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Friday, March 6, 2009

The Tuna Can Runneth Over...

Is it just me, or have the grocery stores gone absolutely mad with tuna sales? I've noticed it for the past few weeks, and while I realize Lent is here, I actually think it's the stores' attempt to showcase frugal meals. Often times, the can of tuna on sale will be conveniently placed with the box of mac n cheese that is on sale.

Now, don't get me wrong---I've seen some wonderful recipes that involve tuna. And oddly, while pregnant with both boys, I couldn't get enough tuna skroodle salad. I do get the occasional craving for tuna salad sandwiches. I am not anti-tuna by any means. I do, however, think that the stores find it easy to go to the classic cheap dinner option, when they might be missing out on a bigger opportunity.

Growing up, when we needed to pinch pennies, I always knew it, because POOF! The tuna noodle casserole magically appeared on the table for dinner time. Only when money was tight. Never heard Dad say "Honey, I got a bonus today---let's celebrate with some Tuna Noodle Casserole!". I actually don't think my parents liked it very much, but it was cheap.

I don't ever want my children to grow up with those kinds of connections. At our house, living frugally and learning to eat well for less is a lifestyle, not just a reaction to the moment. If we have extra money, I would rather shove it into savings for a vacation than bloat my grocery budget. It's sort of like the difference between the diet and the lifelong change of eating habits. The tuna can is like the frugal-eating equivalent of the rice cake. Do you really, really want to eat that rice cake, or is it just because you think you'll save some calories, but you'd really rather have a bagel? I contend that if you really want the bagel you will end up eating it anyway, so skip the rice cake and eat HALF the bagel. Frugality is the same way. If you are only fixing foods you think are cheap, but you'd really rather have steak, you will eventually "blow it", and have the steak. Better to find ways to eat the foods you enjoy while cutting costs on other things that aren't as important to you.

We will always have tuna in our house, as I'm sure you will. I do hope, however, you will challenge yourself to finding ways to stay frugal every day, and to make the foods you like affordable and manageable in your budget, not change the way you eat just to save a little money in the short term. I will continue to bring you the ways we manage to do that at our house, and I look forward to hearing your success stories!

(Grab a great deal on tuna this week?)

Happy Friday! :)


cheapbychoice said...

I gave you an award. Stop by and pick it up.

Kaycee said...

I tend to agree with you. It doesn't take a lot of research to find out how to feed your family healthy, fresh foods on a budget.

And also, why are people so afraid of real food? Like your bagel analogy, if you eat food in moderation you will not gain weight. Food should be enjoyed, just not too much.

Personally I would prefer to eat whole real foods and fats than that processed garbage marketed as "health" food.

Oops. Sorry for ranting all over your blog!

Michelle said...

I never got to respond to you---I agree with you 100%!!! I am finding that the more we cut out processed foods and chemicals the more my body seems to be forgiving of some comfort foods here and there. I'm sure the biggest difference is the salt.