As I said in the first part of this series, it is most definitely possible to eat well without spending a ton of money. Here’s an example from my grocery trip this week:
Oats: $3.29 (usually lasts at least 2 weeks)
Canned beans: $0.69 each ($1.38 total)
Pasta sauce: $2.50
Apples (3): $0.99
Frozen corn: $1.00
Pears (2): $0.99/lb
The broccoli didn’t fit in the picture (I got 3 heads) and the chicken got left at the store because I ran into a friend at the checkout and we chatted all the way out to the parking lot. I went back to get it, don’t worry 🙂 I buy meat about once per month or so, but typically use beans to save money. When I buy it, I’ll generally cook it the day I shop and freeze in individual portions for later use.
For the same price as the 2 cans of beans above (each of which generally gives me 2 servings), I can get a 1 lb. bag of dried beans that easily makes at least 10 servings. To me, that is well worth the minimal effort of letting them boil on the stove for an hour or 2 on a Sunday afternoon. I have a bag left from last week’s trip and I don’t use the 2 types above enough to make a whole pot, so I just get a couple of cans to keep on hand. I’ll get more into that in the next post on preparing food for the week ahead to make healthy foods the easy choice for mid-week meals.
Although this was a week where I had to get a few items I don’t normally buy on a weekly basis, there were also a few items I didn’t need to buy this week, such as potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, dried beans, and peanut butter because I still had some left from last week. Therefore, it came out to be about the typical $40 total for the week. I don’t usually eat out so that’s not bad if you consider that this covers all of my meals and snacks for an entire week and I buy organic/sustainably raised eggs and meats.
I can guarantee that chips, frozen pizza, candy, and fast food will not fill you up like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins and there is no way you could eat out every day for less than $40/week. Also, notice there are no unneccesary organic granola bars, cereals, or other fancy products. The healthiest foods are real foods, and these happen to be some of the cheapest! What do you think – is healthy eating really that expensive?