Good morning ladies,
It annoys me each time I hear that healthy shopping is no more expensive than processed food shopping, which I consider to be mostly unhealthy. I whole heartedly disagree.
As a mother in a family of 7 we have to grocery shop on a budget, as a matter of fact I cannot do it very well so my husband, Jimmy, shops for us (and he is spectacular!). We call Jimmy the healthy food nazi because he does not let us slip up and just buy funzie comfort food; we have to make it from scratch. You cannot come into our home and find something easy to eat unless it’s fruit or nuts or yogurt or cereal (our one treat, we now call anything we don’t have to “MAKE” a treat).
My daughter had a friend whose family bought what Molly deemed to be “gourmet” because it all came out of a box. Hamburger Helper @ 2.49 a box plus burger, Mac & Cheese @ 1.29 a box, Lasagna from the freezer @ 7.50 for the family style….yup, you could feed you family very cheaply if those are the choices that are currently being made vs. making Shepherd’s Pie, seriously my only idea of a hamburger helper substitute, homemade mac & cheese, and home style lasagna. You can even buy frozen burritos at like $1 per vs. what Jimmy style burritos that he makes almost once a week; I bet the cost difference per burrito is $3. Let’s face it; buying a $6 pizza from Little Caesars vs. the cost of making one homemade is absurd. Have you priced fish recently; eating healthy, from scratch is more expensive, PERIOD!
Now, here’s the thing about eating healthy on the cheap, it can be done but you need to make choices. In the class I teach, Small Steps to Healthy Eating, we discuss how to eat healthy on the cheap by learning how to plan.
When I first started to buy healthy food I thought that meant, weight watchers granola bars, Kashi cereal, organic cheese crackers…..no no no. Those things were the marketing pitch that I bought into thinking it was healthy.
The truth is health is just making food at home, buying tomatoes fresh or from a can to make spaghetti sauce, grating up your own cheese for burritos, chopping up your own vegetables instead of buying them from a can. My grocery bill when I first started changing the way my family ate cost me a TON, like $500 a week! We had so many choices in our house you’d think we were THE grocery store.
What I understand now is what healthy means, it means less processed, more fruits and vegetables, less chips and crackers, more lean protein and protein from beans and seeds.
We now, for a family of 7, spend $225 per week for groceries and we eat healthy. It is more effort, more expensive but the pride is priceless. Knowing my family is learning to eat in a manner that is fresh, nutritious, and planned makes me feel like, as a mother, I am giving them a proper perspective of food for fuel, food for health.
Get Your Greens On!