The Price of Eating Right

I was really happy the other day when Brian told me he’d found a little produce stand close to our house. We had a great one in Florida and in the Summer months we took a weekly trip there to load up on the cheap. That stuff just seems to taste so much better when they don’t come from a grocery store. And of course I was very excited at the prices.

Like with most people (I guess), I have a grocery budget. Or at least try to have one. I’m fairly consistent with coupons and bargain shopping when it comes to our food. Yes it’s a pain in the ass, but it drives me insane to spend so much money on something that we need to survive. (And yes I do need coffee to survive, thank you) I was really dreading going shopping the first time after I started on the healthy kick, because I knew I’d be shopping the perimeter of the store more than usual and I know that area is more expensive than the boxed and canned aisles.

When Brian wasn’t working full time, things like DiGiorno pizza, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Rice-a-Roni, Suddenly Salad (Ranch & Bacon all the way), Zataran’s various spicy boxed dinners, Gordons Crunchy Fish Parts – all that stuff went into my cart on a weekly basis. Carby things with sodium and preservatives are very tasty and VERY AFFORDABLE. And obviously very bad for when I want to fit into my pants. Now that I’m trying to replace the evil with the righteous, yes it’s costing more, but luckily it has coincided with two regular incomes again. That the fact that you’d be amazed at the money you save when you’re not buying ice cream, cookies, chips, Little Debbies and so forth. Funny how I can always justify buying crap, but bitch about the price of fresh vegetables. It ain’t easy being me.

In a perfect world, I’d have an Oprah chef preparing me fresh and tasty food all day long. Salads, sea food, grilled chicken that doesn’t taste like cardboard – it would be totally easy and enjoyable to eat right. In my world, I am the only chef, and I am a lazy-ass. While it doesn’t take rocket science to buy ingredients for a salad and carry those ingredients with me to work, it does take forethought and a small amount of effort. And it’s sad, but it appears this going to be an ongoing test for me to execute this with any consistency. However, when I paid $6 for a half-assed chef salad from a grocery deli the other day, I was pretty disgusted with myself. I know I work five days a week and on every one of those days I’m going to want lunch; why do I only usually manage to plan ahead for a couple of those days?

I guess it’s just another challenge in a whole slew of ’em.

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8 Responses to The Price of Eating Right

  1. crisitunity says:

    I totally hear you. This is why beans and rice are so popular in my house. Cheap and versatile and portable.

    Unfortunately, the farmer’s markets in my area are all outrageously expensive. (They charge because they can – green is in, and the people around here are rich and trendy.) I get seriously green-eyed when I read about people whose farmer’s markets are cheaper than the grocery store. Not so, ours.

    • Kimmothy says:

      Well, I should clarify, we have an expensive-ass farmer’s market here too, which I haven’t been to in a long time. This place is literally a stand on the side of the road. I wish they had a better variety, but I’m damn thankful for the tomatoes!

  2. Laura says:

    All of our farmer’s markets are expensive too. We have a farm co-op that delivers to AcronymCo on a weekly basis, for $20/week you get an assortment of whatever’s growing at the time. But you have to pay for 10 weeks in advance, and try telling Calvin that I have to pay $200 bucks for VEGETABLES. I did this once a couple of years ago (back when I had to pick it up, from a different farm) and got, like, four weeks in a row of armenian cukes (hate those) and spaghetti squash (love it, but there’s only so much a body can eat). I decided I’d rather get my stuff at Trader Joe’s (tired of me name dropping, yet?), but that gets me going to two stores instead of one, and I impulse buy in both of them, and all of a sudden our grocery “budget” is laughable.

    • Kimmothy says:

      Wow, 10 weeks in advance. I’d say that’s a little unrealistic for most people! I wonder why they make it that way, considering I’d be they’d do much better if it wasn’t. Interesting.
      Damn you and your Trader Joe’s!!!

    • crisitunity says:

      BF’s work has a program like that too, except it’s Pennsylvania Dutch who grow the veggies instead of a co-op. I thought it would be kind of cool to do, but we can’t really afford it and I was worried the deliveries would be too much for just the two of us. I’m not sure if the variety would be as bad here or not – since you’re in a desert state and all – but it’s another good reason not to spend the money.

  3. Taoist Biker says:

    All I heard was “Zatarain’s.”

    Honey, change in dinner plans! 😀 (Kidding. This time.)

    • Kimmothy says:

      Yes, Brian could eat that crap every night. I like it to, but if I wanted that much sodium, I’d just have a salt lick for dinner!

      • Taoist Biker says:

        I’d never really been crazy about it until my one trip to New Orleans, where I had some REALLY GOOD red beans & rice for lunch in the Quarter. For about $4. I was so stunned I tipped $6.

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