The goal of minimalism is to cut away all that is unnecessary in order to focus intensely on the important things in life. What is important to me is having the time, space, and ability to pursue adventurous activities. I labor to have the funds available, a properly fit and healthy body, and the time to stay active. Eating healthy and cheaply have a direct affect on those goals. Although I would love to grow a majority of my own food and supplement the rest with local, organic cuisine, logistically I haven't figured out how to make it plausible.
Here are the problems I see:
- Obesity is taking over our nation, and is directly tied to what and how we consume our food.
- Obesity is causing a large number of health problems and diseases.
- The cost of food is rising.
- Processed foods have all kinds of unnatural chemicals that can be harmful
- Packaged food can have deceptive labeling and unnoticed harmful attributes.
Without going to the extreme of running off to the hills and starting my own ranch, I have been making small and profitable changes to the way I purchase and consume food. Here are a few tips and changes I have made.
- I try to eat out less. When you prepare your own food, you save tons of money and have control over the ingredients.
- I rarely drink coffee shop espressos. I was spending up to $100 a month on the green labeled cup. I'd like to go coffee free eventually to save more money.
- Drink more water! Not only is a well hydrated body healthy and productive, water is practically free. Sugary drinks usually have tons of chemicals, are expensive, rot your teeth, and are terrible for your health. I'm all for treating yourself periodically, just don't make it a daily habit.
- Do 80% of your shopping in the produce section. Fill up on seasonal fruits and veggies, inexpensive greens, and cheap staples like apples, potatoes, and bananas.
- An occasional package of chips, crackers, or cookies, aren't going to kill your health or budget. However, even though it looks cheap, it's low in nutritional value, and only fills your with empty calories.
- I get a $5 box of lettuce at week and make salads daily, adding a few dollars in topping like tomatoes and nuts.
- Shop small and often for produce. Things like berries, and bananas ripe and go bad within 2-4 days. It's a huge waste to buy produce and throw it out because it spoiled.
If I could sum up this new movement towards healthier eating and more money saving, it would be: Eat more of what God made, and less of what man made.