Some days I wonder why I can’t simply be given all the answers to life up front. “Wouldn’t it be easier to know when that information would be most useful?” my impatient mind asks.
I know when I look back to the times in my life when money was the tightest, I really wish I knew then the skills I have now. My biggest area of growth over the years has to be in food preparation. I’ve already mentioned how in my 20s I seldom ate fruits and vegetables as part of my diet. What I also never did was cook from scratch.
When I was in England and barely scraping by, I wish I had known about cooking beans from dry.
For the cost of one can, I could have a pound of dry beans and therefore three times the amount of cooked beans. Stephanie O’dea (the crockpot lady) taught me through her wonderful blog how to cook dried beans in the Crockpot many years later. Now it is so easy. I use dry beans so much more than canned. All it takes is a little forethought. I also like the added benefit of much lower sodium.
In thinking about it, though, if I’d been given all the answers without having to learn the lessons, I don’t know if I would have appreciated or even understood them. My current skills are valuable to me because I worked so hard for them.
Not all of those hard learned lessons continue to apply, however. While in England, I regularly shopped at the farmer’s market. It was the only way I could afford to live in my own studio flat my second year there.
I would pay £15 a week and have two overflowing bags and my backpack filled with produce (I’m so glad I’d already learned the joy of veg!). I bought the rest of my supplies at the regular grocery store, where the prices on produce were at least three times as expensive. You can imagine my surprise the first time I went to a farmer’s market in the US. The prices were three times as high as at the store! I was used to cheaper and better going together. I’d been spoiled!
What do you know now that you wish your younger self knew? or What lessons have you had to unlearn because they no longer applied?