Share the cost

Following on from comments and thoughts around the update on Katie Hopkins story…

the cost of feeding ourselves is spiralling in the UK and no doubt elsewhere. For some depending on where they live, personal circumstance or mobility, sourcing affordable healthy options can be difficult especially if a wide range of different fruits and veg is to be consumed to pack in all of those essential nutrients which will benefit health and aid weight loss and let’s face it keep healthy eaters interested and satisfied.

One of the ways you can make healthy choices more affordable besides shopping late in the day, growing your own, shopping in discounted and close to sell by date aisles and bins, using budget outlets and such is to buddy up and share. This is something I did once upon a time when I was at a slimming club with a relative’s wife. We’d meet up to do our healthy food shop and we’d look for items that were on offer, buy one get one free, large packs that worked out cheaper than smaller ones (such as yoghurts) which we could split, boxes and bags of frozen fruits and vegetables (especially berries and peas which are fab frozen) which we’d split the cost of and share. We’d buy bags of fruit that were prepacked like bargain apples, pears, oranges, grapes and split them so we each had a good selection at half the price. If I could only afford apples and she could only afford pears between us we could have both for the same price. This is not quantum physics but some people just don’t think of it.

It comes in handy when buying items which can be expensive like good quality olive oil, condiments, herbs, spices, pulses and seeds. If you can split the cost of a good selection and decant half into spice jars and racks both of you can make food more tasty and of a higher quality with a bit of collaboration.

When we did it, money was very tight. We also started an exercise class at my house, 4 of us used to attend and do a work out video together three times a week while the kids played in the back end of the room and we’d all sit and have lunch together after with us sharing the cost of some salad and a tin or two of tuna.

We also went halves on a spa membership and although neither of us used the gym we’d take it in turns to go for a steam or swim. This isn’t altogether honest but needs must and all that and we felt justified as we never used the gym and nobody ever noticed. We used it less than one person would.

If one of us saw something good and healthy on offer we’d buy it and drop half off at the other’s house. It took some coordination and relied on similar tastes but it worked for us and saved us lots of money while keeping our diet very interesting and diverse.

You could take it further and get a few of you together who all grow different herbs or leaves and share out your crops, you could hand down clothes if you are different sizes, you can take it in turns to cook an evening meal or to host lunch, you have someone to walk with… lots of possibilities to make the healthy life less costly, to add variety and to have some support along the way. In a household where maybe you’re the only one following a really strict regime or if you are someone who lives alone it can make shopping healthy so much cheaper and also reduce waste.

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4 thoughts on “Share the cost”

  1. Wow, that’s so simple, but I really never thought about this possibility to save money but still be able to buy good produce. Thanks a lot, I think I have to talk to my friends about this right away! 🙂

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    1. I think big business want us all thinking singularly whereas if we have a communal approach we can get more for our money. Even if you have a group of friends who offer out leftovers or things they can’t use. I know it sounds crazy but when I go away for a weekend or more I clear out fresh produce and just bin it but there are people who could use it. In my last house there was a disabled lady across the street and she used to love it when the kids would run over and take her left overs from dinner, others in the street started to do it and she said it was amazing that she didn’t have to cook anymore which was a chore for her and she saved so much on food bills. She said she didn’t want people cooking especially for her but it was nice to just get the excess it didn’t feel so much like charity. I think everyone started to cook too much but she had a good supply of meals and she said the choice was wonderful. She was funny though she used to tell us all that our cooking was the best.

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    1. As I mentioned earlier, I think we forget about the benefits of community in the true sense of the word with communal living and sharing. Imagine how lovely it would be for five busy working mums to have dinner prepared for them four nights a week and for them to just have to cook once for four others in return? The cost and time savings would be fabulous.

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