There's no two ways about it – maintaining a healthy diet definitely takes effort. Between our many obligations, finding time in our fast lives to prepare a fresh, home-cooked slow food meal can be a challenge in itself.
The financial cost, however, does not have to be a strain. We firmly believe that healthy meals can be just as budget-friendly as fast food and freezer items. You just have to think a little ahead.
This is why we're so excited about Slow Food's $5 Challenge. The idea is simple - on September 17, your task (should you choose to accept it) is to eat a slow food meal for less than $5 per person. Your slow food meal can be a dinner cooked for yourself and a few friends or a whole neighborhood potluck! If you want to join a pre-existing event, the Slow Food website can even help you find a local $5 Challenge event.
We hope this challenge will help debunk the myth that healthy food has to cost more than McDonalds. Once we show our friends and families that a real "value meal" saves your health as well as your cash, the movement can expand.
After you sign up, Slow Food will email you some great resources for low-cost meals, but for an extra boost, we've put together a few tips for eating healthy on a budget.
- Go for produce that’s in season. Don’t know what’s in season? Check out our Tumblr post with a chart right from the Integrative Nutrition book.
- Buy in bulk. Costco or Sam’s Club could be your best friend for frozen veggies, canned goods, and meats you can toss in the freezer and defrost as needed.
- Invest in a slow cooker. As far as kitchen appliances go, they’re a steal. Then just throw your ingredients into the pot before you head off to work, and you’ll come home to a delicious fragrance and a ready meal.
- Go vegetarian. Even if it’s only once or twice a week, the money you’ll save skipping expensive proteins will add up quickly. Choose an egg based dish if you like – they’re one of the cheapest proteins available.
- Buy store brand.
- Pack a lunch. It will take a little extra time, but save you bundles of money (not to mention inches on your waistline).
For even more tips, check out our blogpost on Eating healthy on the cheap.
How will you partipate in the Slow Food Challenge?