Eating out was bad for the FindingOurWays and I because we have food intolerances and cross contamination at restaurants is bad for us. Last month, I made a commitment that we would not eat out anymore. It would save money and hopefully restore health for the FindingOurWays and I. We slowed down on eating out a lot and then we took a vacation.
We went on a vacation for 6 days and only at out dinner on the 5th night and then breakfast and lunch on the 6th day. For us, it was good. I did a lot of research on how to fix meals in a hotel room with just a microwave. We found that it wasn't difficult at all and it was much cheaper. I had also packed snacks and drinks for the road so we were eating better and cheaper there too.
When we returned home, it dawned on me that I was still a bit sluggish (ok, I'm pregnant so that could have been it too but keep reading). I decided that I wanted to give the "real food" diet a try. Now, we've always eaten healthier than some people I know. I cringe when I see juice boxes and boxed cookies at friends houses. We've always shopped the perimeter of the grocery store. However, we had the following downfalls:
- Too many homemade treats. We were at the point where they were expectations and not treats at all.
- Nothing organic
- Not enough produce
- Way too much meat
I spent an entire day coming up with a meal plan for the month along with a shopping list. I bought food first from the local farmers fresh market and then we made the trip into a nearby city for the rest. We had planned to stop by all of the natural food markets in the area but we ran short on time. We have not yet looked at Whole Foods in this city but I doubt we are missing out on much. We found that Costco had the best prices on organic food for the most part. We got word that a particular Food Lion actually had the best deal on organic apples and purchased organic apples and celery from that store. We visited Trader Joes for Milk, Cheese, Nuts, and a few other things. In hind sight, I'm not particularly impressed with most of what we purchased from Trader Joes aside from the cocoa powder and milk. The nuts we purchased were not organic so I think we would have done just as well purchasing those at Costco.
After a week and a half, MrLivingOurWay agrees that we all seem to have much more energy. We realized just prior to this experience that our local grocery store was charging more for food that the stores in the nearby cities and our theory was that by traveling there and purchasing organic food along with cutting out the restaurants we'd at least break even and I'd save that so far we have. I should also mention that we had more meatless meals and oddly my meat and potatoes husband swears this is why he has more energy. Here are some things we are going to work on to make this diet possible:
- Start gardening again ASAP.
- Do more research on how long produce lasts. Purchase more of it weekly if possible.
- Make our budget more clear to each other. I just about died when MrLivingOurWay spent $60 on cheese. It's one of his favorite foods and he didn't realize I was cutting back on it intentionally.
- Make more fermented foods and start using the Yogurt Maker my Dad bought us (Thanks Dad!)
- Make both a monthly grocery list as well as a weekly grocery list.
Have you changed your diet for the better? What sort of diet do you follow? How has it helped? Do you find it to be more expensive?