Friday, July 31, 2009

Eating comfortably for $36 a Month

Nick and I have been having a little debate over whether it is hard to eat healthy when one is poor. I say that the poor have a hard time eating well, because they have to shop sales, eat at fast food, and are dependent oftentimes on the corner store instead of a farmer's market. Nick says it is merely a matter of priorities, and it is possible to eat well on little money if you make it a priority. So, I found this article to be an interesting addition to the debate. It discusses how to eat for about $0.33 per meal, by shopping smartly and choosing your foods carefully.

My own experience, and those of my family, still indicate it is hard for the average person of low means to eat well. But this article certainly makes the argument that it is possible, if you have the time and energy.


Ward said...

While I appreciate the perspective, this is pure BS. First off, his diet is nowhere near balanced. Second, he's living in some dream world. Either that, or he went to college about 150 years ago. One of the comments to his post really sums up my thoughts:

""add ground beef (a pound of 85% can be as low as $1.25) cheese and an avocado"

I think you must have left out the part where you happen to have an avocado tree and curdle your own cheese."

Like I said, this guy is living in a dream world if he thinks that 95% of the people in the US have access to food as cheap as he claims.

"Nick" said...

Ground beef is more, but an avocado and a chunk of cheese are still very cheap.

So you can't do it for $40 a month... you CAN do it for less than eating out or eating prepared foods.

I know, my wife and I do most of the things he describes. Our food budget is about $50 a week. We eat healthy, balanced meals, lots of veggies, and we also eat some fun things for snacks or treats, like ice cream, chips, beer etc. If we cut those out, we would spend less.

This guy's particular pricing may be off, his "balance" in the diet may be wrong, but the concept is correct.

The concept that it is cheaper to eat unhealthy foods is a useful myth because it takes some of the responsibility off of the individual for their weight problem. But it is a myth, and I know because my wife and I eat healthy and don't spend a lot of money.

Ward said...

I wish I could shop in your area then =) The cheapest you can find avocados around here are 3 for $5. Baby E eats lots of them so we've shopped around.

There's no doubt that eating in can be cheaper than eating out. Although a couple sharing a meal out can really help cut that down too, and the portions are always far too big anyway.

But as for the quality of what you eat in, I still don't see any comparison. You can go to the grocery store and buy Hot Pockets or those other pre-made meals for no more than $2 a pop from a place like Sam's or BJ's. To get actual certified organic goods without HFCS or hydrogenated oils, you usually have to pay MUCH more. To find juice without HFCS in our area supermarkets means you better be prepared to pay $4-$5 for a much smaller container than you would get for $3 of the juices with all that garbage in them. And to get non-enriched, non-bleached bread? lol...Make it twice what you pay for your standard white bread.

So yeah, can you eat "good" stuff for less than what you'd pay out? Of course. But to make sure that the "good" stuff actually is good takes you into another bracket altogether of spending, at least where we've lived rather it be Kentucky, Illinois, Maryland, or Delaware.