Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
January is the big diet and organizing month. January means making resolutions to get organized and to lose weight which usually fade by February. I decided to skip January and start in February hoping to bring myself luck keeping my resolutions.
Transitioning from a working parent and being the neighborhood Nanny to becoming an empty nester with no one to feed but myself most of the time has been difficult. The pandemic lockdown made things worse for me in my weight and my health. Being old, overweight, and unhealthy is not the life I want to live. Well, dang it, I can’t do anything about getting older but I sure as heck can do something about my weight and my health. (I’m thinking positive here.) Getting healthy will happen only if I change my eating and loose weight. Doesn’t every new diet tell us that exact same thing? Actually I’m not going to start on a new fad diet plan. Restrictive diets are temporary solutions and I need a whole lifestyle change. I sure do hope this is one resolution I can keep.
Seriously, for the last six and a half years I’ve lived the same way I did when I fed a whole neighborhood at my previous house. I’ve shopped big, cooked big, and ate big. That included the canning, dehydrating, and freezing large quantities of food. Ok, I haven’t done a lot of shopping but what few things I did buy I bought in large quantity. The foodbank also gave large quantities as if for a large family. All that food was actually way more than I could reasonably eat by myself. I sure did give it a good try though. I ate and ate because I don’t like wasting food.
Not anymore!! (Showing my determination.) Actually, I had already decided to downsize back in January 2020. That’s when pandemic threw my life off kilter the same as everyone. My downsizing never really had a chance to get started.
So here’s my idea. Empty space anywhere at all just begs to be filled with something. In the kitchen the big dinner plates want to be filled with food. Quart size drinking glasses want to be filled with a quart of something to drink. Large family sized pots want to be filled with plenty of food cooking. Imagine how lonely a tiny one cup single person portion of soup feels being heated in a big family sized pot meant to hold a whole gallon of soup.
My idea is that if the pot I use for cooking is only single serving size that’s all I’ll be eating. If I can’t cook large I won’t be eating large. So, with that in mind, I’m giving all my large family size pots, pans, and kitchen appliances to large families who can use them. I’m switching to one or two person size pots and pans. I already had a few small appliances and I bought a few small cooking things back in 2019. I don’t think I’ll need anymore for now.
It will still be possible to pre-make a meal or two to put into the freezer by choosing a meal prep day and make a few. Or simply do planned leftovers to freeze from each meal I cook.
I’ve already started downsizing my favorite family size recipes to single person size. Its simple to downsize any recipe to one person size. Find a recipe you like. See how many people it will feed. Divide each ingredient by that number. For example: if you have a recipe that feeds 4 people and you only want to feed one person, just divide each ingredient by 4. One cup divided by 4 is 1/4 cup. 1 tablespoon divided by 4 is 3/4 teaspoon. See how it works? I don’t know for sure if the downsizing in the kitchen will work but in my opinion its worth trying. Heck, if I ever do move into a “tiny house” I’ll be well prepared.
Now. If only I can find a handyperson to help put up those shelves I’ve had for so long. Sigh. Do handy people even exist anymore?