It’s strange what we place our worth on these days. People often complain that “organic food is too expensive” but we only need to look at the shopping malls on the weekend to see how people prioritise their spending. Yes organic food costs more, but that is where my money goes and, as this month demonstrates it doesn’t really go anywhere else! I have kept a track of my costings and have incorporated the foods that have been donated, into the costs. I still have a few days to go but so far here’s what it all amounts to;
Week One £78.71
Blackmarket goods £4.09
Other – £4.10
Week two – £75.41
Treats – £5.25
Week Three – £46.90
Treats – £5.32
Week Four – £67.50
Treats – £4.43
Other – £21.49
The ‘other’ part refers to items like toilet roll, gifts for friends and other non-food related bits and bobs. The total so far is £268.52 for 2 people for 3 meals a day which works out at £4.80 per person per day – not bad eh? What’s interesting is that when you exercise a bit of restraint and mindful spending it really does impact on other areas. I have spent under £20 a month on luxury food and drink goods such as wine, chocolate and coffee (hence also benefitting my health in the process and the ‘other’ items purchased amount to £ 43.88. Other than travel this equates to the total amount of money that has left my wallet over one month.
Even when not rationing myself I choose to eat well over buying other things and if eating well only costs this amount, why are we all spending so much?! We don’t have to dine off the finest steaks and eat at the poshest restaurants to be healthy and well satiated. On the contrary some of the cheapest foods are nutrient dense.
Take liver for example- rich in B12, folic acid, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, B vits- a great source of protein and fat and unbelievably cheap! Martin cooked up some yummy liver and onions last night – it cost pence and is highly nutritious. During Victorian times the working classes were amongst the most healthy, because they lived off a diet dense in cheap meats like offal and seasonal veg. You don’t have to be rich to eat well …but you do need to have skills in shopping wisely and the preparation of food. This, in my opinion, is where help is needed.
I cooked a beef stew in my slow cooker on Saturday and a lentil stew on Friday. I fed 4 people on Saturday night and have been eating the leftovers of both since, ending tonight (I am giving myself the nickname Stew Francis – remember him? ….eeeh I could crush a grape!) Ahem – so I have eaten porridge for breakfast and made some chicken broth yesterday which I’ve been having for lunch. (not forgetting the chicken flesh salvaged from the bones of course)
In truth I am missing variety in my diet amongst other things….but it’s really making me realise how much I squander just because I don’t fancy it. This evening I watched 2 friends eat dinner in a restaurant whilst I sipped on a herbal tea, because I knew I had perfectly good food waiting for me at home, that in itself helped me switch from ‘want’ to ‘need’. I’m not suggesting we miss out on these kind of experiences – it’s torture for a foodie and equates to a form of self punishment for someone like me!….but we can definitely incorporate elements of in into our normal routines, to enable us to make better informed choices on how to spend our money.
Don’t let the claims of the food industry get the better of you – you really don’t always need it you know? (and actually most of the time neither does your health).
Will report back full costings at the end of the week!
This is me in some Autumn leaves en route to Bath yesterday – oooh I do so love a vintage day out! And yes I know I’m modelling a rather nice vintage red lippie, but guess what girls?… when you live like this, you can have your cabbage and cosmetics!