16 July 2008

Rising Food Prices Forcing Tough Choices

What do you feed your cat?

Despite my very low income, I've always fed my two furry companions a high-priced, top-quality food, because their health matters more to me than my own. But Kiltie and Brodie are going to have to start putting up with something less nutritious and healthy for them.

Hopefully, they'll forgive me, given their sacrifice is being shared by their human, who is having to make tough dietary choices for herself too.

With food prices jumping up in leaps and bounds over the past few months, I've been buying ever cheaper food and eating less of the good stuff.

Not to be thwarted by the rising prices, I've being using certain techniques to drag the calories out.

For example, about a year or two ago, my local Country Grocer store brought in an automatic slicer for customers to use. Since I've not appreciated how bloated the slices in regular sliced bread had become (bread manufacturers were thickening their slices to get customers to eat more bread and more often), I was thrilled with the new gizmo and began buying CG's unsliced, fresh-baked bread and slicing it myself.

In other words, while slicing my own bread meant I was getting more slices for the buck, something which I welcomed, that wasn't why I began the do-it-yourself project a year or so ago. I simply hadn't liked those thick slices, which were producing sandwiches with a higher bread to filling ratio than I was used to or wanted.

Back then, CG's fresh-baked bread was selling for $0.89 a loaf.

A couple of months ago, it went up to $0.99.

Now it's $1.39.

Each time the price changed, I made my slices thinner.

However, I began my slicing enterprise by using the number 14 setting on the automatic slicer (four nudges below the medium thickness setting of 18).

Now I'm slicing the bread at the number 10 setting.*

And that's so thin that the slices flop around and deform as they cook in my standard toaster. (Perhaps a toaster-oven would solve the problem but I haven't got one of those.)

In other words, I can't skinny my bread slices much more and still keep up with the increase in the cost of bread.

In the meantime, of course, I'm eating less whole wheat bread, which means my already skimpy, low-income diet has become skimpier.

So..., what do you feed your cat?

* Don't know what those numbers represent. It's not millimetres. A setting of 10, e.g., produces slices of 8 millimetres.

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