My meals were planned for the week and in a perfect world everything was going to be just as I had worked out on paper. Except… I forgot to put my chicken in the crock pot yesterday morning. That’s ok. We just had pasta (again) for dinner and I planned to make the chicken tacos today. Except… I ran out the door without putting the chicken in the crock pot! I remembered before I even left the driveway so I ran back in the house and started the chicken. I was already running late this morning before the crock pot incident and even considered not making a lunch for my husband or myself (the kid was going to a friend’s and would be fed lunch there) but I knew we didn’t have money in our “food stamp” budget to buy lunch. (Note: you can’t buy fast food or prepared food with CalFresh benefits. For the purposes of this challenge any food purchases are to be included in our allotment. If you have seen “EBT Accepted” sign at a fast food place, that is for homeless or seniors only who may not have kitchens to prepare their food.) The result of all of these plans going awry this morning: I was late to my meeting. Not good.
When you are already working long hours, maybe working at two jobs, taking your kids to and from day care, and staying up late worrying about how you are going to pay your bills and feed your kids, your plans don’t always work out how you, well, planned. Running late can happen to anyone. But when you are already distracted at work because of the stress of not knowing how you are going to put food on the table, running late to work is just another thing working against you. You are probably worried about the security of your job at this point. I’m just guessing how someone on this sort of food budget might feel. I really don’t know but I do know I have been more distracted, tired and overall feeling less productive since I started this challenge. I can only imagine how scary all this would be if this was really the life I was living.
I would love to hear how you plan and stay on track for your meals without having to go for take out when things don’t work out as you intended. I think this is something many of struggle with whether or not we receive CalFresh/SNAP benefits.