This past weekend, Brian and I made a trip down to Granville Island (not really an island) and did a bit of grocery shopping at the marketplace. Now, we’re pretty infamous for our $200 grocery budget, so it may be surprising to learn that we really do enjoy good food.
I ended up purchasing (among other items) four slices of fresh European style smoked bacon for nearly $5. Yes, $5 for 4 slices of bacon. But oh, they are the most beautiful slices of bacon ever. Thick, lean and delicious. I’m not sure what I’m going to make with them yet, but whatever it is, it will be EPIC.
How does this work with our budget? Simple – moderation. Most people don’t need to eat a lot of meat – the majority of us do not exert ourselves physically enough to warrant eating a steak for dinner. For example, someone my size who works a desk job and exercises semi-regularly, 40g of protein a day is more than sufficient. And protein does not equal meat either, necessarily. It includes yogurt and cheeses too.
Back to the bacon – I consider bacon an indulgence. It’s not a terribly healthy food and not something I would eat regularly. So when I do eat it, why not get something high quality instead of something that is mass-marketed, pre-packaged and heavily salted? Why not spend a bit more for something that I’ll savour for a few minutes longer?
That’s one of the philosophies behind our grocery budget – some things we don’t spend a lot of money on. Fruits and veggies, for example, don’t tend to cost us a lot of money because we buy what is on sale and in season. Even for organic items, it doesn’t end up costing a lot of money at all. Other things, we can afford to be picky, as long as we do it in moderation. So I can buy the occasional nice, fancy, cut of meat and really, really enjoy it… and just have a few extra vegetarian meals during the week!
How do you balance eating well with eating on a budget?