Inspired by his experience on ABC’s Secret Millionaire with Anytime Fitness co-founder Dave Mortensen, Chuck Runyon challenged 10 FitFluential Ambassadors to do as he had done in Oklahoma City: eat healthily for a week on a grocery budget of only $35.
The participating Ambassadors blogged about their experience, tweeting and Instagramming their shopping lists and meals, both to show that a healthy diet is possible on a limited budget and in an effort to win $1000 awarded to the food shelf of their choice from Chuck Runyon and Anytime Fitness.
In a concluding Twitter chat, we discussed our grocery budgets and shopping habits, obstacles and best practices for a budget-friendly healthy diet, and lessons learned from the #surviveon35 challenge:
@Skinnybits_: Planning out your meals for the week and taking your grocery list with you can really help overspending
@eatontherun: on $35/person you really look at what you need and what you’re craving and you have to make a choice.
@amandaingle: That and don’t shop hungry if possible! And bring only the amount you wish to spend.
@MealsAndMiles: Not having the money to go back to the store in case i ran out of anything was eye opening
@JenJennyO: that’s another reason I’m always on a budget, less waste means more $$ 2 donate to worthy causes
@OatmealBowl: Lots of the Farmer’s Markets now accept food stamps FTW! 😉
@MamaDweeb: My mom always said, “Waste not, want not” – she used every single ingredient and leftover.
@sarahkayhoffman: When I got to the checkout with nothing but my cash, I was fearful I’d be over. Wondered how so many live like that weekly.
@robinelton: Completely random thought: Asian markets generally have a good variety of produce for pretty cheap.
@Qignition: I saw a clever solution once when @NoMoreBagels did a chat about growing apt. balcony gardens. cost-effective in small space
@MamaDweeb: Everyone – here is a link to find fresh produce/farmers near you!http://www.localharvest.org/CSA
@OatmealBowl: TIP: plan your grocery plan around sales ads. and shop the parameter of the store!
@LeanGrnBeanBlog: processed food is expensive! RT @Qignition: I noticed a side benefit to being on such a strict budget – less junk food
@sarahkayhoffman: A9. Healthy, filling & cost effective = anything that’s in season. Period.
@FinickyFarmer: For fresh veggies & fruits, hit up farmers’ markets half an hour before they close. Produce drastically reduced!
@MamaDweeb: freeze what you don’t use. Grow what you can. Buy in bulk.
@KellyOlexa: Meals in this country are naturally WAY TOO BIG we need to re-learn real meal sizes! #surviveon35 A restaurant meal could feed a family!
@LeanGrnBeanBlog: plan plan plan, pick foods that are versatile and can be used for a wide variety of meals
@Qignition: Eating healthfully: put leftovers in fridge at front & promise yourself you’ll eat those first. Trade w/ friends w/gardens
@erinsheaa: don’t fall victim to marketing! Eat in season, real, whole foods.No need to hop on the latest food craze.
@MikeSchiemer: Educate yourself on nutritional science as much as you can, determine needs
We were beyond pleased to hear that some chat participants were tackling #surviveon35 challenges on their own. While obviously more factors come into play in a family’s health than just money (access to fresh produce, transportation, education, cooking ability and time, to name a few), our hope is that this challenge will help others consider whether they could eat better on less— and perhaps be moved to share some of the money saved with their own local food shelf.
Until end of day tomorrow, July 30th, Anytime Fitness is fundraising for Cooking Matters, a Share Our Strength initiative which teaches low-income families how to prepare healthy, affordable meals. Please consider a donation if you found the #surviveon35 challenge thought-provoking in any way… every dollar counts.
For more final thoughts on the #surviveon35 challenge, take a look at these recap posts from participating bloggers:
- Mike of Frugal Fitness: My #SurviveOn35 $35 Week’s Food Budget Experience!
- Sarah of A Gutsy Girl: Day 7: Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Final Recap.
- Meghann of Meals and Miles: Final Thoughts on #surviveon35
- Julie of Julie Go Lean: surviving #surviveon35
- Bess of Bess Be Fit: #Surviveon35 Conclusion
- Brittany of GOtheXtraMile: Final Recap of Survive on 35
- Annie of Mama Dweeb: 7 days of food, fam of 5, $109.78. The #SurviveOn35 wrap up
- Erika Nicole of A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss: How To #surviveon35, In Whole Foods, Buying Organic, And Keeping Your Wallet Intact
- Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean: #surviveon35: Recap & Thoughts
- Melissa of Eat on the Run: Survive on 35 Final Thoughts