Recently I have come to realise that minimalism and financial freedom work together in harmony. Minimalism is about getting out of the trap of excessive consumerism, finding pleasure in the simple things and finding more from less. So while I have been on this debt free journey, minimalism has made it easy to stop buying things that I do not need. I will only buy something if I really love it, and have trained myself to think differently about the purchases I make whether that is for my daughter, our home or myself.
Where I think it is more difficult, is when it comes to food. Unfortunately processed food is often so much cheaper than buying plant based, and organic produce. We all (or we all should know by now) know that eating organic and more plant based produce is so important for our health yet when we are short on cash, paying a premium for our health seems to be the most difficult area to justify the additional expense. The long term cost of eating cheap processed food is often not evaluated.
We miss the point that eating well gives us energy and makes us feel better, meaning we can achieve so much more from ourselves. I am a firm believer that good, nutritious food feeds the mind as well as the body. That’s why in my budget, I advocate cutting cost from the things which do not feed your body or mind and allocate additional funds for food. This is one area which I do not suggest is compromised when on your debt free journey.
This does not mean that there are not ways to economise on food. Eating well means avoiding processed and refined foods and additives, but often by buying cheaper cuts of meat, batch cooking and buying in bulk, you can still save money. Optimising the way you buy food does require a bit of thought and natural ingredients do need a bit more preparation but in the same way you can train your brain to think differently about the way you spend or use your money, you can train your brain to think differently about what it wants to feed it.
Some tips that I have picked up lately are;
- Visit your local butcher as they have cheaper cuts of meat than the supermarket
- Buy meat in bulk and opt for cheaper cuts
- Buy seeds and nuts in bulk
- Batch cook soups and freeze them in soup bags
- Chop your smoothing ingredients, put them in a bag and freeze
- Bulk cook meals, or at least make 2 at a time and put one in the freezer
There is no getting away from the fact that you will have to pay a premium to buy good quality organic fruit and vegetables but if you avoid any waste buy batch cooking and freezing, then I would expect that you can keep to a reasonable budget whilst feeding your body and mind with the best quality produce that you can.
For me, now being a mother it is even more important to feed my family nutritious food which isn’t always easy now we are in the thick of that stereotypical fussy toddler phase but this is where my daughter learns about food and I believe that it is my duty as a mother to get this right. It is also much more apparent to me than ever that the better I eat, the healthier I will be, and the more energy I will have for her. I also want to do my best to be here on this planet for her as long as I can – and by looking after myself and feeding my body the good stuff this will certainly help.
So in summary, although following a debt free journey encourages you to economise, feeding your body good quality ingredients is not an area I believe that should be compromised.