Monday, June 2, 2008

Eating Healthy Can Be Hard On The Wallet

For those of you who already eat a whole food, organic diet, you know how expensive it can get. It can be a little daunting. Personally, I find it really ironic that it costs more to eat unprocessed natural foods than it does to eat the crap that's been heavily processed. But that's what government agricultural subsidies get you.

I've been a little shocked at my grocery bills over the last six months. For the most part I'm just feeding myself and my food bill went up almost 45% when I started eating healthier. Granted, some of this increase is probably due to inflationary influences we're seeing because of higher fuel prices.

When I made the decision to start eating grass-fed beef it was already fall and too late to order a grass-fed steer from a local farm. I have put in my order for next fall. But in the meantime, I've had to purchase meat at the grocery store for anywhere from $8-$15 a pound…or more. I eat about 4 pounds of beef and pork a week, so it gets expensive pretty fast when you're buying meat one cut at a time.

When a friend asked me if I wanted to go in on an order with them from Thundering Hooves in Walla Walla, I jumped at the chance. Last weekend we picked up our order. They have a pickup point in the neighborhood so we didn't actually have to drive to Walla Walla. It's averaging out to about $5/lb. and means the only items I'll need to buy for the rest of the summer are produce and dairy. Both of which I'll be getting at the local farmer's market starting next week. I'm hoping that, averaged out, I'll be able to reduce my grocery bill by at least 20%.

I've never really been someone who stocks up on food, so I'm kind of getting a kick out of opening the freezer and seeing all that meat just waiting for the barbecue. The only thing I've eaten so far is some bacon and it was fabulous. I'm looking forward to eating really well over the next few months—and not having to go to the store every other day.

12 comments:

Mango said...

The way I figure it, I'd rather pay premium prices for organic, whole foods now instead of for prescriptions and treatments later.

But I get the sticker shock. It took me probably a decade to shift my purchasing from mostly conventional to mostly organic.

moiraeknittoo said...

I'm with mango - a little more now and less on meds/etc later to deal with the conditions imposed by the processed food.

My mom & her hub went in on a bufflo with two of their friends. Half a buffalo = they had to buy a new freezer to fit it all in. :D I think it worked out to about $4.50 a pound, which was awesome. If I had access to a big freezer, I'd totally do something similar!

Norma said...

Boy, I really should do this too.

Marianne said...

My daughter works with a young woman who raised a cow, we went in on a quarter of it together... Bobby is the big red meat eater here so I imagine it will last a good while and it does make all the difference in the world knowing that cow was 'clean'.
It averaged right around $4.00/lb.
Well worth it.

Yes, definitely willing to pay a bit more for food and not medications. I'm 54 and so far so good, not on any meds at all.

emma said...

If you decide you want to add lamb to your list of things to eat I can highly recommend SuDan Farms in Canby OR. Excellent lamb and even better prices. I'm having some of their lamb for dinner tonight in fact.

Kristen said...

Yeah, I've been shocking people for years at the amount of money I spend on food. I figure I'd much rather put my money there than other places. As far as produce goes, I generally follow the Environmental Working Group's rankings (available online). That is, I don't buy the organic onions, but always buy organic apples. Hopefully soon I'll have a place where I can have a "real" garden and be able to grow much of what I eat.

Ginger said...

Are you planning on putting in a veggie garden? I know that helps a lot around here with the food bill, esp in the summer.

Rabbitch said...
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Jamie said...
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Jamie said...

Thanks for the comment TMK...and it was great seeing you at dinner last night. You are such a powerful inspiration to keep going. You rock! My new blog http://curvesontheroad.blogspot.com/ has pics of my power lifting mom.

Anonymous said...

just to say, the comment elsewhere about "extreme mental and emotional cruelty" seems really bizarre and inappropriate to me. I do hope you're doing ok.

TMK said...

Anonymous:
Thank you for your comment. It's been an incredibly hard night and it's nice to know someone is reading between the lines. Taking the high road is a new concept for me and can be painful.