As we dive into our No More Excuses series, I decided to first tackle the excuse that it is “expensive to eat healthy food”. This one seems to be the most popular complaint among those of us who are working to eat and feed our families a healthy diet. I ended up with so much to say on this topic, I divided the material into three separate posts that I will be sharing throughout the week.
To begin part one of these posts regarding the thought that “healthy food is too expensive”, let me just start out by saying, “I hear ya!”. That was my biggest complaint too, my loudest excuse, and one of the main reasons I didn’t think eating a healthy diet was possible for our family. After all, I’m the girl who used to get everything for free or cheap with coupons. The thought of actually spending money on food was painful to me when we started our healthy eating journey. I had no idea where the extra money for healthy food would come from in our already very tight budget.
After lots and lots of research, experimentation, and tweaking of our budget, we finally figured out how to make this work for our family. Ultimately, I had to surrender and let go of the idea that spending money on food was bad, and instead embrace the truth that spending money on good, nourishing food is a wise investment for our family.
But still, it is a fact that coconut oil and olive oil cost more than canola oil and crisco. Real butter costs more than margarine. Whole wheat pasta and real cheese costs more than a box of mac and cheese.
So, does that mean that healthy eating is indeed expensive? I think it’s a matter of perspective. Our grocery budget has definitely gone up since we began our healthy eating journey. The way I cook now is completely different than the way I cooked when I bought processed and unhealthy foods with coupons, but does that mean that our healthy food should be considered expensive?
Pardon my geekiness spewing forth, but just as I did a few years ago, I did a new break down of what it costs to feed my family on an average day. I think it’s very interesting to take a nitty-gritty look at what it costs us to feed one person per day, and to analyze that number to see if in fact I could or should cut back our budget in any way.
We currently spend about $600/month on food. Because there are six in our family, this means that we spend about $100/person/month. This divides into an average of $3.33/day/person, which means that it costs about $1.11 per person per meal.
I don’t think $1.11/meal/person is very expensive, but that’s just my opinion, and as I said earlier, it is a matter of perspective.
As always, remember that there is no comparing or guilt allowed. If you spend more than $1.11 per meal per person – great! If you spend less than that – great! If you could come help me clean my house – great! Oh wait, sorry. I got carried away there for a second. ;)
Above all, we all need to remember that we are all humble people, working to do the best we can with what we have. I feel like there’s a lot left unsaid in this post regarding the expense of healthy food, so stay tuned! In part two of this mini series on Wednesday, I’ll share thoughts on the following three points:
Then, I’ll wrap up the week by sharing some practical ways to eat a healthy, whole foods diet while keeping your costs low.
For today, I’d love to hear a little about your grocery budget break-down. Join my geekiness and do the math. If you care to share, how much do you estimate that it costs to feed one person in your household for each meal?
If you’re concerned that you may be spending too much on food,
I’d encourage you to read this post: Do You Need to Cut the Grocery Budget?
I’d also like to encourage you to check out Once a Month Mom’s Get Real 2012!