How We Afford to Eat Healthy…What We Don’t Spend Money On

In a couple of my previous posts about spending money on good food and feeling good about it (you can read them here and here)…some of you asked what we cut out of our regular budget in order to be able to afford paying for healthy food.

Here are a few things I can think of…

*Cable TV
We’ve never had or paid for cable, and the three channels that we mostly, sometimes get on our TV are enough. We don’t watch much TV anyway, and if we paid for cable I think we’d feel obligated to watch more to get our money’s worth. Hey, we’re able to watch Cyber Chase…what more could we want?

I know some of you LOVE your pets, and that’s just fine with me. Neither Matt nor I have ever been big fans of pets of any kind…and our kids so far haven’t asked or cared about having any. So money isn’t the real reason we don’t have pets, but because we don’t have them, we don’t have to pay for them either.

*Eating Out
We just pretty much don’t go out to eat. We used to go out a bit more, but with the way the boys eat, it started costing a ton just to sort of fill them up…and when we began our journey to eating healthier, we just stopped. None of us crave it anymore now anyway. Oh, once a month during the school year we do go to Pizza Hut for lunch where the boys can redeem their Book-It coupons. Our Pizza Hut lets us use the coupon for the buffet instead of the personal pan…plus somehow we keep ending up with a coupon for a free adult buffet…which means we all stuff ourselves full of greasy carbs for around $8. 

It might seem that we lead boring and sad lives when I tell you that we pretty much never go to movies, or out to any other exciting entertaining events. Occasionally we do and we always enjoy it….but trust me when I tell you that rarely are any of the six of us bored or sad…and when we are…it has nothing to do with not going out to do stuff. 

I have more to add to the list…but my energy is not in full strength yet so my brain power is almost used up already (yikes, it’s only 8:01 am). ;)

I’ll continue writing about ways we save next Frugal Friday!


  1. says

    Thanks for sharing!

    I have a similar list. We do pay for basic cable though as it is tied into our cable internet service(which my hubby’s work pays for).

    We only eat out on occasion too with coupons. There is a local sit down restauraut that lets the kids color a picture while they wait for food, then when they are done coloring they turn it into the hostess and about a week or two later they get a postcard in the mail for coming back for a free kid’s meal. Then we are able to eat there again for around $10 for 7 which isn’t too bad these days. :)


  2. says

    We’re the same, Laura. We just don’t do many of the things that the “typical” family does. We rarely go out and when we do, it’s often because we have a coupon or gift certificate. As our family is growing, eating out just feels like less and less of an option.

    We also don’t have cable, nor do we do a bunch of expensive things for entertainment. We did chose to buy a year-long zoo membership (though we researched and found out we could buy it in Seattle for cheaper, and it still works at our local Canadian zoo!), and that allows us the freedom to have a really fun day out whenever we like- very worth it!

    I’ve been following and enjoying this series. It’s so nice for me to see how someone else’s budget pans out, and helpful for me to see things like your Azure order (I’m also an Azure shopper). Can’t wait to get my frozen strawberries! :)


  3. says

    I have to work on the eating out part. We do this twice a month but it is only $20 so far (the kids are young) this may have to be cut down to once a month though. Great job and it is amazing what we can do without once we get used to it.


  4. says

    Great Post! We also choose to spend more money on food, and less money on other things. Not spending money on movies, cable, video games, etc, not only give us more money to spend on food, but more quality time as a family. :-)


  5. says

    I know what you mean about it being costly to eat out with four boys! We feel the squeeze on that as well. We are big movie buffs, but it is so expensive to “go” to the movies anymore, so now we do Netflix. I love opening movies when they come in.

    Last night we got “The Other Boleyn Girl” historical movie I was anxious to watch this one. We got the kids bathed, to bed and then my husband and I popped our popcorn and watched the movie. Now I shipped it back out today.. so we get a ton of movies all month long for one small fee of 16.99 a month. So this is an affordable fee for the entertainment we get out of it. I love to cuddle on the couch and watch a flic with my man!


  6. says

    Yes to everything on your list!

    We’ve chosen to “remain Amish” by not having cable…we get a lot of odd looks when we tell people we don’t have cable. But we spend real time with our kids! We also do Netflix…saves two trips to the video store, and we can get old movies you can’t find in the video store. We talked about getting cable, but decided if we did that, we’d have to cancel Netflix, which is already cheaper than cable, and realized we like the power to choose that Netflix gives us.


  7. Amy says

    It’s so refreshing to read about other families giving up the “finer things in life” for the FINER THINGS IN LIFE! I thought we were the only ones who did that. ;-) Can’t wait to read next week’s post to see if you do something that isn’t already on our list.


  8. Lenetta says

    Ahh, you always give me something to think about . . . as I scratch my kitties and sort the Pizza Hut coupons out of the newspaper ads . . . :>)


  9. says

    Sounds like great budgeting!
    I hope you tell us all how you prepare foods/daily schedule/work around homeschooling.

    Hope you get better through the weekend!


  10. says

    I am such a waster. I didn’t know it until I read this post LOL. I do all of the above. We want to start a new house savings so maybe it’s time to trim the fat of our…erm my spending.


  11. jayme says

    I was thinking that the same things sort of goes for a mom staying at home with kids. You know…I hear…oh I could never stay at home…but you can…if you are willing to not buy everything the rest of the world does.

    We don’t have any magazine or paper subscriptions, we don’t have cable, we don’t buy new clothes or shoes or purses or jewelry, we don’t have a car payment, we don’t go to movies or stuff very often –and when we do its a treat like for a birthday –, we didn’t have a computer or internet service for the longest time, we don’t have a home phone, we don’t go to Starbucks, we have a family member or a friend do haircuts most of the time –all these things really add up. And I would choose other important things like real food and being at home with my kids over seeing movies and a new pair of shoes.


  12. says

    I didn’t realize how wasteful we were until I didn’t return to work and really needed to budget. Just by cutting back on some of the things you’ve mentioned we’ve been able to manage these last 9 months! All is takes is some self discipline!


  13. says

    This is my first time dropping by your site, all because you’re hosting Meal Plan Monday today!

    After reading this post, I’m relieved to know we’re not the only family who doesn’t go to the movies or out to eat that often. With a family of 6, it’s just not practical!


  14. says


    Our family is the same at saving money. We have decided what is important to us and where we want to spend our money. On top of not spending money on cable,pets and going out we also looked for the lowest rates on phone and internet. We love being good stewards of the money God has blessed us with.

    By the way great site and thanks for hosting Meal Plan Monday!


  15. says

    Our “What we don’t spend money on” list is the same as your, plus we don’t buy alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, expensive gifts. We save our money for a once-a-year holiday at the beach!


  16. says

    We don’t do all of the above, plus:

    I don’t have a cell phone
    I don’t have call waiting or caller id or long distance on my home phone.
    We don’t have two cars–only one
    We don’t buy things to drink; we drink water (occasionaly we have lemonade or orange juice, about once a month).
    We don’t pay for haircuts (we cut them at home)
    We don’t go shopping (it’s rare when we do) which saves on gas as well.


  17. says

    Very good post. I’ve found that the more I try and cut out corn syrup and other artificial ingredients, the cheaper we eat. We don’t particularly like the movies either, and haven’t been in 4 years! We do do Netflix for the winter, though.


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