Written by the Slug Support Pantry Team
Grocery shopping can be hard. If you’re on a tight budget, grocery shopping can be especially hard. Balancing rent, tuition, and all those bills and fees on a barista, underpaid research assistant, tutor, or sales associate budget, does not make it any easier. No matter your paycheck or budget, everyone deserves access to nutritious food. Everyone deserves access to quality nutritious food.
Grocery yoga, in our definition, is the practice of stretching, bending, folding, meditating on, and breathing through linoleum floored aisles under beams of fluorescent light as you fill your cart up. We hope that going through this practice brings ease to your mind and fills up your stomach!
A wonderful way to begin practicing grocery yoga and stretching your dollar to its fullest capacity is by not spending it! The Slug Support Pantry is available to UC Santa Cruz’s campus community and offers a variety of goods. The SSP has dry staples like cereal, bread, instant oatmeal, mac n’ cheese, lentils and beans, peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna, and canned veggies. It also offers a range of dairy and meat products. One of the best provisions that the SSP has to offer, though, is the farm-fresh produce. The SSP, through its CASFS partnership, is able to receive food straight from the UCSC farms! Our partnership with CASFS also gives us access to farmers’ market produce.
Our favorite way to practice grocery yoga is by combining the free food you get from the Slug Support Pantry with your favorite items at the grocery store. With the money you saved by going to the pantry, you can feel good about splurging here and there. Some of our favorite examples have been making instant ramen and putting some of our farm fresh produce inside to make a fuller meal, buying goat cheese or brie to combine with our plum jam and sourdough bread, curry with our lentils, canned green beans, and leafy greens, instant oatmeal with our farmers’ market berries and store-bought chia seeds, and a big burrito with our black beans, tortillas, and jalapeños.
An easy way to begin practicing grocery yoga is by looking up different recipes so you can get exactly what you need. You can check your list off for your most basic ingredients at the pantry, and go off to feel good about buying those chia seeds to put in your oatmeal, the coconut cream for your curry, and whatever protein source you like best for your burrito. A list is a wonderful way to set intentions about the food you put into your body and gives you something to look forward to when it’s finally fancy cheese and plum jam day! We hope that this encourages you to fuel yourself with care and joy!