This week I’ve made a resolution to eat every meal at home. No going out to eat for me. It was sink-or-swim time. I was going to determine, once and for all, just how much money I can save by preparing my own groceries.

I’m doing OK so far. Well, I have bought some Diet Pepsis this week (and I’m on a winning streak when it comes to the Pepsi/iTunes contest, too; it’s real easy to win when you can read the winning codes through the bottle) and I met a friend for coffee today and bought a delicious soy chai latte. Besides those (oh, and the Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate bar I bought) I’m perfect for eating meals I prepared.

Last night, I wanted to have some ramen (I didn’t say I was learning to prepare gourmet meals) but wanted some protein to go with all those carbs. Digging around in the back of my cupboard, I found a couple of cans of chicken, bought probably a year ago, back when I had my last “save money/eat at home” kick). Cans of chicken don’t go bad, do they? I looked all over for an “expiration date” but, finding none, I figured it was good to eat. I mean, the can wasn’t bulging with botulism or anything, there’s no holes or leaks, so it’s good, right?

But when I opened one… well… it smelled bad. Even I could tell that something wasn’t right. Ew. It all looked fine. It was the color I expected, not green or red or anything but normal white-meat chicken colored. I couldn’t quite bring myself to taste it, though.

So I called Smacky over. Set it on the floor. It’s chicken, right? And he’s not going to eat something that’s obviously bad for him (I realize that’s a dumb thing to think. I realize that now), right?

He sniffed at it for a second, then jerked his head away like it smelled… well… worse than his normal food, which smells horrible to me.

That clinched it. If it smells too bad for even Smacky to turn it down… it ain’t goin’ in my belly.