One of the great highlights of this past week included seeing a pin on Pinterest cheering us on: “She starts this week 1/6/14! Hope she does it! Living Off $80/Week at Whole Foods Market | The Whole Family On a Budget!”
Reader, if you’re still following along, thank you for that!
You inspired an avalanche: an official website (Welcome, everyone!), as well as TWFOaB Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts! Such life giving encouragement!
To avoid a marathon post with photos that move at about this pace,
my media savvy husband made it so you just have to click on the title of each dish to see the full recipe, and possibly, hear a story or two!
Twenty One Meals for 3 people (read about breakfast and lunch in the last post… lunch also included leftovers) came and went without us seeing a need to make Navajo Tacos or Omelette with Oatmeal Bread as originally planned. Friends, we could eat well for another 4 days without grocery shopping with all of the food that is left! For example…
The Four DOZEN rolls that the recipe made. Many of them went into the freezer dressed like this,
and will toast up nicely for breakfasts and lunches to come!
Something changed in me during this project. In the past, I have had this huge inner conflict between eating for health and eating for wealth. When WFM asked me to start this project, I knew (and Kristen probably did too) that I came as a student more than a teacher. Though we have made radical decisions for our glamorous age (ie. drive a paid for old car, rent until we can afford a downpayment and college is paid for, have only purchased 2 of the pieces of furniture in our house- in cash, don’t buy clothes on credit cards), we have made some other rash choices (ie. “I don’t have enough on my debit card to pay for my organic everything? Well, could you put the rest on this credit card?” and “It will take a long time to make something, and the dining room table is a mess, let’s just eat out.”) In truth, oh painful truth, had we had an actual food budget these past 4 years, we probably would be closer to the aforementioned goal. Everyone has their priorities. Mine included calamari and raw oysters.
Back to what changed: since we did start an actual household budget this past December, I confess that the very idea of it provoked a rather profound consternation within me. When we looked at our (ugh, I still feel sick thinking about it) October and November spending- we MORE than doubled the cost of our rent on restaurants and groceries. Friends… Don’t judge!
In December, we stuck to an on paper budget. In January, we birthed this project that scared the gajeebers out of me. Maybe we all spend on the thing that we hide in, the thing that comforts us. For some it’s a Mercedes or extravagant home, for us… it (was) imported cheese and pomegranates.
As I put together the story of this week, and acknowledge the full grocery bag of food not even used, I experienced courage. Courage to live on less. Courage to eat $80/week or less at ever inspiring, beautiful, healthFULL Whole Foods Market every week. We found more with less.
Now, as with all new freedom and insight comes work. So, let’s keep at this together! 2014 is off to a smashing start! Let’s hit repeat! (and, guess what?! I already have the next week of photos & anecdotes underway, with quick- vegetable heavy meals, that were purchased for less than $80!)
The Allen Family
P.S. Did you make any of these recipes? We would like to get to know you! Tell us about it in the comment section below.
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