Eat Well, Live Well

After spending the past two years between BC’s moist and fertile Fraser Valley and the wine-flowing and fruit-filled Okanagan, we now find ourselves in dry/cold urban Alberta. Hmm!!! And while the fuel for the car is significantly more affordable and the HST isn’t added on to our purchases, good food (and by food I mean actual food that’s grown or raised as food, not edible synthetics) is much more limited. The organic market isn’t as developed and the offerings that are most readily available are either imported or overpriced (or both!).

The other night while conversing with another family upstairs, we found ourselves focusing on the questions of food and budgets, particularly as they relate to large and/or low income families. “You can’t be healthy and cheap!” was one concluding statement.


So then (and bear with my disjointedness, I know the writing quality is wonky these days! I blame the newborn next to my bed 😉 ), I have decided that it CAN be done. We can eat well. We can eat well without putting an excess of funds towards our food. We can eat well and increase our health and overall sense of wellness. We can eat well and still practice hospitality and giving and pleasure in flavor. Oh, and by ‘eating well’ I mean eating food that is food, products which didn’t damage other humans during growth and production, ingredients which do more good than harm in my body, meat which won’t put man-boobies on my boys, eggs whose mamas saw some sunshine, portions which satisfy, and enough vegetables that we actually notice that they are present in the bowl.

 What do you think?
Can it be done?
Can it be done with a student family of four living on EI in the middle of winter in a Albertan city?  

 Wanna try it with me
What’s your family look like? Wanna join the challenge? I’ve got some good ideas…and I bet you do too!

8 Responses to “Eat Well, Live Well”
  1. Kmarie says:

    Show the way…especially if you can figure out how to eat properly at 100 dollars per week for a family of five. Because that is what we live off of. I would love to hear your ideas!

  2. Carissa says:

    I think it can be done, I just don’t think we’d like everything we’d have to eat to do it:) But I’m super interested to see what you come up with!!

  3. Dana Fiorito says:

    You know I do….Our budget is tight…about 100 bucks /week for 6 people (I try to shoot for 60…doesn’t work too well) The Sates have such cheap food!!!
    Are you going to do like a ‘grocery-a-long’ or something???? What kinds of foods should we be looking for and where can we find them??

  4. maria says:

    Yes it can be done!

    We are a family of five and live on $75 a week. That also includes a dog and cat. 🙂

    I think the priority is to cook from scratch. This seems to work really well for me. And try to buy those manager specials in the market. You trim the fat of some of the meat or chicken and you can definitely eat well.

    Another tip, eat lots and lots of grains and legumes.

    I am really looking forward to this challenge 🙂


  5. Kit says:

    Since trying to eat more REAL foods, I have noticed our food bill rising. But think of the money you might be saving on doctors later…

    Yeah, I think cooking from scratch is definitely key. We try to do our fam of 5 on a $100/week budget. It’s hard to stay under that when you want to buy quality foods. My biggest expenses right now is raw milk, and diapers.

  6. psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

    Cooking from scratch is key. If you’ve ever seen the Non-Consumer Advocate site – she did a challenge in June or July of 2010 and tried to feed her family on what the average family in Oregon received in food stamps. I’m not sure how much “natural” food she used, but I learned a lot about how to accomplish this. I think it worked out to $75/person/month. I am going to try to have a $100 month in January for my family of 3 (me and two teens) but I have the luxury of having canned and frozen a lot of fresh food earlier in the year. I’m pretty much a lurker who found this site recently from Farmama, but I enjoy it very much and will try to keep along with your challenge.
    I just want to encourage you to try to do the best you can – even if you don’t totally make it – you will have done better just for trying – have faith.

  7. psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

    I also wanted to add that last week @ Farmers’ market, I got some locally raised, grass-fed angus stew beef for $3.00/lb and used it in stew – duh. It was awesome! Consider that sustainably raised beef, eggs, etc, really are what seems to me to be more nutrient and flavor dense and I can cut down on portion size. The beef, although the smallest part of the stew ingredients was more of a flavorant than the main ingredient and my kids didn’t notice because the stew was so rich and tasty. In general, using the protein as an ingredient rather than sitting there on the plate all by itself, allows me as the cook the control over the portion size of what is typically the most expensive part of the meal. Another thing I did to stretch the meal is to add a carb – in this case a biscuit – that we all crumbled into the stew – again reducing the overall proportion of the protein.
    And leftovers should always be considered ingredients in another meal. That way I never waste REAL food.

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