How Much Does it Cost to Eat Sustainably?

My husband asked me over dinner the other night if I had figured out yet how much more we were spending on food. And I really had to struggle to think. It’s easier in some ways to track food costs because I am only paying a few folks. Here is basically what I am spending now:

Read the rest of the entry at the new blog…


8 responses to “How Much Does it Cost to Eat Sustainably?

  1. $570 is a totally reasonable amount to spend on food even when it’s SAD, you know? I hear a lot of complaints that slow food and real food are elitist or only for the wealthy, but, when one truly looks at it you can reasonably feed a family on a budget. Good work.

  2. sustainableeats

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for the comment – I love your site! The sad thing is that if you find ways to be smart about it, you could actually eat way cheaper by making your own stuff but most people have lost the food preparation knowledge that our parents and grandparents had. Not many people still know how to bake bread or even cut up a whole chicken. It’s also a question of motivation. When your money inflow decreases, cut things like cable tv and not organic foods! Then you’ll have more time to nourish your family.

  3. I know I’m responding to an older post (just discovered your great blog and am catching up on all the posts)… I just wanted to offer that we spend about $550-$600 a month for more typical groceries for a family of two adults and three kids (10, 6, 2 years old). I don’t buy much processed food, but I do rely on Fred Meyer and Costco primarily.

    I’m impressed that you’re able to buy from all these local sources and just spend this amount. I am totally inspired! Thank you.

    My only nagging worry is our milk bill. We go through at least 3 gallons a week — a lot is probably wasted on cereal. So if we eliminated that as a breakfast choice, maybe raw milk could be in our budget.

  4. sustainableeats

    Hi Anne!

    The milk cost on here is for 2 1/2 gallons per week so not that far from where you are. My toddler downs milk and then we all are drinking the kefir. I have just started making cereal in the dehydrator so we’ll see how that changes our consumption LOL.

    And then we just started making ice cream so that will bump it up too. I bet you wouldn’t be too far off. I plan to post soon about some bulk buying that I am just researching – but ordering the grains bulk from Bob’s Red Mill and grinding ourselves (even though that is not my new local bulk source) saved us a TON of money.

    I bet it would you too. Check out for more deals. I will be ordering from them for the first time next week (the drop is the following week) so I’ll post on how that goes. That could save you more as well.

    It’s all about baby steps. We have been slowly moving toward this goal, unbeknownst to ourselves for years by first cutting out artificial things, then non-organic, then down to only local. It didn’t happen overnight (well it did but we were ready that night!)

    I applaud any effort you are able to make so long as it is positive change. It’s amazing to me to see how many people are making this shift. I love it!

  5. Thanks, I look forward to reading more! I’ll check out those bulk sources. I’d love to get to the point so I can mostly avoid the local grocery store, or just make a once a month trip for odds and ends.

    I’m just reading Animal Vegetable Miracle now… and am excited to find a local food blog that talks about all the things I’m wondering about.

  6. sustainableeats

    Hi Anne,

    If you ever want to meet up at the UW farmer’s market on a Sat morning just let me know – I can walk you around. I feel like I buy “provisions” now once a month (with my PCC 10% coupon so I am actually maxxing it out) but the bulk of my shopping is from the farmers there, or the dairy drop points. AVM is a great book – good info without getting too deep into everything. That got me thinking but Omnivore’s Dilemma frightened the pants off of me and sealed the coffin.


  7. Thanks for the offer, Annette! Once I get myself organized with a few things and when Little League season calms down, it would be great to meet up at the farmer’s market on a Saturday.

  8. Mitzi Schwindt

    We are new to this wonderful way to eat and prepare food. I can’t get enough of the remarkable methods and things I am learning from you. I wish to learn as much as possible to share it with all of our children and family and anyone else interested in learning about a healthy lifestyle.

    Thank you so much and also I thank all of the people for their ideas that they generously share for us to read.

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