Those cage-free, pastured eggs are 50 cents per egg! I can get an entire burger for a buck!
How much logic do you put into choosing what goes into your body? When I go to a restaurant that serves giant portions, it is an immediate turn-off, because I believe they have to offer food quantity over food quality and taste. I am an economical person and think budgeting is fun (yes, fun!), but there is a difference between cheap and frugal.
There is nothing I like less than leaving a restaurant and having to go home and eat more food because the servings were so small. However, I never opt for one based on how much I can fill my belly. If they can use items purchased or grown locally, it gives me the warm fuzzies to know I am helping a local farmer and voting with my dollars that I respect my body and community by paying an extra buck. If it’s made onsite (not assembled, but made!) I am telling myself I am worth more than something made by a robot who will never see me eat it.
Choosing your food or restaurants based on cost alone is not a respectful move. There are many reasons why some foods should cost more. I buy most of my produce and all of my meats, fish, and cheeses locally through a community supported agriculture company. Every week I can read about the farms, farmers who take care of them and how they raise or grow their food. They are not giant corporations with owners in other countries. They are eating the very food they grow and have a commitment to the friends, families, and neighbors in the community they are supplying. I swear the foods really do taste better, yolks are more yellow, and fruits and veggies are sometimes picked within 1-2 days instead of trucked across the country.
If you think buying products from smaller companies is more expensive, there are ways to get around that. Programs like Thrive Market and Green Polka Dot Box deliver discounted foods right to your door. I’m a big fan of Amazon Subscribe and Save where I set my deliveries up to arrive at a schedule I choose and get an extra 5-15% off the already low Amazon price. Yes, please! Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, we can also get items delivered to us through Prime Pantry where we can load up a box of goodies and receive a discount.
Do you think that if it’s more expensive, it’s automatically better? Wrong!
About 15 years ago I met an Italian man at a train station in London. This man sold marinara sauce to Dean & Deluca (very expensive) and Aldi’s (mega discount). It was the same sauce with a $10 price difference! Self-respect doesn’t always mean more money, but it can mean looking at ingredients to see what is recognizable and knowing what the heck you are putting inside yourself.
We all have to pick and choose and can’t go 100% perfect because that doesn’t exist. I can read a million articles about how antiperspirant isn’t good for you, but you better believe when I am speaking in front of 800 people, I am not going to let my audience be distracted by pit stains growing on my jacket.
So….how can you start with respecting your inside as much as your outside?
What’s one thing you eat almost daily that you could switch? Can you change up your eggs? Can you find a local honey producer, dairy farmer or apple grower? Meet them, and you won’t feel wrong about paying an extra fifty cents for that half gallon of 2%.
Do you have a go-to restaurant that you visit solely because it’s cheap? Have a day of self-respect and treat yourself to a local spot that makes everything to order and cares about your insides as much as you do. I do a monthly coffee-walkie-talkie with a friend, and when a new restaurant opened nearby, we changed our lunch to brunch (saved about $6-7) and visited the new place for a $7 hot chocolate. OMG, I know…a $7 hot chocolate! But, it was made with very high-quality ingredients, we were supporting new business, and it ended up being about the same price as I would have spent on the usual date. We substituted without feeling like we lost anything in the process of our time. And quite frankly, I felt a little shi-shi about it and that it was even more of a special occasion!
I know that certain parts of the country don’t have access to local food due to nutritional deserts or cold climates. Start small with replacing some of your low-quality chemical concoctions wrapped in crinkly packages with better quality products.
What is one change you can make, even if it is a mindset shift, that will help you treat your insides with the self-respect they deserve?
This article was originally published in Money, Inc.