Yesterday the plan was to go to the grocery store, list in hand (I don’t usually do lists, but we are camping next week, and I was trying to be prepared) pick up those items, and head to the thrift store for bag sale. Since gaining all that weight from medication I took last fall, I have yet to find outfits that I actually like much. It isn’t that I look a huge amount different, but that I don’t like the feel of the ‘new’ clothes, and so each month I have been going to the bag sale to try to find solutions.
The first problem came in that several items on my list were 200-300% more than I was expecting to pay! (Yes, I wrote that right. 200-300%. Ridiculous.) I can’t eat typical camping foods: Hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, macaroni and cheese, eggs… gross! So, so gross. Even the thought is overwhelming my senses, and making me feel nauseous as I write. However, I have to find something that I can eat while I am away.
Egg allergy – that one is out. Dairy intolerance – okay, I will allow cheese, and maybe sour cream and yogurt. It will hurt, but it is easy. Besides, I often eat these anyway when I struggle to find foods. Not good, but okay. We have lots of cheese (like a whole section of our fridge full of blocks of cheddar.) I guess my husband found good sales. Gluten intolerance – this one is new. Extreme, but new… well, new in that I just tested it. The side effects were there for a long time.
I tried with the gluten one. I really did. I made cherry Lara bars, and grain free energy bars. Enough for the week, but only breakfast. I was really pleased about that, because last time I went camping, breakfast was especially hard. I am glad that breakfast is planned, but there is still lunch, and supper, and snacks, and… I ate a lot of wheat while camping. What do I do now?
Every extra burner used is more money on propane. Not cheap, and we are not close to a filling station up there – so most meals are made together. But I can’t. I just can’t do those typical camping foods for so many reasons. Even the vegan versions, are still plant based grossness! Oh, did I mention I don’t eat meat either? But I had to give in to something. Meat it was – just… when I say okay, I will eat meat, and then they proceed to make… well, I didn’t mean that meat! Okay. Clarify. For that week away, I will eat chicken, and bacon – because I like chicken and bacon, and only don’t eat them because of cruelty reasons (which is huge, but I am still plant based most of the year, and that is something.)
So I went to buy chicken and bacon – but as I mentioned, 200-300% higher than I was planning to pay. Okay, I have heard of inflation. I will even admit that I struggle so much with inflation that it often takes me years to allow myself to pay the higher price, and by then it has likely increased again. But when I think I should be able to get bacon for $2 a pack, and it is now $6… well, I walked away. Same thing happened with the chicken.
What do I do now? I wondered. Check out the avocados. Again, $5 a bag, where a month ago I paid $2.50. I understand in season, but it is still summer after all. Someone has to have fresh avocados. No? Okay. I will make a salad. Small bag of pecans? I thought, maybe $3 – I didn’t need that many. But no. $6 for a tiny, tiny bag. $10 if I got the larger one, but still too much. Almonds? Outrageous since the drought in California – which seems to have been going for years. I used to get a kilogram for $10, but now that bag is $20.
And the thing is, I am not one of those “well, that is the price now, what can you do?” kind of people. I can’t pay those prices. I have a limit in my head on what things should cost, and I can’t go over it. Which means that my very limited diet becomes even more strict with every price increase – and I don’t do change well. So the market sets off an avalanche of problems for me, effectively making my well planned and thought out solutions (which take me a very long time to be okay with) impractical. Such is life with Autism. No change is good change, including inflation.