Food + Money

quoteAlison says: This [Food Is Fuel] post seems to contradict your budget minded philosphies. Whole Food’s prices are astronomical, the formula you posted is $102 and paying for a wellness coach seems like a huge luxury. I understand prioritizing to meet the costs of more wholesome living, but I’m curious to know if you could talk about what you’re giving up (if anything) to accommodate these extra costs? hexline 622

Great question! Being budget-minded is what allows us to do this! We (obviously) still live on a budget - we just watch our food spending a little closer, and put a little more in that category now. We bumped up our food spending from $100/week to $110/week. We did this because some weeks we were going over, and some weeks it would just be really tight. So we added $10/week to ease the stress.

What have we given up? Money that could be going to emergency savings each month. But we still save a large amount each month (7.3% of our take-home income). Spending an extra $10/week (or $44/month) on food isn't a huge deal to us at this point in our lives. Four years ago, it was a different story. This wasn't possible - or a priority - for us at that point. We simply had too much debt and too big of a house payment to make it work.

We 100% believe it is worth it for us to make these changes. We are debt-free and have a significant emergency fund, and have the extra funds each month to do this. We considered making these life changes a few years ago, but it wasn't worth it to us at the time considering we were in debt. And, a baby changes everything. We're happy that when she starts eating table food, we'll be serving her organic produce, local meat, and limited GMOs.

Worth Mentioning

  • We don't buy everything at Whole Foods. We really rarely go there. But, I've seen their organic strawberries priced at 2 for $5. That's 50% off! So, at times it can be worth it.
  • Our Hy-Vee Health Market offers 10% off on Wednesdays, so I'm hoping to get there more on my day off to save on food costs.
  • Our wellness coach/chiropractor gets paid from our flexible spending account, so it's pretax dollars and comes out of our paycheck before we even see the money. To us it's an investment, not a luxury.
  • Hopefully our investment in food and chiropractic care means spending less on health care in the future!

You are right - it costs more to eat healthy. I hate that, but we just can't ignore it anymore.

hexline 622

P.S. One thing we have learned (the expensive way) is to try one new thing one at a time. One day we bought coconut water and kale chips and hated them both! So, that was a waste of precious $8. :(