for those people who have even less money than this for groceries. It’s harder than I thought to eat healthy on a budget.