Monday, February 1, 2010

Week 5: Stop a Woman from Shoppin

As planned, vegetarian week ended with the baconiest of bangs. I ate a lot of bacon -- encased in sugar, covered in cheese, wrapped around other delicious things, on top of homemade mochi. Earlier in the day I had to do a lot of tasting around meat, which might have been a slight violation of the spirit, but it was necessary to not waste bacon in bad food. And sometime on Saturday, I put the idea of making week 5 Buy Nothing Week at the top of my mental list, which in retrospect might not have been the greatest idea if only because it meant I couldn't go out and buy steaks to make on Sunday. Thus I have to wait until Superbowl Sunday to finally go nuts on a slab of grilled beef. I'm sure that the delay will make the meats much more sweets. I did have a Polish sausage, though, and that was a fair substitute.

Overall, I think meatless week was a great experiment. The initial bodily weirdness (and late bowelly weirdness) aside, it wasn't tremendously difficult, but felt like a positive step for a lot of reasons. I am tremendously encouraged to reduce the amount of meat I eat overall, but I do know one thing: if I'm cooking it, I'm eating it.

And now, week 5. I spent quite some time yesterday debating whether or not this was the week to buy nothing, but what it boiled down to was two things: one, it would never be a convenient week to not be able to go to the grocery store, and two, if it's convenient, it's missing the point, right? Also, it was 11 at night, so it was too late to eat breakfast, make my bed, or take a shortened shower. But I hadn't bought anything. So with a third of a gallon of milk and an unknown amount and variety of meats preparable for dinners in the fridge, a bedroom dresser with a broken drawer, seed-starting time around the corner, and several household projects percolating in the back of my mind, it's maybe the best and worst time to do it. I didn't do any special pre-shopping, so it's not just about avoiding temptation to shop, but also doing without.

Making an exemption for groceries crossed my mind, but the truth is, I buy too much when it comes to groceries, too. I just had to throw away a pound of asparagus that for some reason I never got around to cooking and so started to rot, along with a half-gallon of Egg Nog ice cream that was too eggnoggy. So I think it'll be a good thing to see what I can do with what I've got. I have a decently-stocked pantry and refrigerator most of the time, and often I'll go grocery shopping less because we need something and more because I want something specific. I don't think that's such a bad thing in general, but it does lead to things like rotting $3.99/pound asparagus.

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