eating healthy for less than $7, Day 1
Eating for less than $7 a day is a challenge for sure. Most of the time, we have the luxury of buying our groceries from our favorite stores or farmers markets without a serious concern about cost, strolling through the rows of bountiful west coast products and picking out the most appealing items… appealing in terms of both health and a flavor. We pay that extra bit for the “organic,” the “free range,” and the “local.” But how often do we really stop to think about the privilege of even having those kinds of choices to make?
When trying to live on a limited budget, the first thing to go out the window is choice. For some, instead of choosing between Safeway and the Ballard Farmers’ Market, its a much tougher choice of spending one’s limited resources on either meals or medicine, bread or baby formula, nourishing food or rent.
Today’s meals had to be extremely simple, since we just got back into town and haven’t had a chance to plan any of this out. My main hope is to try and meet the $7/day challenge with food choices that are both economical and healthy… but I’ll admit that today was a bit of a cop out, since I ended up having cereal for two meals. Chalk it up to jet lag and not being able to wake up early enough to pack myself a lunch.
Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds – $0.50
Milk – $0.50
Chex – $0.50
Milk – $0.50
Swiss chard and zucchini soup, with corn, onions, and just a bit of italian sausage – $1.60 (kindly prepared by my wife while I was on my way home from work… I’m calculating it cost $4.00 for the ingredients, and I ate about 40% of the pot).
All in all, not too bad for the first day–coming in at $3.60. Most of that, however, comes from the fact that I ate cereal for lunch. And I was grateful for every single bite, because my stomach was growling all day long. But it’s good to be reminded of hunger, and to realize how much more I usually eat than I actually need.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings… hopefully a picture or two! In the meantime, check out what others have been doing for this challenge on the United Way’s Hunger Challenge Blog.