If you can spare $3 for a hamburger and french fries, you can afford to eat healthy, sustainable food. Hsinya and I spend $2.65 per person per meal.
Here’s a sample estimate of our weekly budget:
|Food (1)||Where we get it||Cost|
|Vegetables and Fruits (About $1.50/lb.)||Community Supported Agriculture||$56|
|Cheese (1lb. at $10/lb.)||Farmer’s Market||$10|
|Beef (2lb. at $8/lb.) (2)||Farmer’s Market||$16|
|Milk (1 gallon at $5/gallon)||Grocery Store||$5|
|Almonds (1lb. at $5/lb.)||Farmer’s Market||$5|
|Raisins (1lb. at $7.50/lb.)||Farmer’s Market||$7.50|
|Lentils (2lbs. at $2/lb.)||Grocery Store||$4|
|Rice (4lbs. at $2/lb.)||Grocery Store||$8|
Each week varies, but we spend roughly $110 a week for two adults. It therefore only costs $2.65 per meal per person (3). Food prices vary by location, but eating real, healthy food is almost always cheaper than greasy, sugar-laden fast food. To keep organic affordable, we avoid eating packaged food and eating at restaurants. Organic food gets expensive when you buy packaged, processed food like pizza from the supermarket, but it can be affordable if you make the pizza from scratch. We make almost everything ourselves, and we don’t waste time driving to a restaurant or waiting for delivery. We roll our own tortillas, bake our own bread, and mix our own salad dressing; we’ve even experimented making our own soymilk and tofu from organic soybeans. Hummus costs $6 at the grocery store, but raw ingredients cost only $2, so I prepare it at home. It saves me the hassle of constantly having to shop at the grocery store, and our food is fresher and preservative free.
We purchase in bulk wherever possible to save money. This also helps the environment by avoiding unnecessary packaging. Generally, we found it cheaper to purchase dried food than canned or frozen. Dried food is an incredible value because you’re not paying for water. After the food is re-hydrated, it weighs twice more than what you paid for. When you buy canned food, you’re wasting money on water and aluminum. We purchase rice and beans in 20lb. bags, which we use to cook a tasty meal for less than fifty cents per person. Lastly, we purchase our produce in bulk from a local farm to get lower prices.
We don’t eat too much meat in our family. We buy free-range eggs and pastured meat in moderation since they are more expensive than produce. A little meat is good for you, but if you eat more than half a pound of meat each day on average, you’re risking heart disease, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer. We spend more than half our budget on fresh fruits and vegetables; they’re three times cheaper and better for our health.
If you’re used to eating processed food, eating organic will actually save you money. Organic food is more nutritious and cheaper than frozen dinners and fast food. Instead of purchasing processed cereal with artificially injected vitamins and minerals, you can choose real food with naturally-occurring nutrients at a lower cost. Let eating organic be the way to help you eat healthier, fresher, and cheaper.
Is my food budget too expensive for you?
- All of the food in this budget is either certified organic or purchased from local farms.
- We actually don’t buy beef every week because 2lb can last us one month.
- $110 per week, for 3 meals a week, 7 days a week, for two people: $110 / (3 * 7 * 2) = $2.65