Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What would you do?

You're shopping at the grocery store, and you get to where one of your favorite lunches is stocked. You love this pre-prepared meal, but you know it's not a very healthy choice, so you've been trying to cut back on eating it. Lately you've tried to only have one or two of these on hand at a time, for those days when you're really craving it, because you know if you have more around you'll inevitably eat more. But you can't get yourself to stop buying them altogether, since they taste so darn good.

Now you see that they're on sale. 50% off. You know they only go on sale once or twice a year.

I bought six.

I keeping telling myself it's a matter of self-discipline. I was surely going to buy more than six of these eventually anyway, so why pay twice as much for them at a later date? I don't want to let myself eat them more often than I would've otherwise, but that's a mental thing that remains entirely in my own control, right? Right? Still, I can't help but feel that my health and my pocketbook were facing off, and I chose the money. I kinda wish I hadn't. What would you have done?


Him said...

I think you did the right thing by buying them in the quantity that you did. Is the food item you bought freezable? I would just pop four of them in the freezer - out of sight, out of mind.

If they're not freezable, then maybe you can hide them. Or something.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I would probably have done the same thing you did in the short-term. Then I would tell myself I'd only eat X at the normal rate, but it would end up I'd eat them more quickly.

In the long term, I would try out different things that were healthier or more sustainable or whatever to figure out if I could find an acceptable substitute to help me cut the bad option out (or at least cut back).

Ms. MiniDucky said...

I would have done the same. If I know I'm going to buy and eat something on a periodic basis, and it's preservable, I would buy a quantity and just leave them there. Maybe I would say that I could have just one a week, or one every couple of weeks. I would even date the box when a date that I could eat it after, if I was worried about being tempted.

Penny Nickel said...

I like the idea about writing a date on them! I was planning to come up with a mental schedule, but it's harder to wriggle out of when you have a "not before X date" staring you in the face. It'll be a combination of that and hiding them!

mOOm said...

I rarely buy extra because it is on sale. Mostly I walk to grocery stores and carry the stuff back (no car) and so I don't want to carry all that extra stuff.

Dan Hill said...

I've gone through the same thing with a number of products. The answer is nearly always to buy it (provided it will last the length of time I would normally need to eat that much of the product).

The difficulty is always in stopping yourself from tucking into the whole lot really quickly.

Ms. Miniducky's method seems like a good one.

Tiredbuthappy said...

I gotta know, what's your favorite pre-prepared unhealthy meal?

In grad school I discovered frozen entrees and it was a bad thing for my health. Now I've discovered healthy frozen entrees--but that's a bad thing for my wallet. I make myself buy Budget Gourmet's lowfat meals, called Lean Gourmet. They're foul. But when Lean Cuisines go on sale, I stock up. The more Lean Cuisines I buy, the less Lean Gourmets I have to eat. Lean Cuisines cost like $4.50, but are often on sale for $2 or $2.50 at my Acme. Then the problem is fitting them all in the freezer.

Fave Lean Cuisine? The Baked Chicken Florentine. It's great comfort food.

Except oh, yeah, you're a veggie. Well, then my fave is Cedar Lane's frozen burritos. They make one with only 1 gram of fat for $1.99. It's not quite enough to fill me up--I usually have to follow up with a yogurt or something.