Yesterday, Bri and I had an amazing breakfast at the Egg Harbor Café on our way out of Chicago.
We talked about a lot of things, but something that comes up in our conversation a lot is the cost of eating healthy/more-fruits-and-veggies vs cheap processed crap.
So, I’ll say this, when someone is in desperate poverty, and most of their food is coming from a food pantry, 25¢ for instant noodles can be a stretch - and I’ve been there so I get it.
That being said, a lot of people are told that healthy food is 100% of the time going to be more expensive than processed stuff, and it’s just not true.
For $2-3, a person can make stir-fry with fresh/frozen veggies - & enough to feed a whole family. Or a person could spend the same $2-3 on microwave meals that’ll eventually kill them.
For the prize of a frozen pizza, (excluding Totinos - let’s be real) a family could have a chickpea salad & a homemade curry soup.
Now, the catch of course is, that a lot of this stuff takes longer than a microwave… And time is important. But I will say that Bri & I having spent hours and hours in the kitchen together has been good for us. It’s a way to productively spend time together & we get to engage in crafting something together - caveat/full-disclosure: sometimes we just get in each others’ way. (Meh, it happens…)
The point being, not buying meat, and not buying so much processed stuff has cut back OUR grocery bill by about $150-200 per month.
We can do more with less, and when we’re vigilant about not having things go to waste, we may have a few meals on the more boring side of the spectrum, (read: repeat meals because of repeat ingredients we don’t want to spoil) we also appreciate and are a lot more grateful for the diversity of meals we encounter because we’re learning to respect the work and effort that goes into the growth of the ingredients.
So give it a shot. If you do it wrong, it can be super expensive… But start slow, get a lot of recipes under your belt, start using all parts of a plant, and you’ll be surprised at just how much you cut back on waste, and just how far a few ingredients can take you…
For the record, the dish pictured was delicious