I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by Fair Trade and Organic grocery stores. I am also fortunate enough to be price-savvy and know the value of things when I see them. aka = I know how to shop for a bargain.
On the other hand, I’m two short walks and a bus ride from the nearest Wal-Mart. And in the MidWest that might be the cheapest produce provider here in the winter months. Another fortunate event, I just discovered a farmer’s market. Which is by far the most fantastic thing that has happened this year!
And let me break it down for you: eating-in, eating-healthy, and eating-real are by FAR the cheapest and best ways to eat. How can I say this? I must be high-rise, living on a well-established income, and in the prime situation?
In fact, less than all of those by quite a margin. I’m a college student, sharing a university-owned apartment with five other girls, and we do not not share the grocery bills. So, I usually cook for two out of the five (myself included) and we already know I’m a saver. Do I buy in super bulk (cough-walmart-cough) or do I purchase groceries more frequently? . . . The latter, of course. Freshest is bestest. And how come? Because when I know what I am preparing I do not:
b) get more than I will eat; and
c) most importantly, STRESS OUT!
Cooking a meal for two people is as cheap (and has been) as five dollars. Alright, so it’s the most exorbitant of meals. No five-star steak or whole chickens here. But when I went to the farmer’s market yesterday morning, how expensive were 10 servings of vegetables? around 3 dollars. Vegetables enough for the week! (though they are all being eaten tonight via my friend cooking for me). And the meat you ask? Well, of course you asked, I just said I currently live in the Midwest, we can’t not eat meat here right? ha ha.
While I normally partake in less protein than I should, my friend loves it; thus, he bought THREE pork steaks. Now, I’m not going to say it was cheap. But for me, I could eat 1/4 of one and be fine. He, well, he eats a whole one. So for me–$5.50 would have covered four protein rich meals. For him, one. Still, $8 isn’t bad to spend on a pork steak and vegetables that could easily cost you $12+ in the restuarant.
So my point is this: you don’t have to eat junk or eat at a super high-rise place just to eat healthy. You can cook it yourself. You can find the time. And if this college student with 19 semester hours can find the time to do it (and sleep and study and bathe and work-out and shower and volunteer). . .
You. Can. Too.
this article is in reference to “Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?” by Mark Bittin in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/is-junk-food-really-cheaper.html?_r=1