Cutting Financial Toxicity Out of Meals and Medicine Cabinets


Sometimes, you simply need to do what feels best.

“Financial toxicity” is a buzz term in today’s health care industry. Patients often ask me where savings can be applied and how they can reduce their medication spending and waste.

In the kitchen, I often review my own overspending on gadgets left and right and food waste here and there. My refrigerator is a mess and I’m always itching to throw everything out and start over.

I religiously check expiration dates in the pharmacy, and I realized I need to start doing that more at home. As I gather ingredients and instruments to start preparing dinner, I get overwhelmed by the fact that I have too many things in my kitchen, when all I really need to make a tasty meal are my own 2 hands. Everything else on my counter is clutter.

When I’m in the kitchen, I wash my hands, and then I touch, smell, taste, look, and feel. There’s nothing like pulling pizza dough with your hands to get it into the exact shape you crave, or like rolling your own cookie dough or meatballs to feel the texture. Most importantly, there’s nothing like stirring your own homemade pot of raspberry jam and using the spoon to feel the consistency.

Learning how foods feel is important. It’s something you can’t really read about or explain in a recipe. Sometimes, the answer is simply what feels right to you.

I strongly believe you can’t just follow a recipe and have it turn out right. For instance, the recipe for pie crust is going to vary depending on the weather and humidity, so you have to develop a feel for it. Pie crust only contains flour, butter, and cold water, but I think it takes on a sort of magical thing by the feel of one’s hands.

Whether you apply the term “financial toxicity” to your medicine cabinet or your refrigerator, there are many ways to cut costs and save time and money. As technology creeps into every aspect of our being, relying on your senses has never been more important.

Sometimes, you simply need to do what feels best.

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