Why I’ll Never Cut My Food Bill

Man doesn’t live to eat. Man (and woman) eat to live. So, why would I ever cut my food bill? Which is exactly what most people do when they think they have to get their finances in order. Eating cheaper or less expensive foods is not going to make your life any brighter or balanced. Yet people consistently insist on eating crap; buying day old bread, almost expired meats and poultry, dumpster dive or fill up on carbs as a means to make their ends meet.

Do you think that’s a wise decision to make? Jeopardize the one thing in this world that keeps you alive and healthy? Eating!

The first thing Dave Ramsey advises people to do when they are having trouble paying their bills is to “Eat beans and rice. Rice and beans.” We all know what Dave Ramsey meant by that. You’re to open up a can of cheap, salty beans and dump it over a plate of white rice. That’s right. Punish yourself because you can’t pay your bills. Now, Dave Ramsey is stepping back from that incorrect advice. Eating only beans and rice will lead to other nutritional deficiencies. Ramsey’s telling his listeners that what he meant was people should start eating less expensive meals. Really? Beans and rice is a metaphor, Dave says, for taking your lifestyle to scorched earth.

rice and beans.jpg
Don’t eat this!

‘Eating poor’ is not going to make you richer, healthier nor give you a long, happy life. In fact, ‘eating poor’ is going to do just the opposite. It’s going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more unhealthy you eat, the quicker you will earn less money, the sicker you will become, the more you will spend on health care or just plain die at a younger age.

What you should be doing is cutting your other bills and increasing your food bill when times get tough. In reality, you should be eating the best foods available ALL the time. That means buying organic, farm-to-table when possible, eating fresh vegetables, fruits and a daily green salad, good cuts of meat, poultry and fish

Don’t think you can’t afford to eat well. Personally, I think you can’t afford NOT to eat well! Stop buying the junk and the crap. Stop going out to eat in restaurants or fast food joints (where the food is heavily salted and laden in fats and other unhealthy ingredients). Get thee to your own kitchen, start preparing your own meals and channel your budget to prioritizing good food instead.

When I go food shopping I have a list. I know what I want and I want to eat healthy and well. I load up my cart and don’t think about what I am spending. I have a budget in mind but should I go over, I cut from another category. I never cut from my food budget. For the past few months I have been trying to get my budget in balance. I mistakenly tried to cut my food budget down but soon realized after a few weeks that doing so was near impossible. There’s a priceless value to eating good and well. To take my good health for granted would be a serious mistake I’m not willing to make. Nor should you.

Look at the people who are giving you food advice. With all of Dave Ramsey’s millions, does he look like the epitome of good health? He’s overweight and bald. He’s got a paunch gut on him even a girdle couldn’t contain! If there are women out there claiming to reduce your grocery spending by having you dine on two nickles, take a good look at those women. If they’ve been suffering from life long health issues, I’d run in the opposite direction away from their advice .

I may be a few pounds overweight but who’s to say those extra pounds aren’t contributing to my strength and vigor? Every single time I go to a doctor for a check up, all my tests come back negative. I’m healthy as an ox. I very rarely get sick and I am very, very strong. I didn’t get to be like this by eating rice and beans, expired meats and poultry, day old breads, bruised fruits and vegetables, dumpster diving or from eating cheap crap. Am I eating filet mignon or lobster every day? Nope. I’m just using my good intelligence and eating simply and well.

For me, there’s no price tag connected to maintaining my good health. That’s why I’ll never cut my food bill ever again. Hubby and I can comfortably spend $500+ a month on good food for the both of us and that is exactly what we are going to keep doing.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.

Here are just some of the many different and variable foods hubby and I have prepared over the past few years. We won’t be stopping any time soon. When you have a meal at our home, it’s top shelf. Enjoy!

 

15 comments

  1. Beautiful food, Thanks, Cindi ! So very true ! Never skimp on nutritious food. Here in rural NL, our grocery store on the sea is within a short walk from home, so I shop most days, and I get some exercise too. This involves careful planning, and removes desire to buy junk food, as I only buy what I can carry at once in my sturdy cloth shopping bags.🤗

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  2. Interesting thoughts, Cindi. I like beans and rice/cornbread, but it is everything in balance, like I know you believe. I am guessing b/c you shop at Aldi and your farmers market, that you are getting the best value. And, like me, yes, you eat expensive fish and meats, but you get them when they are on sale. Your food budget is very similar to ours and if you would look up the USDA cost of food charts, $500/mo is still a low cost plan for an older couple. I like to see the varied food things you make, they look really good.

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    • Hi Chris. Sometime we have rice and beans. It makes a quick dinner. We use brown rice. I like cannellini beans but we doctor them up with olive oil, garlic and a few spices. Sometimes sauteed onions. Delish! The two ingredients combines make a wonderful source of protein. We eat them because they’re healthy and we want them. Makes a big difference when you’re not forced to eat them!
      Aldi has the best sourced, sustainable, FRESH salmon ever! It’s delicious. We try to have it at least once per week. Good for the heart!
      Thanks for your comment!

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  3. A good diet is the key to good health. No cosmetic procedure or beauty product will be able to correct bad nutrition. People are penny wise and pound foolish. You are your own best investment. Your food looks delicious!

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      • Hi Cindi: Great post. I used to struggle with keeping my monthly grocery bill at a certain $ amount, but like you, was not willing to compromise on quality. I don’t skimp on food, but I try to choose wisely. When I make beans to add to a dish, I buy them dry and cook them myself. It’s so much cheaper and healthier, as there is no salt. We love fresh veggies and fruit and buy what’s in season, often visiting local farmer’s markets. I buy fish, usually flash frozen, from Trader Joe’s and watch for sales on organic chicken and meats, although we are not huge meat eaters. This time of year I make a lot soups…ok…and breads… lol. Love visiting the orchards in Ulster County, and in full disclosure, I have yet to meet a fresh cinnamon donut from the apple orchards that I didn’t love.. Your pictures are fabulous!

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      • Oh, thank you so much about my pictures Maureen. I appreciate the good word.
        Well, Maureen, those apple cider spice donuts are being fried up as we write to each other. I have to be honest, I won’t be passing them up. I may try to limit how many I will eat but eat them I will!
        I tried to get my food bill down to $450 but was having a tough time. Mind you, it used to be $600 (and counting) but I did stop THAT expense. $500 seems to work for us. Like you, we eat in season. I buy frozen flounder, cod and haddock. Those are easy for me to cook up. But I don’t like the frozen salmon and I can’t figure out why. To buy fresh salmon is very, very expensive. Sometimes between $12 and $10 a pound. For some strange reason, Aldi started selling fresh salmon at only $7.99 a pound. It’s delish and sustainable. No guilt. Hubby bakes it with a touch of olive oil and salt & pepper.
        I don’t cook that much with beans. Once a month I make hummus and falafel but I just pop open a can of chick peas (rinsed, of course) and it’s only .59 cents. I buy all our local farm chicken on sale @$1.49 a pound. I wait for the sales. Tomorrow center cut pork chops go on sale at the gourmet store @$1.79. Anything under two bucks is a deal!!! I get chopped turkey from Aldi and nitrate free cold cut meats, bacon and frankfurters (all organic). I wait for the steak sales @Shop Rite (Tee bone or NY strip) @$5.99 a pound. Those we eat once per month. We do eat a whole lot of Aldi eggs. At .79 a dozen, how can you go wrong? They’re amazing!
        Eating and buying in season fruits and veggies is the way to go. Can’t wait till butternut squash is harvested. This weekend we’re self-picking honey crisp apples which IMHO make the best apple pies! Expect to see some photos of them!
        My fave soup is the Tuscan Bean soup, with turkey sausage, lots of spinach and kale, carrots, celery and a can of cannelloni beans in my own, fresh made chicken broth.
        Maureen, life doesn’t get any better than this, right?
        Thanks again for your comment.

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  4. Cindi: I have to try Aldi. There’s one right over the line in CT. We have chickens that lay eggs, so we eat a lot of them too. Honey Crisp are the BEST eating apples. Have never used them for apple pie…usually use Granny Smith, but will try it at your suggestion. Your Tuscan Bean Soup sounds amazing!

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    • I’ll be making the soup soon. Stay tuned. I’ll also share my recipe.
      When you first go to an Aldi, be prepared for culture shock. It was a learning curve for us. We didn’t start out too well and that was because Aldi didn’t have a lot of healthy items when they began here in the US. Hubby balked but now he’s a fan. Takes time for change.
      Good luck.
      PS: bring a quarter to ‘rent’ a shopping cart. You get the quarter back at the end. 🙂

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  5. Hi Cindi, Instead of concentrating on price I have been emphasizing buying quality and organic items cutting my serving size, and not bringing home any carb treats, successfully dropping some weight slowly. A lifestyle change that has given me more energy. I love Aldi’s Organic brown rice and can not wait for their butternut squash sale. Love their eggs , salmon, organic Greek yogurt, and steel cut oatmeal.
    By Shopping Sales, a 5.25%credit card rewards on food , and using gift cards redemptions I have kept my grocery bill very low this year. I just had the last free leg of lamb I bought with my Xfinity gift card last week. So yummy in a homemade gyro. I also still have free paper goods from this gift card to tide me over till spring 2020! Lastly, I have had a bumper crop of green beans for two months from the free seeds from my son’s library! Layering various forms of frugal techniques has kept my new hormone free and organic eating style under $130 a month. I do use Friehofers thrift store to get Arnold’s organic breads at 3 for $3 and their not at their expiration date. $15 worth of organic bread for $3 works for me! Sincerely, Lara

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    • That’s a great idea about Friehofers. I had no idea they had organic breads. I have to check them out now!
      If it were just eating at home, I’d probably have the same costs as you do. Lately I’ve been happy with sandwiches and PB&J. My daughter has great success with those gift cards. I always take the cash back since I’m not a shopper. I’m just starting to get into steel cut oats this past week. I got the quick cooking kind but you still have to cook them a lot longer than the old fashioned oats. Perfect, however, for the cooler weather.
      Cutting serving size has been a steady thing here. Can you believe hubby and I used to eat a full pound of pasta per meal? Now, we don’t even eat 1/3rd. Crazy, right? I think as I’m getting older I prefer to eat less and less. Hubs however seems to be eating more and more (yet getting slimmer and slimmer)
      Go figure!

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