In preparation for Recursive’s Nutrition Challenge, Dirk and I have cleaned up our family’s eating habits. It has been a challenge to get started with meal planning, meal prepping, and making sure everybody is eating well each day. BUT, here’s something I didn’t expect – we are actually saving a lot of money with our food budget!
Sure, I had expected (hoped) to lose some body fat and gain some energy to hit those workouts harder, but it always seems that eating better quality foods comes at a higher grocery budget.
Our initial grocery trip cost about $240. We had meal planned, but still weren’t quite sure of the quantities of food we would need. It just seemed like a lot. It was nice to see a full cart of fresh fruit, veggies, and lots of good protein. I was proud to be making healthy choices for my whole family.
I typically budget $150 a week for food for our family of 5. It has been 9 days of eating for 5 people and aside from a couple trips to the store to get a few items we needed for a recipe or some of the favorite foods we ran out of, we are still eating through that initial grocery purchase. So, just about right on budget. (And we have enough food for the at least the rest of the week.)
Even though the amount of food we are eating at each meal seems like a lot, recognizing proper food portions has been a real eye opener. I am eating more, eating right, happy about it, and feeling really good. Good food goes farther. $2 for whole honeydew melon will last several meals and snacks. Think about that amount of food versus $2 for 10 pouches of fruit snacks. It’s a win-win. Healthy, better food that stretches further!
The money savings hasn’t come just from the grocery shopping, but also from not eating out. In a typical week, our family ate out much more than I would care to admit to you, plus all the extra little stops for coffee drinks, or slushies, or snacks while we are out and about.
Now that we have meals planned and prepped, there is no last minute decisions to stop and grab food. Because the kids know what we are doing (and why) they don’t ask to stop and get ice cream on the way home. (But, my goodness…even after all this time, I STILL want that darn coconut mocha.)
If I look back over the previous month’s spending, the amount spent on all those little, spontaneous eating (and drinking) stops really adds up. Like, REALLY adds up. I once read that if people stopped eating out and put that money aside, they could save enough money each month that at the end of the year they could take a vacation to anywhere in the world. ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. It’s that much money. I have seem the numbers. I have done the math. The numbers work out.
So next year at this time, I’ll be sending you warm wishes from a tropical beach…in my new swim suit!