The Cost of Keeping Our Bellies Full

I was a little iffy about writing this post since I struggle with an eating disorder and often try to avoid the subject of food, but this topic is definitely worth discussing and I could use some new ideas.

Let me start by reiterating something I’ve learned in recovery – there are no good or bad foods. It’s just important to eat a variety to get what you need. This is something I’m trying to work on, but it’s difficult when money is tight.

Is it even possible to spend less than 200 dollars on your weekly grocery trip anymore? Many weeks we spend more than that.

What’s worse is my husband and I don’t like to cook. I tried so hard to cook after I left treatment, but it’s just not something I’m into. Maybe I’m a little lazy but I don’t like the process or hassle, and I definitely don’t like the pile of dirty dishes after dinner. Sometimes I’ll cook simple things like spaghetti, a roast in the crockpot, or hot dogs. I think one of my favorite simple meals to make is taco salad. 

This means my husband and I depend a lot on take-out and delivery. Pizza once a week. We are also familiar faces at the nearby Chinese restaurant and Subway. As much as I want to eat a variety, unfortunately, when we’re struggling, fast food is the cheaper option. I know there’s nothing wrong with eating fast food, but when choices are limited, it can get old pretty quickly. 

The price of different foods leaves me flabbergasted. There’s a grocery store next to the office where I work, and I walk over there every day to grab something to drink. I often buy a twenty-four-ounce bottle of Faygo pop for just a dollar, but when I want to switch it up with flavored sparkling water, it comes in a much smaller fancy glass bottle and is nearly three dollars. I don’t understand why water is more expensive than pop and why does it have to come in a fancy bottle? What’s up with that?

Even produce is expensive when we go to Kroger. Bananas and grapes for my daughter’s lunch box. Romaine, basil, carrots, and yellow bell peppers for our two guinea pigs, Nibbles and Nugget. (Have you ever had a guinea pig? They are eating and pooping machines!) Watermelon and sweet corn are definitely family favorites when they’re in season. But why does it cost so much?

It’s no secret that people struggle where we live. In desperate times, my husband and I have had to visit the food pantry at our daughter’s school. The food at the pantry isn’t the most appetizing but it doesn’t matter. You do what you gotta do and I am grateful for their help. This is very common where we live. Even the school’s parent’s page on Facebook lists locations and times of local food pantries. I love this community because maybe we’re struggling, but we also help each other out.

My daughter’s school offers free breakfast, most of the kids qualify for free or reduced school lunches, and after school kids can go to the library a block away from the school and get a free sandwich, fruit, and milk for dinner. The library offers food to every single kid who walks in – no questions asked.

My daughter is a picky eater and we always pack her lunch, and when we can we send her to school with extra food – extra packs of Goldfish and fruit snacks and an extra applesauce – so she can give it to her friends if they want it or need it.

With the cost of food where it is, do you guys have any money-saving tips or very simple, cheap meal ideas to share? I’m sure the real solution is to overthrow the capitalist pigs that run this country, but does anyone have any ideas in the meantime?

A little health update…I am on a new medication and there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s like a fog has been lifted and for the first time in a few weeks, I have a clear head. I am not 100 percent yet, but I’m getting there. I will post more about it soon.

Update: When It Works So Well Until It Doesn’t

I apologize for my absence.

I have been on lithium for years and years to treat my schizoaffective disorder, but it may have negatively impacted my kidney functioning so I had to stop taking it. Lithium was probably the medication I depended on the most, and while my doctor is working hard to find something to replace it, I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty scared to go without it. All I’ve been doing for the last few weeks is lying around the house and going to doctor’s appointments, and I really, really hate it. I just have to keep telling myself that this isn’t for forever. I think through this experience I’ve developed a healthy respect for my medications because while all of my medications help me and give me a somewhat normal life, I am still putting chemicals in my body, which can have some nasty effects. I will not stop taking my medications – I know I need them – but I never want to go through this again.

I’m trying to get back in the swing of things by submitting my art to a gallery in Cleveland later this week. It might just be the motivation I need.

I will be posting again soon. Thank you for all of your support.

How do you show empathy to someone who has wronged you?

How do you go from viewing someone as malicious to seeing them as a person in pain?

How do you move past anger?

This is more for me than them.

I want to be able to walk away from people and situations in my life and feel peace. I don’t want to hate anyone for the damage they’ve caused because they are in just as much pain as I am.

How someone treats others directly reflects how they feel about themselves – the whole “hurt people hurt people” thing. But that’s hard to keep in mind when you’re on the receiving end of mistreatment.

How do you protect yourself and keep moving forward when you are also a hurt person?

An even better question – As a hurt person, how do you prevent hurting others in the way you were hurt?

Giving myself distance has done wonders for my growth and recovery, but is it really to right answer? On the other hand, how much is a person expected to tolerate? I hate the phrase “keep the peace” because usually, that’s not peaceful for anyone.

It’s a tough realization to see that you have so much in common with the person who wronged you.

I don’t want to be like them. It’s really motivation to take care of myself, be present, appreciate the supportive people in my life, and respect the world around me. I’m trying my best and I wish the same for them.

Through therapy, I am learning to become a more empathetic and introspective person, and this blog has been a part of my growth. I always appreciate your support and feedback. I learn so much from you and I feel a sense of validation knowing others can relate. I often feel powerless, but here I have a voice.

Coming from a red state in the Midwest, Freethought Blogs is the only place where I am surrounded by like-minded people – even if it is just online.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear your stories. Can you relate? Have you been in a similar situation?


Also, I am dealing with some mental health issues and medication changes right now, so if I take a little break or post something weird, that’s what’s going on.




Rejected before first contact –
I remain in my own world
isolated by choice.


My brain is swimming
in muck and confusion –
vulnerable words to a fault.

I don’t live in stability
but rather a fleeting reality.
My comfort wanes
as opportunities tick by.

Seasons change
when I’m willing to venture out
but most days, my fear holds me back.


Ridicule doesn’t exist
if I don’t open my mouth –
a fortress of lipstick and secrets.

My smile is my armor
and every day is a battle.
I don’t want to be a soldier
but this is a fight for survival.

Shots fired.
Confidence gone.

Do you think you’ll ever “come around”?

Tonight I went to the store with my husband and daughter, and while my husband was waiting for his allergy medication, I was running up and down the aisles with my daughter. There weren’t many people in the store and we were having a lot of fun. An older lady noticed us and asked about my daughter. She said she looked a lot like me and asked if she was my only child. I realize this is the Midwest and strangers talk to each other here, but I’m not really one for small talk. I answered her questions and then joined my husband in another aisle. 

We went to check out and the lady was ahead of us in line. She looked at me and asked me what church we go to. Oh man, here we go. Unfortunately, asking someone what church they go to seems to be common small talk around here. Personally, I feel it’s an intrusive question. I told her we don’t go to church and nervously waited for her response. She said, “I used to feel that way, too.” I felt she was a little condescending but thankfully she dropped the subject.

Why do people assume one day you’ll “come around”? 

This made me think of an ex-boyfriend’s father who said, “If you’re not a Democrat by 20 you have no heart; and if you’re not a Republican by 40, you have no brain.” 

Just for the record, I’m 40 and I am not a Republican. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Once again, we’re expected to “come around”. Is there something magical about getting older that makes you want to conform? 

Back to the church thing, do people ask you what church you go to? What’s your response? Do you feel it’s an intrusive question? 

Also, do you feel more pressure to conform as you get older? Unfortunately, the Boomers in my family are concerned about keeping up appearances, so I feel there is pressure there. I’m not saying all Boomers are like that, but I can definitely see generational differences.

Do people assume you’ll come around? I can understand older people turning to god because they’re afraid of death, but it still seems so strange to me. Can a fear of mortality make you lose common sense?