reply to post by phyllida
Phyllida, you have my heart, honey. I totally feel for your situation and your pain. I was made redundant (sacked illegally!
) in January, spent
some time on the dole for the first time in my life (I'm 48) and am now self employed, thank the lord. Not an easy option by any means, but at least
the stress is different from the nightmare that I experienced in the corporate world. I was a retail manager for a big company, and the stories you
hear about them being psychopaths are understated by a long way. I too was ill with the stress it induced and I'm still not fully
recovered...probably never will be, but I've learned to manage it, and am healthier than when I was employed by them.
It's been a very swift learning curve about how to make ends meet on a new business salary...that's nothing, in other words.
Alright, so my
partner has a good job and decent income, but also two very expensive children and ex wife, so yeah....we're both limited, let's say.
The food issue is a big concern with us too. We like to eat well and be healthy, and I have a couple of major food intolerances, probably made much
worse by my illness, so we have to work round that. I'm sure you don't need me to lecture about this...you're obviously very smart and well
informed, but sharing information is always good, and maybe it will help other people. I've long thought that we need a budget cookery thread
here...maybe I will start that.
I've also noticed the food price hikes in places like Tesco...as much as 100% in a week on occasions, although usually less, maybe 30 or 50. We've
become very resourceful when it comes to food. I'm trying to buy more veg from the market, and my friend Peter, who grows amazing stuff, just to get
out of the Tesco loop. Weirdly, it makes a huge difference to what we eat, and how much we eat.
We're on a budget or about £25 a week, for two adults, and that's all meals, including lunches for us both. We never buy lunch or coffee out
anywhere....just too expensive. We've also stopped buying packeted food of any kind, except dried pasta, and a few tins. We don't buy dairy, except
for milk, and maybe a chicken to roast for his lunches, which will make a lot of sandwiches. We also have a breadmaker, so no more chemical laden,
massively expensive bread either. We never run out of food, the fridge and freezer are always well stocked, and because of where we live, we have to
have back up...we're kind of in the middle of nowhere.
More importantly, it occurred to us last night that our idea of what a meal actually is has changed. We regularly use up left overs and half portions
from the day before. A healthy soup packed with vegetables and beans is now a meal, not because we're being mean...we love to eat!...but because our
appetite has changed. Using organic veg, and decent ingredients that aren't expensive means the food is so much more nourishing...you will get so
much more out of it, so you don't need masses of corporate food, with all it's addictive chemicals. I really blame Marks and Spencers for starting
all this convenience food nonsense, and regulating our portion control to make us eat more and get fat...they were the first in the 1970's to start
it all. Massively profitable, but so harmful.
I think our budget is quite high for most people, and we did a little paper exercise last week and reckoned that we possibly could feed ourselves for
maybe £15 a week, if we really had too. And that would be a really good diet.
My personal feeling on this is that they think they have a trapped in their greedy, profit driven, addictive food paradigm...I've seen it from the
inside too, remember, and they really genuinely DO NOT CARE about us. All we need to do is eat differently, make our own stuff, even simple stuff with
market food, and see how our appetites and health improve.
I don't mean this to be any kind of criticism of you, and I know you're struggling...it's not a good situation to be in. I wish you all the best!
You will find a way out of this, and I remind myself that intelligence combined with a strong sense of integrity will win over their greedy,
fascist "smartness" that they use to manipulate us. Food is a weapon...we need to take it back.