Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Well, if we're really being honest here ...

We've made it through our first two weekends on the Dollar Diet and are heading into our second full week. I'll admit it has been easier than I expected, but we're only twelve days into the month. In surveying our freezer inventory last night, I'm honestly getting a little worried about what we'll be eating around April 20 or so.

I think we'll have enough food, but honestly, I just don't know. It got me thinking: What if we really had to live like this? What if we couldn't afford to purchase healthy, fresh ingredients for every meal like we're accustomed to doing? I went to the grocery store last Thursday and I was shocked at just how little $10 buys in produce.

A couple of weeks ago, Casey and I were watching this show on TV called, "Secret Millionaire", where these company CEO's go undercover and live a poverty-similar lifestyle for a week. This particular episode featured the founders of Curves (a fitness center for women). They were complaining about how they felt like they could only purchase and eat unhealthy things for the meager $6/day each that they were given. At the time, I balked! $6/day is $42/week each. That about our grocery budget each week. Surely, they manage a little better than peanut butter sandwiches!

But as I'm experiencing a limited budget now, I realize... no really, it's hard. Sure, I got enough fresh veggies for the week on my $10 budget. But I couldn't afford the delicious apples or the peaches that were practically calling my name. Yogurt was out of the question because the eggs that we needed ate up the remainder of the $10.

I can see now why families on a limited budget sometimes make the nutrition choices they make. If I had to choose between $4 yogurt or $3 peaches and a free box of brownie mix or packaged pasta meals for less than a dollar; I would certainly choose the brownie mix and packaged goods.

I guess my point in all of this is that this experiment has really opened our eyes a lot to the "What if"s out there. Limiting our budget so tightly has been really hard to do, healthily, on our tiny family of (well, 2 1/4). I can't imagine trying to do this for a big family or for a family of teenage boys (Good Lord, can you imagine?!?)

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