This post has been inspired by the Choose FI radio podcast “Congratulations America you are fat and broke.”
We are family of four and we eat great food every day. I don’t even remember the last time we went out to eat. Our family tradition is to have an elaborate feast every Sunday. We grill, bake and celebrate each other. Our average monthly grocery bill is around $350 a month.
- THE GOLDEN RULE OF FOOD.
“Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend, and give dinner to your enemy.” This is an old proverb translated from Russian, which means that you need to have a complete breakfast, eat a leaner lunch and avoid dinner at all cost.
Amoo is my husband’s 96 year old uncle who is a perfect example of someone who has been following this advice for more than half of his life. This incredible man is in FANTASTIC shape and other than a slight vision loss (due to age of course) he is in EXCELLENT health!!! This is what his daily intake looks like:
BREAKFAST: grandiose feast of a king. Amoo can eat sausage, eggs, cereal, pastry, fruit, and nuts in one setting!
LUNCH: usually includes Persian rice, veggies and a lean protein.
DINNER: nothing, unless he is a little hungry. In that case he will split an apple with his wife.
- SHOP AT THE IMMIGRANT GROCERY STORES. If you are lucky to live in a city with a huge immigrant population you can save tons of money by grocery shopping at these stores. We buy meat from the Persian store, bread, grains and kolbasa from the Russian, fish from Korean and fresh produce from Indian, Chinese and Mexican stores. You will pay a fraction of a cost for a delicious, fresh food! Another fantastic store is ALDI!
- AVOID THROWING OUT FOOD! Don’t overstock your fridge. A quick trip to the grocery store will not kill you. I don’t like crowds and shop really early in the morning. You need to be able to see what you have in your fridge and pantry. Use everything! Figure out what are absolute must have grocery items. For us it is: meat, onion, potato, rice and any other veggies on hand. I can cook ANYTHING if I have these items.
- BUY SEASONAL FRUITS & VEGETABLES, not only do they taste better, but they are cheaper too! I am typing this in the fall and we are buying apples, pears, grapes, squash, and zucchini. Winter time is great for citrus fruit like oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit! We buy berries and tomatoes in spring and watermelons and peaches in the summer. Every season offers so much variety; try new things, you might be surprised how delicious they are!
- CUT DOWN YOUR PORTION. Use smaller plates, containers; split a meal with your spouse. Overtime you will be able to shrink your stomach and even tiny amount of food will satisfy you.
- STOP EATING OUT ON A DAILY BASIS! You can make all this delicious food at home and much cheaper! DON’T BE LAZY! Google the recipes. Make a trip to the restaurant a special occasion; not something that is done often. Restaurant food is expensive and full of calories (lose-lose situation). Eat at home to save money and to lose weight (this one is 100% win-win).
- EAT DELICIOUS, BEAUTIFUL FOOD. Food should be enjoyed; make it pretty and colorful. Serve your food on a beautiful platter, use a real tablecloth and cloth napkins, rescue your grandmother’s china from the dust and let your family (and not just guests) enjoy it.
What are you food hacks?