Thursday, May 10, 2012

Food shopping

Some call it food shopping.  Some call it grocery shopping.  But whatever you call it, it is an essential part of every family's life.  So why not put a receipt in your scrapbook? It will be fun to look back in ten or twenty years to see the prices, though sometimes it's hard to imagine that they will go much higher. A receipt by itself is boring, so add a photo and journaling to make it more interesting. For my layout I chose a health food theme. My husband and I have been trying to eat healthier over the last year, so we've put a lot of focus on what we buy at the store.

To get the photo, I chopped some veggies and arranged them on a cutting board. I placed the board on the floor in front of our sliding door to let in lots of natural light. I put white poster paper under the board and curled it up along a coffee table to get the seamless white background (I've found through experience that shooting against the desired background looks much better than just cutting it out with digital scissors). I used a hot shoe-mounted flash angled slightly upward toward the top of the poster paper to keep it bright white instead of mucky gray (again, learned through experience). I shot at several angles and chose this one as my favorite. No food was wasted during this shoot, because I ate it all for dinner that night.

The receipt, as you may have guessed, is scanned in. I'm not particularly sentimental about original copies in general. I actually prefer to use scanned receipts, birth certificates, and tickets. It's neater, easier to use, and you can “write” on them without damaging anything. The high-resolution scanners of today make nearly identical images, anyway.

Here's the journaling:   

   Eating right starts with shopping right. As a rule of thumb, we do most of our shopping around the edge of the store, where the meat and produce are. And choosing what NOT to buy is just as important as choosing what TO buy. After all, if you don't bring it home, you won't eat it. I stopped drinking soda the day we stopped buying it. Same with cereals and crackers. I don't do too well with candy, either. I could have bottles of booze sitting all over the house, but chocolate? No way!   
   Eating well is not tricky. Some say that can't afford it but it really doesn't cost that much more. I think that the reason that it's so hard for many people is that it's much more work. It requires planning and spending a lot more time in the kitchen. I'm blessed to have a husband who's willing the cook and educates himself on healthy eating.  I would have a hard time managing it all if I didn't have his help. 
   It sometimes seems so much easier to believe the lies that are written on the labels of packaged foods. I've literally made it a point to avoid anything that is advertised as healthy, or at least to go straight to the ingredients list to see what's hiding inside. I don't want to a food snob. It's just that eating well makes a huge difference in my life. I have more energy to take the kids out and stay all day. I don't need to lie down in the afternoon, so I can spend time making pages for my albums instead. 
   And because we are raising kids, we are doubly responsible for our habits. At the very least, I wouldn't want anyone in our family suffering health problems that could have been prevented with better nutrition.   
   Of course, I could be doing better. At some point, I'd like to try my thumb at growing my own food and perhaps even raising chickens. Like most people, I'm pathetically dependent on technology for my food. If our food supply was cut off and I couldn't go to the market anymore, I dread what could happen. I also need to eat more fish and red meat. I may be missing out on some valuable nutrients there. The most important thing is to keep healthy eating a priority. If life gets hectic and I start eating at the drive thru, maybe I should cut back on scheduling.

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