This site is all about living on the “thrifty” side of life and following Food Optimising in the process. However I’m typically also a proud person and the two do come into conflict very frequently.
I am not proud of being ill and not being in a situation where I could hold down a job at this moment in time. I do have pride in that my situation now compared to three years ago is a lot better however. I am not proud in the fact that I rely on state handouts every fortnight to get by.
It’s this reliance on state handouts that forces me into the realms of thrift. These hand outs aren’t very much and you have to make compromises. I’d love to be able to eat steak once or twice a week as well as plenty of fresh fish, etc. but it’s just not possible.
Pride and Thrift – the conflict of the two
I’m a relatively proud person. I do have the hankerings for the finer things in life as I mention above. I feel bad that I am not able to feed myself in the ways that I once did because I have to make the sacrifices to stay within a very tight and a somewhat thrifty – budget. The two do cause conflict – the proud part wants X but I simply can not justify the expense for one meal (if it was two or three meals then that may be different).
Overcome; adapt; survive.
I have to overcome the pride, and adapt to the thrifty side of life in order to survive.
This means that yellow label and special offers about in my shopping. As always though – be wary that the special is in fact a special offer and not something that just looks good on the price tag). I rarely buy joints of meat at full price. Even most cuts of meat will have been reduced (preferably by 50% of normal price if not more).
I do however pay full price on chicken thighs, pork mince and bacon. But only as offers/reductions on these items (in Tesco and Waitrose) seem to be few and far between and usually are still more expensive than buying from Aldi, etc.
I did recently buy 6 packs of mushrooms for 15p a pack (instead of about 90p) knowing that I’d be freezing about 5 packs. All with yellow labels on them. Now watch one of the supermarkets change from yellow reduction labels to another colour.
But my pride stops me buying reduced price fresh fish for the freezer. I just feel it’s a waste of good fish to freeze it. I will however freeze pre-packed fish. OK – I am a bit of a food snob at times. 🙂
This is where my “pride” really does take a knock. However – there’s an old phrase “beggars can’t be choosers”. Yes, I accept handouts, and gifts of food items – I’m not going to turn down free food. It’s better in my cupboard than someone’s bin. Does it make me feel “bad” for doing so? Yes. I’ll admit that it’s gotten bad enough in the past that I’ve visited the food bank.
But none of this is done because I want to – who wants to have handouts? Be gifted food? I’d much prefer to be able to stand on my own and provide for myself. But I’m not going to turn away a gift of something that I can use, and if it saves me buying something similar then that’s even better as I can use the money I was going to spend on that item to other uses (such as my occasional treat of Asparagus).
The Bottom Line
If you have need to live on the thrifty side – there is little place for pride. You have to look for the bargains and the yellow stickers. Hunting around multiple shops/supermarkets for the best prices on particular items. Gifts are a blessing and not a curse as well. It may dent your self-pride each time but if you can get enough food on the table when on a small budget then that’s something to be proud about. It’s a lot more work, it takes a lot more effort. But it’s worth it.
Don’t forget – any bargains, etc I find whilst out and about will now only be placed on the thethriftydieter Facebook page. Make sure you like/follow for bargains plus updates when things get put on this site. Also if buying from Amazon UK – please consider buying via this link http://amzn.to/2jcAWsZ – anything you buy from that link helps support this site at no extra cost or hassle to yourself. Thank you.