At one point, wondering whether food ought to be part of these money discussions, I asked Lu what she thought.
She replied that the first question raised by many couples who came to her in financial straits was whether they’d have to change how they ate. (Maybe we’re back to the “tails” side of money!) Not whether they’d have to sell the house or move to cheaper rentals, or even get cheaper wheels. The food on the table becomes the defining characteristic of our essential condition.
Well, why not? One of the things many scholars love about the New Testament is that food is always present. (Our local rabbi says that’s because they were Jews, and noshing’s always an important aspect of social interaction.) Jesus does some of his biggest miracles and delivers some of his most powerful messages when food’s in the picture. Changes water into wine. Multiplies bread and fish. It all goes with Feasting and Fasting, which we’ll touch on in time. But maybe food says just as much now when we consider our spending — and our eating — literally, “consumption.”
For that matter, look back at the slang terms for money and how many of them have food connotations. “Smackers,” “clams,” “dough,” “folding lettuce,” “hardtack,” “mint,” “peanuts,” “cookies,” ”sugar,” “candy, “small potatoes,” “the mother’s milk of politics,” each with a different association.
By the way, Lu said her clients weren’t in line for more beans on their plates than before. Whew!
How much of your monthly spending goes for food? (Use a percentage, if you want.)
How much of that is dining out? Snacking?
Where would you feel deprived cutting back? Where would you want to spend more?
Do you have any dietary restrictions? Do you find they make you more aware of food in general?
Where do you most enjoy eating?