want vs. need (no groceries challenge 2.4)

Tonight I came across these two photos of what I bought when I went to the grocery store after just a couple weeks. In the first photo are the items I had on my shopping list. None of these items were truly “need” items. They were, however, items that held value. The treats (cookies) and fruit for my daughters. The tea for me. And the celery and carrots for all kinds of dishes/snacks.


The second photo is straight-out want items. Snack foods for lunches, and some bok choy because it looked so good.


The pictures remind me how even my “need” items haven’t really been “need” items. If I was back at the under-ten-dollars level of financial crisis, I could’ve made do with what I had. That’s good information to have. It keeps my impulse buying and my justification flows limited.

Yesterday I started listening to the audiobook, “Scarcity: Why Having Little Means So Much.” It makes sense to me that I’m hyper-aware of purchases, patterns, consumption, etc. It also informs how changing my feelings of helplessness and deprivation (weighed down by shame) into a motivating and encouraging learning experience has kept it in my mind, but in a less exhausting way.

2 thoughts on “want vs. need (no groceries challenge 2.4)

  1. I’ve been meaning to tell you for months that your No Grocery Store plan reminds me of our garden. I liken it to the lectionary. A minister in a liturgical denomination needs to base his/her sermon on one of three passages from the Bible each week. I need to base my meals on whatever is harvestable from the garden. First it’s salads, then squash, then tomatoes, then greens. That’s why I don’t buy these veggies in the store in the winter. I wait to have my creativity forced. You describe the same kind of creativity.

    • Yes, Fan. :-) It’s definitely related. Also, the idea of “one big shopping,” comes into play. When I had a share at our CSA, it was the same kind of “forced creativity.” I love it.

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