I try not to buy more stuff if I still have food left to eat up. Far, far, far removed from my previous life of moderate luxury, when I used to buy whatever I fancied or wanted to cook or eat, and I never thought about all the constraints I now have to think so carefully about. And no, I was not an extravagant wastrel then, either. I have friends who are very lovely humble folk, living on some kind of financial assistance, and not considered wealthy by far. Yet, they don’t have to struggle to budget quite the way I do. For example, I have a girlfriend who loves Arboro rice. I cannot afford to eat Arboro rice, it is too expensive for me. I just buy the cheapest Coles brand rice I can find at the time I am shopping, and if it can fit into my budget for that week. Yes, I do look carefully at the unit price of everything I buy too. She also owns a car. I cannot even afford to get my driver’s license, let alone dream of buying a car right now, despite cars being so laughably cheap here in Australia, compared to where I come from. She eschews red meats and eats fish – I have not been able to afford fish in Sydney ever since I arrived, which is almost a year now. She leaves the switches and television on even when she is not using the appliances or watching telly. I am very conscious of saving even the pennies, and I make sure all my appliances are switched off at the wall plug, and I never leave the telly on if I am not in the room. It may not save me much money, but I am trying to illustrate the vast difference in mental attitudes towards the idea of “budgeting,” even among those considered “poor.”
Anyhow, I allowed myself an indulgence yesterday, I bought 3 chicken thighs for a lordly sum of $2.50, even though there was still the beef bolognaise sauce and the beef balls in soup sitting in the fridge waiting to be eaten. (And three chicken necks for Lucy too, which cost just a few cents anyway.)
Here is my chicken indulgence part 1. Baked with honey and soy glaze. Served with leeks again – well, that has to be repeated this week, because it was just 79cents per bunch of three.
Of course, I am hoping that my situation is temporary. Perhaps that keeps me sane. I am determined to push through, and enjoy the ride. In truth, it is very hard for me, especially because of a pre-existing physical condition, however, this situation has opened my mind to observe and perceive in so many different ways, a whole new paradigm, up close and very real, pulsating and vivid, which has added a richness to my life that I never possessed before. All is good.