Everyone these days is taking about inflation on grocery bills and I completely understand that. However, what no one seems to be talking about is eating disorder inflation on the grocery bills.
When you think of all the costs associated with an eating disorder, many people wouldn’t stop to think that a caregiver’s grocery bill may be huge, astronomical in fact. If asked, they would say counselling, medications, blah blah blah. However, as a parent, my grocery bills ballooned while my daughter was actively sick. Why you ask? Let me tell you by way of a story below.
Imagine you have the pickiest of toddlers when it comes to eating, add in a huge dump of hormones, and for good measure, a monster that constantly tells you what you can and cannot eat. This is what caregivers deal with when shopping for their loved one. One day they will eat a chocolate bar so you buy 20 in hopes that they may eat them all, except they don’t and you do. This is the same for chips, avocados and whatever other food you can think of that will add extra calories. I’m sure if I looked back through my grocery bills I could see the cycles of the things she would eat, or that I hoped she would eat. However, now think about a parent with BED and how that would affect them having all this yummy food inside the house. Yeah, that was me. The cost wasn’t entirely financial, although it was definitely a huge part of our expenses.
I bought every specialty yogourt, pudding, boost, and oil you can imagine. Oh yeah, and this doesn’t include the fast food bills we accumulated just trying to get her to eat. I don’t even want to think about what we spent on that over the time period that her illness was active. Some said to me when just tell her to eat what you have in the house and don’t buy anything different. Yeah right, and I know my daughter’s life is in the balance and that Mars bar may make the difference between getting some calories in that day or not. However, I will say that when your loved one hides chocolate it melts, we found that out the hard way…. Don’t ask, it looks horrendous.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that having a loved one with an eating disorder comes with many high costs, financial being only one small facet of that. It can create relationship issues, cause social isolation and take a toll on the whole family. Be brave, shop how you need to shop and do what you know you need to do to help keep your loved one alive. You got this!