The MSN Money website has an article How to eat when you’re really broke“. Author Liz Weston reckons an average American family should be able to save about $3,000 a year and could save much more.
She offers some simple and easy advice:
- Eat mostly at home (a no-brainer if you want to save money ;)
- Skip the processing (another no-brainer, processed foods cost more because they cost more to make) but what interests me, and I’ll come back to this, is that she starts the paragraph like this: “Steer away from foods with lots of additives, chemicals and packaging; they’re often not as good for you“
- Demote meat (this one will save you less in NZ but even here in the land of cheap meat the cost of protein from beans and such is way less than meat)
- Promote veggies – she notes that buying in-season and local produce will save you even more
- Go for the grains – noting that “offer more nutrients and fiber“
I’ll hold off mentioning the last suggestion from the front page for a moment and comment more on the ones above. (I’ll return to the remaining suggestion below, don’t worry ;)
What strikes me about the suggestions above is that:
- they could only apply to Westerners and the rich in the majority world, no one else could afford to eat other than this way
- these suggestions are practically identical with the proposals Western governments are making in order to improve their populations’ health!
So, the long and the short of it is: The way most of us eat is expensive, bad for us, and unsustainable on a global scale. Something is wrong somewhere. (If you want more discussion on this issue, and some great recipes to help you do something about it try, as well as Google, our blog: Repentant Carnivores.)
Oh, yes, that final suggestion:
- Watch the waste – “Americans waste up to 40% of our food supply. If that’s the case in your household, you could save hundreds of dollars a year just by patrolling your refrigerator, freezer and pantry each day so you can use stuff before it rots.” Frankly that’s disgusting, if the figure is anything like that high in other countries there is something seriously wrong.