I’ve been writing a short series on my initial interests in a healthy lifestyle and how I got where I am today. After being shown Weston A. Price materials, and being convinced I needed to adjust my diet, “Modern American diet”, I eliminated many (but not all) processed foods. This wasn’t too hard at all, especially because I really didn’t stick to any rule, just eliminated some things.
But here’s what bugged me – there seemed to be a myth believed by everyone that eating healthy is expensive. To me, it seemed like it was being inferred that might as well eat unhealthy since it costs a couple bucks more to do otherwise. Well, I don’t like misconceptions. They bug me. Especially when believing them causes super adverse consequences.
I decided to just do my own experiment. I will spend $60/month on food, this comes out to about $2. a day. Apparently the world’s poor live on this much. Am I able to do it in the States where things cost more and while eating healthy? So January of 2009 myself and a coworker set out on a challenge. The goal was actually to “beat” the other person. And one of the rules was that this could not include fasting or going hungry. Eat meals, just do it cheap and healthy.
What I learned:
-It is possible. I spent 60 dollars on groceries that month (went out to eat a couple times).
-Making food in bulk saves money. This was definitely key.
-Buying food in small portions (like a microwavable bag) is way more expensive than just making something yourself.
-Preparing one’s own food from as much scratch as possible is the way to go for saving money.
-It wasn’t costless. While I did save money, I found that the greatest cost came in terms of time. The time to prepare meals was much longer than what I was used to and cared for. Only took a couple days to figure that one out. After a week I wanted to quit for that reason alone. How impatient I can be!
Eating more healthy still takes more time than I’d like in terms of preparation. No regrets though.
Ok, so you’re all wondering how I did it. Well, it wasn’t all “primal approved, but it sure wasn’t processed!”
Rice, beans, ground beef, eggs, some fruit, nuts, 1 steak, and maybe some other things I can’t remember. I really wish now I had kept a journal of what exactly I bought and paid. Enough reason to try this again I suppose 🙂
Go ahead and try it yourself. Give yourself a dollar amount for groceries and 30 days (assuming you don’t eat out a ton). I’d love to hear how it goes!
p.s. making food in bulk comes in handy for those what-ifs in life. Something just came up and I need to run out for a couple hours without a chance to make/eat dinner hear. I have a tupperware of meat/onion/garlic all set to go that I’ll just eat en-route or on location.