Don’t you wish money grew on trees??? The question I get most often from those who are aspiring to eat Real Food is whether or not they can afford it. Most of the time it is true – Real Food costs more money. It shouldn’t be true, but it is. That being said, I think you CAN eat Real Food and still eat and shop within a budget. I believe it is very possible to live and eat frugally – and benefit from the great thing that is Real Food!
So, here are a few helpful tools or steps that I’ve either used myself or have known to be helpful to others:
1) Start small.
It is often overwhelming to know where to start. How about one change a week? Does that sound doable? Although I haven’t read this book, I have heard it is great – it’s from Stephanie over at “Keeper of the Home” and it is called “Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time”. It’s basically a journal of 52 baby steps you can take to live and eat more naturally. Sounds doable when you think of it that way, right?
2) Set your priorities and your budget.
This great book entitled “Real Food on a Real Budget” is WELL worth the cost of the book. She goes through things like defining what Real Food is, how to make a grocery budget, breaking your budget down, storage, buying in bulk and meal planning. All things that are SO helpful when budgeting for real food. This was one of the main tools I found helpful when transitioning to Real Food. *If you haven’t already, go on over to my post about “30 Days of Dinners – my menu plan” to read how I do my meal planning. OR, visit another of Stephanie’s books called “Plan It, Don’t Panic – A Complete Meal Planning Resource”.
Find out if there is a Buying Club or Food Co-op in your area. THIS has probably been the best way I have found to get real, good, organic, whole foods at THE best prices. Read more at my post about why you’d want to Join a Buying Club. If you live in the Rockford, MI area, shoot me an email and I will get you hooked up with ours! Buying clubs are great for keeping your budget in check – the whole purpose of them is for several families to go in together on ordering things from natural food stores in order to get a discount for a bigger order. If you aren’t near me, go to the Co-Op Directory website and see if you can find one in your area. Otherwise, ask around at your local Naturopathic Dr’s office or healthfood stores and see if they know of some nearby.
4) And finally, keep this piece of info in mind:
I recently heard (wish I could remember WHERE!) that countries with low disease rates and healthier people spend TWICE the percentage of their total income on food than those in the U.S do! For example, if here in the U.S. we spent 10% of our income on food, they spend 20%. Isn’t that mind-blowing? Our priorities are completely out of whack. I will leave you with a quote that is along the same lines…from the book entitled “In Defense of Food”, by Michael Pollan. In it, he writes:
“Is it just a coincidence that as the portion of our income spent on food has declined, spending on health care has soared? In 1960 Americans spent 17.5 percent of their income on food and 5.2 percent of national income on health care. Since then, those numbers have flipped: Spending on food has fallen to 9.9 percent, while spending on heath care has climbed to 16 percent of national income. I have to think that by spending a little more on healthier food we could reduce the amount we have to spend on heath care.” – Michael Pollan
It’s worth it!
This was shared at: Frugal Tuesday