My $25 food challenge: Up to my eyeballs in beans

j0144244 So I’m full speed ahead into week 2 of my $25-a-week good food challenge and so far so good. This week’s grocery total was $21.32. Almost a quarter of that was my purchase of a pound of Laura’s Lean Beef – cattle raised on a diet of natural grasses and grains, without growth hormones or antibiotics. I’m up to my eyeballs in beans and am ready for a little variety. But at $4.99 a pound, a pound is about all I was willing to purchase on a $25 budget. I did the bulk of my shopping at the supermarket because I wasn’t able to make it to the farmer’s market this week. Laura’s was the only brand of grass fed beef available, and there was no ground turkey (my usual ground meat purchase) that was processed from cage free turkey.

I made a sort of vegetable-bean-beef stew thingy to stretch the meat over several meals and I still have tofu, beans and vegetables left from last week. Just two weeks in, I can see that the real challenge here is not staying within the $25 budget, but not getting bored with what I’ve been preparing. Another thing that’s becoming really clear is that packaged foods, even the ones that claim to be all natural, have so many added ingredients that it boggles the mind. While looking for plain old tortilla chips over the weekend I found only a couple of brands that had 5 ingredients or less. What’s all the other stuff for anyway? And does everything have to have artificial color – what color are tortilla chips supposed to be?

I’m also learning to eat and like what I have on hand. Remember as a kid when you used to eat what your mom made for dinner, or you didn’t eat at all? Somewhere along the way we started confusing our wants with our needs. I don’t know about you, but doing that has gotten me into trouble in the past. Learning to be content with what I have now, is the biggest lesson I’m learning from my little experiment.  On Friday I’ll let you know how long this contentment lasts. Bon Appetit!

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Grace is a blogger and Women at Forty editor who lives outside of Atlanta, GA. She shares her weight loss challenges and experiences weekly in our Health & Beauty – Fit at Forty section.

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Grace is a freelance writer and blogger living in Atlanta, Georgia.