Whether you’re a student on a shoestring budget or someone interested in eating well without the price tag, this post is for you!
Eating healthier has been “one of my goals” for a long time but I haven’t really had the motivation to really put any of my plans into action.
One of the aspects of this goal was to find a cheaper way to buy what I needed without sacrificing quality. Luckily I came across a fabulous program called the “Good Food Box” that’s located in my hometown. I’ve done a little research and realized that this exists in one form or another across most of the provinces.
In Calgary, the good food box is a “box” of fresh veggies and fruits that can be purchased in small (25 – 30lbs), medium (35 – 40lbs), and large (45- 50 lbs) sizes for $20, $25, and $30 respectively. The produce in each box varies with each delivery – depending on season and availability – but will contain the same amounts consistent across boxes.
You might be tempted to think that the good food box is only for people with lower incomes or who access social welfare programs but that is not the case. The driving force behind the program is to make healthy eating an option for everyone – regardless of what you can spend. You still pay for the groceries; it’s just collected and dispersed in such a way as to make it cost effective and widely available.
What do you do with all that produce? Here are a few ideas:
– Go in on the box with other family members or friends
– Cut up and freeze the veggies you won’t use right away
– Have a cooking/canning day with your friends and spread around the goodness
– Make jam with the fruit (if you get strawberries or something)
Another option for consideration is a Community Kitchen program. These can range from formal programs run by agencies to a meet-up group that has been created in your community. The basic concept behind this is that a group of people (usually 6 – 10) will get together to plan meals. The meals are all planned on one day and cooked on another day, leaving you with several freezable dishes that you can have for meals over the next weeks.
Both of these options require a bit more time and effort than just going to the grocery store with some coupons – this will be covered in a different post – but you have to opportunity to eat healthy and maybe meet some new people along the way.
To find options for either a Community Kitchen Program or a Good Food Box program, I would suggest that you google your city/town and the name of either initiative. If you want to frugal your fitness, check out these posts: Getting a free gym membership and Four Pick Me Ups for the Poverty-Stricken!