I've set myself a 30-day challenge this month of taking a walk every day. That's it. Simple.
I don't think it will be that difficult because I already walk about four or five times a week, but I'm curious how I'll feel if I walk every single day. There are no rules except that "walking" doesn't mean from my car into the office or from the parking lot into the supermarket. It has to be an intentional walk, but it doesn't have to be any certain place or length of time. Ideally, all walks will be at least 30 minutes, many will be longer, and a few will be 2 or 3 hour hikes.
Apparently it's a month for challenges, and I can't resist joining in Katy's Food Stamp Challenge over at The Non-Consumer Advocate. The idea is to keep your grocery bill to the amount you'd be allowed if you were on food stamps, and to donate what you have left at the end of the month to your local food bank. I've already cut our grocery budget to stay within the average of what a family of two would receive if they qualified for Food Stamps. I did that over a year ago after reading this post on The Crunchy Chicken about whether it was possible to eat local and organic on that allotment. I wanted to eat more local and organic, but I didn't want to spend more money, so I used her estimate of $323 a month for two people and have been able to stay under that amount for over a year while receiving a CSA delivery. The only month I went over was when we had a Christmas party, because entertaining isn't something I want to scrimp on.
Katy's challenge will be more difficult for us, because she came up with the figure of $101 per person, which will be $202 for my husband and myself. With $90 going to the CSA right off the bat, that doesn't leave much to work with, so I think this will finally motivate me to start baking our own bread and making my own yogurt. Those are two of the things (along with cheese) I need to buy almost every week, and the biggest expense outside of meat. And at this point, I'm down to buying meat once a week or less, either a piece of fresh fish at the fish market or some ground turkey for chili or turkey burgers.
In order to stay within that budget without sacrificing our health I'll have to get creative. I've started a list of some of our favorite meals that always yield leftovers, like soups and crockpot recipes. Plus I'll be able to clear out the pantry and the freezer a bit. We will be eating a lot of rice and beans, but I'm confident we won't get bored as long as we're receiving our delicious CSA delivery. And if rice means mushroom risotto and beans means Katy's black bean burgers, the challenge isn't going to be a sacrifice.
Do you want to join me in either of these challenges? Please let me know in the Comments section. And feel free to share your ideas for healthy meals on a budget as well.