$1.50 a day?

By OldSugarFreak Latest Reply 2013-12-18 09:21:33 -0600
Started 2013-12-16 13:50:33 -0600

Can we actually make a difference in our health for only $1.50 / day?


I realize that for some people that can become a lot of money especially with larger families but the health impact appears to be real and over time cheaper than eating non-healthy foods.


9 replies

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-17 10:43:13 -0600 Report

I think there are too many variables to this. Depending on where you live, the demographics are different. The cost of foods in wealthier communities are much higher than in communities where a majority of the people are on fixed incomes. The quality of the foods are also different. The cost of food in low to middle income communities is much cheaper than in wealthy or poor communities.

For example, in my community, we have people on fixed incomes, people working at poverty level which are the working poor and people with high paying jobs. The supermarket that closed earlier this year had higher priced poor quality foods. 90% of their consumers were fixed income and the working poor. I used this for milk and bread.

Even though my income is fixed, I have the ability to shop at stores outside of the city where the prices and the quality of the food is much better. I can afford to eat healthier because I buy fruits and veggies at the local farmers markets where prices are much lower than in a supermarket. For instance, a pound of kale is $1.00 at the farmers market and the supermarket that was in my community had them for 1.25 per pound. A bakers dozen of corn was 3 bucks at the farmers market. At the supermarket 3 ears was $1.40. Also how you shop can depend on how healthy you are eating. Therefore, the smart shopper could very well have a healthy meal for about $1.50 per day.

OldSugarFreak 2013-12-17 13:22:25 -0600 Report

It sounds like we live (or could live) in the same neighborhood. I have the same mix of income levels and a similar situation with the available stores. I too am on a fixed income though I am not impoverished as some are. My wife and I simply need to be careful. We have a farmer's market store down the street in the opposite direction from our normal grocery store. I will put them on my places to try during our next grocery run.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-17 13:31:40 -0600 Report

I buy fresh greens and veggies and freeze them for the long winter months. I just harvested all of the sage grown in my yard and all of the hot peppers have been harvested and given away.

When I run out, I will purchase frozen corn, spinach and mixed veggies for soups. I also make big pots of soups and chili to have throughout the winter months. Saves money in the long run. People don't know that whole chickens are cheaper than cut up and you can cut them up yourself.

My city didn't have grocery stores back in the day. We had large markets that sold meats, fruits, veggetables, nuts, pickled items, candy and sweets. They started out as Farmers Markets back in the 1800's. They are still open today and we can still use them for the same items but now they also sell cooked foods. I love them some of them have great prices.

OldSugarFreak 2013-12-17 14:23:38 -0600 Report

We grow our own tomatoes and peppers but on a city lot there is not much space to plant much more. Plus both the wife and I have physical issues that make working in the yard harder than it used to be. I make a mean beef stew by the pot that we eat for a dozen meals or so and spaghetti sauce freezes very nicely. Onion soup is easy to fix and as long as I don't overdo the cheese it is a wonderful change of pace. Speaking of which - do I have enough onions to make a pot? Another good one off the veggie path is meatloaf. A good one can be made for a few dollars and spread over several meals. We have a small Thyme plant on the window sill that still has (now dried) leaves. I need to take them off, chop them up and put away for the winter. Our sage and mint did not do well this year so we ended up tossing it. I have a plan to plant things somewhat differently next spring. Maybe the herbs will work out better.

Agreed on the chicken. They are MUCH cheaper whole and breaking them down is not that hard. Any leftovers can go into a pot of water and make a flavorful broth.

We have a local grocery store that sells a mean chicken done on a rotisserie that is reasonably priced and gives us 3-4 meals.

Stretch everything with veggies and making it large is a good thing.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-17 15:10:48 -0600 Report

Our community has an Urban Farm that consists of both sides of a city block. My sister and another neighbor attended gardening classes and became Master Gardeners.

One of the banks gave us a $10,000.00 grant and the president came with employees and they transformed the area closest to a main street into a beautiful sitting area for the gardeners. They hold garden meeting there. The other side of the street is slated for work this spring.

Our sage is in a pot in the yard. The neighbor who is the master gardener started a 4H group and collected auto tires for the kids. They planted, rosemary, sage and thyme in the tires and there is a lot of it.

We wereleasing the land for $1.00 a year for 10 years. We finally adopted the block of vancant land. We pay the city $150.00 to use water from a water main where we can hook up a hose.

The gardeners grow everythng but corn. That require a lot of watering. They have all kinds of veggies and fruits. We hope to turn the other side into a small orchard with apple and pear trees. Everything is organic, no chemicals are used and each gardener must plant more than they need to donate to the hungry. It ends up with people in the community getting fress veggies. The food cannot be sold on the site. My sister will plant veggies our neighbors want for them.

Even if I wasn't on a fixed income I would still do what I do. You have to stretch food and with freezing, I have food if we have a major blizzard during the winter.

OldSugarFreak 2013-12-17 15:51:59 -0600 Report

It sounds like a well organized group that people are active in using and promoting. Good for you. Our local government is setting up a similar program on the other side of town. Frankly, they have vacant lots and a somewhat lower income group on that side of town. I sincerely hope that they can make a go of it. I believe that they are planning on enough surplus that they can sell it in the town square one day a week. I like the tire idea but here in Connecticut I suspect that I can find enough stones to make a circular are for planting our herbs next year.

Keep up the good work.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-17 21:25:36 -0600 Report

Plant rosemary in something, it will spread all over the place if you don't. My sister said to get a sage starter plant and put it in a larger pot. Once it is big enough, plant it in the ground.

Our city has a garden and the food is donated to the food bank. These community gardens benefit those willing to do the work to raise the vegetables. Good luck with your garden next year. You can also plant a winter crop.

OldSugarFreak 2013-12-17 22:04:15 -0600 Report

I am not so sure about the Winter crop. It barely got into the 20's today and we have inches of white stuff on the ground.

I'll keep the rosemary containment in mind when we plant in the spring. I though that we could just bring the herbs indoors but they did not do well. Did I remember to water them?