(photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
...and I've already had to make some choices about where I purchase food.
For starters, I decided to fast on Ash Wednesday up to the time of our evening service at 7 p.m. "Ah, though, I probably need a pint of milk, a little juice, and a couple of protein drinks..." I thought to myself.
Now, normally I'd run into the Casey's on Osteopathy Street to do that, since it's on my usual route to work. However, those items would each be anywhere up to 80 or 90 cents cheaper at the Hy-Vee. I have to make my food money last till next Wednesday (when I put another $86 in there and start with a new week. As it was, the things I got at the store came to $10.55.
I realized that, at this stage of my life, I pretty much buy whatever grocery item I want, wherever that's handiest to purchase. Yet doing this as my Lenten discipline has reminded me it wasn't always that way, and this is the way it is for many people EVERY day.
I also realized a staple in my life at Lent is going over to Mary Immaculate's fish fry on Fridays in Lent, right after we've done Stations of the Cross at Trinity. That's $7.50 right there. I realized that will be my "splurge" for the week during this project.
I am remembering. Remembering the days when every penny for food needed to be accounted for. Remembering that part of how we got by in the winter, when my dad was laid off, was because he hunted, and because we'd occasionally get a calf or a pig to raise up and butcher. Remembering we'd buy the "pieces and ends" of the bacon instead of the strips...things like that. Remembering there were a few days that biscuits and gravy were the main course.
How did I forget so much?