I just got done watching the movie "Food, Inc." with my husband. I'm so completely disturbed. I guess it's just so easy to be blissfully unaware of where exactly all of our food comes from and what all is in it. The thing that I found the most interesting in the movie was how much covering up all the big companies do. No one wants you to be able to actually see how the food is being processed and they got a law passed that makes it illegal for the government to shut down a processing plant if they continuously fail tests for e.coli and salmonella. Apparently you can also be sued if talk badly about the meat industry in public. I guess my overall feeling is that you don't try so hard to cover things up unless you know you are doing something wrong.
I feel like my views on the food industry in general have been slowly changing over time. I guess maybe it's been since my son started eating solid food and I put more thought into what is going into his body. I've made some changes to our diet, but not nearly enough. It's hard, though, to balance eating less processed foods with sticking to a tight food budget. In general, we eat out a LOT less than we used to, and I know that is a good first step.
Lately, I've just been feeling so disenchanted with so much commercialization surrounding me everywhere. I have just started gravitating towards wanting a more simple life. I know that it is going to be a process. I know I can't change everything at once, but little by little I am trying to rid our lives of all of the excess. Right now, it doesn't feel like I've done a lot, but I know that over time, those little changes will add up.
Tonight I am crossing setting up a receipt box off my list. Well, it's not really a box, but a black zippered envelope I came across when I was searching for that darn gift card! I can't even remember why I originally bought it. I think it was to put receipts in when we were renovating our first house. Well, now it is on our kitchen counter and I told my husband that all receipts, other than gas (because I know what budget category that goes in!), need to go in there. Since I am tracking our expenses in the budget tool in "My Profile" on my Bank of America online banking, I'll go through the receipts once a week and split any that need to be applied to multiple categories. For instance, we will often have groceries, pet food and child needs all on the same receipt and I track those categories separately.
I feel good about this new system. I feel like it's the next step that is needed to really help stick to our budget. If I am paying attention to where we stand on each budget line item throughout the month, I'm less likely to go over.