Shopping with purpose: $25 good food challenge – Day 1


Today begins day one of my $25 good food challenge. For those not in the know, last week, after being inspired by Oprah’s Food, Inc. episode, I challenged myself, during the month of February, to eat only healthy, whole foods all on a weekly budget of only $25. I’m fortunate to live nearby to a great farmers market, a Trader Joe’s and even a vegan food co-op, so finding whole foods wasn’t going to be difficult, but getting everything for $25 might prove to be.

Well, I’m glad to say that after sketching out a menu for the first week of February and going shopping this weekend, I came in at a grand total of $23.22 for my first week of shopping. The list of items I purchased includes fresh fruit (even some organic) like apples, bananas, cantaloupe and honeydew – organic chick peas (hummus anyone?), brown rice, six grain bread, tofu and soy milk. That’s pretty much it. Including the rolled oats I already have in my pantry, that’s 14 items. Let’s see what I can do with that.

I learned a few tricks while shopping this week. I went to the farmers market first thing in the morning. Since they bake on site without preservatives, they discount much of their baked goods 20% – 50% the day after they were made. If you buy and freeze them, they’re almost as good as fresh. I was able to get a $3.29 loaf of whole grain bread, without high fructose corn syrup (you’d be surprised to learn how many products have corn syrup in them,) for only $1.65! The one surprise I did get? I’ve been drinking soy milk for years, but I didn’t realize until this past weekend, how many of them include many more ingredients than soy and water. Because part of this challenge is only eating foods with 5 ingredients or less, I had to scour the shelves to find a soy milk that met that criteria. Fortunately I found Edensoy’s Organic Plain Unsweetened. It was more expensive than the others and there’s no telling what it tastes like, but I’m willing to give it a try.

I’ll add another post at the end of the week to keep you updated with my progress. Something tells me there’s going to be some Beano involved…

Are you taking on any personal health and wellness challenges in 2010? Share them with other Women at Forty – email us at

grace 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.