Are you effin’ kidding me? Maybe 100 years ago, this would work okay. But today? In this sh*&ty economy?
Okay, I digress. I have been slacking off a little from posting here, mainly because I have been researching other people’s ideas on how they are able to eat on $10 per week. And I have seen some hellish, and then…not so hellish ideas. Some people swear by ramen noodles and hot dogs, while others claim that couponing is the way to go. Hey, at least some food is better than none, right? That’s what the prevailing consensus is on many of these sites. Well, I guess if you want to pay exorbitant health care fees later on, then what the heck? Go for it!
Other people aren’t so keen on those ideas, and have proposed that feeding a family of 4 on $30 a week is much more doable. And the menus they have proposed seem a bit healthier than they did on the $10 a week plan. (Oh, by the way–I should mention that these people were using $10/week for TWO people, so it was more like $5 per week for one person.) At least the $30 per week plan had fruits and vegetables, along with some good protein and dairy. And I could actually get behind $30 per week for a family of four, than I could $10/week for 2. Although, that is a bit hard to do either way.
The major point that kept slapping me in the face about all of this, though, is that no one was even touching the idea that maybe, just maybe, all the food-like stuff they are including in the menus are bound to make one need heavy and intensive medical care later on.
I should take a moment to point out here and now that I don’t subscribe to the “conventional” nutritional ideas stemming from the 1980’s and beyond. Internet research, personal experiments, and other factors have led me to believe that maybe our evolutionary (caveman days) and recent ancestors (from the early part of the 20th century) might have had the nutritional thing correct. That animal fat is not the enemy…that cholesterol is our friend…and that grains and starches are what led humans down the dreaded path of obesity. Radical ideas, I know, but it is what I believe.
Anyway…back to my point. What people aren’t realizing is that when they eat the grains, no matter whole grains or not, and the starches, they are overly stressing their bodies to the point of breakage. The kind of breakage that requires thousands of dollars in medical care and treatment. Which then causes the body to break down even further. Listen…I know what it is like to be strapped for cash, and not know what to feed my family in lieu of what I hold dear in nutrition. It can sometimes be a huge struggle. And many people will probably blast me for saying this, but it has to be said. Buying fruits, vegetables, and high quality proteins aren’t that much more expensive than dinner in a box, or rice and beans…or even ramen noodles. Well, maybe not ramen noodles, but you get the idea. If you carefully plan your meals, and plan that you will only buy the foods that are healthy, then you not only save money immediately, you also save money in the long run by staying healthy.
Now I am not saying you need to go out and buy the most expensive meats, or the most exotic fruits if they are not in your budget. Goodness no! But, you can plan to get some type of meat that would be inexpensive and healthy. For instance, Wal-Mart carries 1 pound rolls of ground beef (I like the fattiest kind they have) for $2.28 per roll. Granted, that may seem expensive at first. But, if you plan an entire meal around the meat with items you may have on hand, or even with other really inexpensive items, your meal for a family of four will total to about $3-4 for the entire meal. If you have frozen veggies on hand, and if you buy an inexpensive bag of potatoes that will last for more than one meal, you will have a healthy dinner for 4 people. An example of this would be our dinner tonight. I made a meatloaf with things I already had on hand, plus heated up a can of peas, and made mashed potatoes. The peas were given to me, and the potatoes I already had on hand. (Yes, a starch…sometimes I don’t follow my own advice…but hey, I am learning, right?) The entire meal cost about $3.00 for 4 people.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a lot. But it does take some planning.
Oh…one more thing. If you are finding it hard to make ends meet financially, and cannot even afford to get decent proteins in your diet, let alone fruits and vegetables, you may want to see where you can cut other expenses to make up the difference. What good is a newspaper subscription, or a cable TV subscription when you are not able to eat healthily? Look at where you can skimp on some unimportant things, so you can put money into the more important items of life, such as your and your family’s health.