Note: This is an old post, but the topic is still relevant, what do you think?
Rachael Ray not only has cooking shows and cookbooks but she has her own talk show.
One of her segments had Whoopi Goldberg on to help explore a “hot topic”. Today it was the Fat Tax. Here is basically what I wrote her:
I just had to write because I just saw your segment with Whoopi about the “fat tax”. Now, while I do not agree with the fat tax I really have to contend with something else that was said- that healthy food is not affordable.
Healthy food can be affordable- most people are simply not educated in the ways to find it.
My husband and I spend around $40 a week on food- and I have a special diet due to health- so I know I could spend less if this was not the case. I also live in San Diego, which is one of the more expensive places to live in the US. Granted we do not have kids yet, but I am a firm believer that we could still spend under $75 a week with kids.
The types of things I buy are: fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, proteins (including meat, eggs, peanut butter and beans). These are not cheap things, but if you know how to shop for them they can become very affordable.
I do realize that some of the places I shop are regional but I would bet that there are affordable places to buy healthy food in every area. Great places for really affordable, healthy food in my area include the 99cent only stores (tons of fresh fruits and veggies for a steal), Fresh and Easy (offering half price, fruits, veggies, meat and premade entrees that are up that day as well as a $6 off a $30 purchase that can be printed from their web site), Also, looking through my local grocery store ads I can see several great sales that would allow people to get great prices on healthy grocery items.
Truly, consumers need to relearn both shopping and eating. You mentioned a viewer that talked about not being able to afford broccoli for a recipe you made on the show- so what if you can’t afford broccoli this week- then substitute the frozen green beans that are on sale for .99 cents a pound (and frozen or fresh broccoli will probably be on sale next week and you can stock up).
I run a web site that helps people not only get free stuff but also helps them lead a more frugal lifestyle. And believe me- this is a learned behavior- I am still learning. But I love helping people learn to spend their money more deliberately and meaningfully.
It is possibly to live (and eat well and healthfully) on a limited budget.
So what did you think of my letter? Is my experience true? Or do you find that it is really impossible to eat healthy on a limited budget? What are your strategies?
I think it would be beneficial for Rachael to have an ongoing segment that would help educate the American people how to live more frugally and prepare meals on a budget.
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