I am sure that almost everyone, at least once, has looked into their cupboards and thought, “What am I going to make?” And probably nearly as many of us have looked at near empty cupboards, bank accounts or wallets, asking the same question.
How do you manage eating well when you can’t afford to?
That’s a tough place to be. But let me say, you’ll not always be in this place.
I know these things because I have been here before and, actually, it is where I am right now…
I have long been an advocate of eating real food. Natural and organic. Local foods. Homemade. Less refined carbs, less sugar, less processed, and more veggies. I started reading all the catchy titles posts and articles on the topic of a healthy diet and made the decision to offer all the above-mentioned things to my family.
It was a good thing.
To me, it was such a good thing that it became our business (literal – farm business) to know how food was raised, harvested, and processed. I loved the constant reading, from both sides, learning and, of course, brushing off the ol’ soapbox… After all, why wouldn’t someone choose to eat this way?!
Then, it happened: I was no longer able to afford to adhere to all of those food standards. I had to add in foods that I had deemed unworthy of our menu in order to make it stretch. I spent months feeling guilty and, frankly, disgusted by what I was now reduced to feed my family. Months and months.
Then it hit me: In our culture, the food we eat, whether straight outta colorful cardboard boxes or fresh-plucked from the vibrant, organic earth, makes us in some way shame-worthy.
In our culture the food we eat, whether straight outta cardboard boxes or fresh-plucked from the vibrant, organic earth, makes us in some way shame-worthy.
I was allowing every opinion – in defense of or against the way we lived – to change the way I viewed the Lord’s provision. When I began to hate preparing food, from menu to table, I knew I had a problem and it needed to change.
Here’s what I did: I gave it to the Lord.
I told Him that I couldn’t afford to feed my family all the good things that I used to and I didn’t know how to be okay with that.
He’s a good God, y’all – He took that burden of guilt and pride away. With a renewed determination and creativity, I tackled our menu. The great Jehovah Jireh let me appreciate and truly praise Him for what He was providing.
That, friend, is the very first step to eating well when you can’t afford to.
I promise you, you’ll never eat better than you do with a praise on your lips and gratefulness in your heart.
In the upcoming posts, we’ll go over the ways to save, but for now: Have you been at this place in life? What did you do?