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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Can I stay within our grocery budget while dealing with a digestive disorder?

I haven't posted our grocery spending for June or July because I simply gave up keeping track of what I was spending and buying. I was making several trips to the grocery store every week for a while, just trying to find suitable foods for myself. And I knew I was spending a lot. I did save all of my receipts (I always do). I just haven't added it all up. And I'm not sure I want to. 

Do I think I've spent more than normal for me? Absolutely. Here's how I look at it. Food is part of my "medicine" for now. If I had a serious illness that required expensive treatment, I wouldn't forgo the treatment due to cost. I would find money in our budget elsewhere to pay for the treatment. What I eat directly impacts my healing right now. And that can be more expensive.

In addition to transferring money from one budget category to another, I am using what I can from our abundant garden and orchard, and I can and do eat lots of rice, which we buy in bulk. The additional cost for me right now is in buying extra meat, nuts (almonds and peanuts), and some more expensive grains (more expensive than plain rice). I have to go easy on less expensive forms of protein, such as dried beans. In addition, I find I need to buy more expensive versions of common foods so as to avoid specific ingredients (such as mayonnaise instead of "salad" dressing" -- latter contains modified food starch).

Otherwise, I am cooking from scratch almost all of the time, and that as we all know can be a big money-saver. And I continue to shop around for best prices on specific items (such as buying from the bulk bins at WinCo for millet and quinoa instead of from the packaged grain section), again a bargain way to get nearly identical ingredients for about half the cost. And finally, we are trying very hard to not waste food, freezing extras when we can and not serving any of us more than we're hungry for.

I will gladly forgo a vacation this summer if it means I can feel healthy again. Some things in life are optional, like vacations, new cars, designer clothing. But others, such as good health, are not. Like Alice said in the comments last week, (to paraphrase) good health is what makes the rest of life go smoothly.


  1. You are absolutely correct--this is a time to realign your finances according to your current reality. I hope you continue to see positive results from the changes you are making to your diet.

    1. Thanks for the support and encouragement, Kris.

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  3. You gotta do what you gotta do. And that's take care of your health. Good luck as you figure out this complicated issue.

  4. This has been on my mind for you, Lili. I'm as frugal as I can be on similar issues, but thankfully don't have a tight budget. We're blessed financially, plus naturally thrifty, not big consumers, and more "homebodies"/homecookers by preference. YOU know how much difference that makes over a lot of people, nowadays. I agree with your "food is my medicine" comment. This is very true. Unfortunately, what we all pay for health insurance doesn't cover most of this sort of thing. I wish somehow it did, because mainstream medicine has never done me any favors. But decades ago, when we were just starting out, my husband always said, "Food comes first" in the budget, for the same reason of Alice's you just revisited. I figure the iffy coverage we get from antenna TV, driving an older car, and a lot of other choices we have made are "paying for" the pricey grains or the nutritional supplements. Keep hanging in there, my friend. I continue to pray for you! Sara

    1. P.S. In fairness, obviously health insurance was a God-send for having babies, and when I had a catastrophic orthopedic injury. But for non-emergency health, it's done more damage than good for me my whole life. Sara

    2. Hi Sara,
      It is frustrating that medical insurance doesn't cover things like supplements and most of alternative care. We just have to conserve in other areas to pay for what we really need. Thank you for the support and continuing information.

    3. Sara, I am with you 100% on mainstream medicine. I pray I don't need it, but at the same time, must maintain some form of health insurance. And I, too, drive an older vehicle, have only antenna TV, etc. Some of that is by choice, as newer isn't always worth the tradeoffs to me.
      Lili, I hope and pray you continue on a favorable healing journey!

  5. Thinking of food as medicine is a great way to think of it. We prioritize groceries as such here, as well, though we try to be frugal in many other ways, and even in buying quality food (such as paying less per lb by buying beef by the side, raising our own eggs on quality feed, etc...). I'm sorry you are having to deal with all this--some days I feel like I spend way too much time THINKING about food and how to procure and prepare based on all the extra allergens plus celiac, and I'm sure it must feel the same for you at times. Hoping this makes a serious positive impact on your health.

    1. Hi Cat,
      You make a very good point, here. Even when buying higher quality food items, there are ways to lower even that expense. I'm so glad you can do as much as you can to provide the right foods for yourself and family and still remain within your budget.


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