Thursday, March 17, 2016


Ran across something on the book of face, last week.  I saved it, and have been ruminating on it for a while.  It's this:
My older sister posted it.  And, like I said, it got me thinking.

I have never eaten (drank) ice soup.  Nor have I subsisted on Ramen because that was all I could afford.

I don't understand why this meme resonates to that point.  The only thing it takes to avoid ice soup and starvation is a little bit of planning, and an ability to use a microwave. 

When I was student help (in college, in '01), I got paid two hundred dollars every two weeks.  I planned, budgeted, and grocery shopped.  Yes, my kitchen consisted of a cube fridge, a crock pot, and a microwave; yes, my pantry consisted of one of the two nightstands that came in the dorm room (two drawers and a cubby--held potatoes, bread, tortillas, and canned soup).  I ate very well on that, while helping my mom pay for the stupidity she chose to buy.* 

And then, I graduated, got into grad school, and my paychecks started coming once a month.  It wasn't any harder budgeting for that, even when Odysseus was between jobs.  After rent and utilities were paid, and a bit put back for car insurance, we still had something around two hundred for groceries.  Between the savings card for Kroger/Dillon's, and a once-a-month hour long drive to the nearest Sam's Club, we didn't suffer. 

The whole point, here, is that if you're not being paid a whole lot, and aren't getting paid often, if you learn to budget, buy groceries wisely, and learn how to cook, you're not stuck with ice soup.  Or even Ramen.

And this?  This is even cheaper if you don't have the same food intolerance (allergy to wheat) I do.  A dozen eggs will run you about $1.65 or so, around here; a pack of processed cheese slices, around $3; bacon is the most expensive at around $5/lb for the decent stuff; English muffins around $3/dozen; and butter's about $2/lb.  That total would be around $17, after sales tax.  For enough for a dozen egg sandwiches. 

A 1lb bag of lentils is around $1.50 or so, now, and will make around three pots of lentil soup, which is high in protein, a lot of trace minerals, and fiber. 

A 2 lb bag of black beans costs around $4, and will make a LOT of meals. 

Ham bits or bacon ends costs around $5 for a 3lb package, and goes well in either lentils or beans, for extra flavor, a little fat, and a little more protein.

Plan.  Shop accordingly.  Cook your own food.  If you're too tired to cook on days you work, cook a lot on your days off, and freeze your own convenience food. 

Doing otherwise is irresponsible, and sheer stupidity.

*Mom's stupidity was a Ford F-150 with the 4wd, upgraded towing tranny, bigger engine, and 180,000 miles on it.  That she bought for ten grand on a nine grand per year fixed income. 


  1. Yep, budgets DO work! But occasionally one does need to go have a night out... Once in a while, not EVERY day...

    1. No, not every day. And absolutely not when it interferes with buying groceries to feed you all the way through your next payday.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Off topic. I thought of you and your students when I read this.

    2. I sometimes have trouble along those lines, yes. I just keep in mind that it's not entirely their fault, and work to teach my own children how to think.

  3. Good lord! This post displays a distinct and pronounced humorless lack, indeed an absence of any trace of a sense of humor to an OBVIOUSLY sardonic picture. Jumping on someone for a bad joke and writing a way overlong (~99.999999% excessive) sermon on the deficiencies of the person who conceived it is a keening cry for help getting a little sphincter relaxation! I would hate to be sharing the struggle through hard economic times with a sourpuss like you!

    1. As the person who has shared hard economic times with HH, I can tell you that she's exactly who you want to share it with. If you're lucky enough to have never encountered the teeming hordes of Millennials that his isn't really much of a joke for then lucky you. I work with money professionals who still every two weeks are, "Thank God payday is here."

      So get some ointment for your chaffed bits, drink some overpriced Starbucks coffee, and wake up to smell the distinct lack of any life skills or ability to delay gratification that's sweeping the country like a forest fire.