Sometimes it helps to hear how another person eats very well on very little money. The example that follows is not a diet guide so much as it is perhaps an inspirational guide for those who wish to eat organic and vegetarian, yet also eat a lot on a restricted budget.
This is to demonstrate that one adult can live grandly on $20 a week.
Breakfast: (All organic) 1 banana, 1/4 cup toasted oatmeal, 1 tablespoon carob powder, a few raisins and sunflower seeds, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons ground chia seed (which is high in omega-3) stirred with water.
Lunch: 3 corn tortillas toasted in (all organic that follows) olive oil with grated cheese, onion, lettuce (all available at Hy-Vee or Clover's) and "salsa" of choice.
Dinner: (All organic) 2 cups of cooked beans, 1 cup of cooked grains with spices, and 1 organic apple.
Dinner: (option—all organic) 1 slice of homemade bread toasted, 1 free-range egg (fried or poached), greens, shredded cheese, spices.
One Dessert: (all organic) 1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan), 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, splash of salt, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, 1/2 cup water (all mixed) fried like a crepe and covered with 1 tablespoon of jelly/jam and rolled up with powdered sugar.
Drinks: 1 coffee from 1 heaping tablespoon of ground coffee, or tea from any organic loose leaf, or water from home-distilled water (it is worth the investment to buy a home distiller, and one could add a sliver of fresh organic citrus to each glass).
The initial outlay, of course, would be over $20, but to continue on such a diet would average out to about $20 a week or even less depending on the season. I currently grows my own greens, squash, onion, garlic, tomatoes and peppers all by using containers and within a small area of land.
I also own a dehydrator so that the summer produce can last through the winter. I buy large quantities of sweet potatoes and potatoes in the fall at the farmers market.
All suggestions of course are made to suit those with low disposable incomes and those who wish to save money.
Julia Williams lives in Columbia.