Eating Disorder Recovery: Food On A Budget

Welcome to part 2 of the series.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback on the first instalment. I debated whether it was really helpful, or if I was just having a passive aggressive pity party, but knowing that so many of you identify/are in the same situation, I decided to soldier on.

Today’s topic is a tricky one: food. I’m going to keep it as simple as possible, as I know how much food talk can stress people out.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. Be flexible. It’s hard to do, I know, but it’s important to keep on the road to recovery. There has been more than one occasion where I couldn’t afford a $10 jar of almond butter, so rather than alter my meal plan to incorporate the less expensive peanut butter, I just reduced the quantities of almond butter I ate to make it last. Not smart. Restriction is a slippery slope.

    (not this kind of flexible)

  2. Learn to cook. Not easy. At the depths of my eating disorder, I wouldn’t even touch food with my bare hands, so learning to cook was a little traumatic. But cooking your own meal from scratch is a lot cheaper than pre-packaged insta-meals, and I’m told it’s important to develop a relationship with food 😉
  3. Buy bulk. I know this one is tricky, too, as those who struggle with binging have difficulties keeping large quantities of food in the house. If you buy things like quinoa and dried beans, you can make them up in small quantities, thus eliminating the “in the moment” availability of binge food.
  4. Buy bulk in small quantities. For foods that are trickier to keep, hit the bulk store often and buy a days worth of nuts/dried fruit/baking supplies at a time. This greatly reduces your risk of binging.
  5. Learn to eat around other people. If you can learn to trust other people to make food for you, maybe you can accept a dinner invitation, thereby having one meal you didn’t have to pay for.
  6. Buy multiples. If you’re an avocado eater, many grocery stores sell multiples in mesh bags. You can get 5 for $3.99 that way, as opposed to paying $2 a pop. Same goes for bagged apples, etc.
  7. Do your research. I have an app on my phone that lists all the foods on my grocery list, and at which grocery store I can find it for the least amount of money. Also, scour the fliers. Buy more (if you can) when it’s on sale.
  8. Keep doing the food thing. Recovery is expensive, but you know what’s more expensive? Recovering again and again and again. If you keep at it this time, you’ll never have to do it again, and your money can go to things more fun than therapy.

You can do it! And, as always, if you have anything to add, feel free to comment 🙂

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8 Comments

Filed under Tips and Tricks (The Healthy Kind)

8 responses to “Eating Disorder Recovery: Food On A Budget

  1. I love number 8!!
    Wouldn’t it be best to just suck it up and do it right once? Not just financially, but socially, emotionally, physically…
    Yeah. “Suck it up” isn’t helpful. But I tend to speak harshly to myself. (Surprise, surprise.) What I mean is… I want to be tough, be persistent, be brave, and get over this already. It has been years and years and years too long.

  2. barefootbellringer

    These are such great tips, helpful for everyone. You are an inspiration to us all, in reaching through your ED to a place where you can reach out and help other people. Lessons shared through living them are the most effective, IMHO. Be well my friend and keep moving forward. We love ya!

  3. Pingback: Eating Disorder Recovery: Clothing On A Budget | Be Anything But Quiet!

  4. Pingback: Eating Disorder Recovery: Yoga On A Budget | Be Anything But Quiet!

  5. julia

    What app do u use to buy cheaper food at grocery store?

    • Hi Julia,
      Out of Milk is the app I use. It has a feature where you can scan barcodes and enter information about where you got it and what you paid for it. Then you can compare at other stores and figure out where to buy it for cheapest. I think at one point I shopped at 5 different grocery stores just to get the best deals.

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