Many of you may be wondering what my financial situation is. I get asked about my relationship with money a lot, which makes sense since most of us feel that we need enough money to be able to really pursue our passions. I believe that I am living proof that that is just not true.
Day 4 – July 11th
Before going to bed last night I said to Cheryl, “Let’s go to Walmart tomorrow.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth I was taken aback. I never expected those words to come out of my mouth again after I made the choice to stop giving them business a few years ago. But I feel that this project calls for it. Millions of people shop at Walmart for groceries and some people around the country have told me that it’s their only “grocery store” nearby. This is also where much of the community of Bankhead gets their groceries so it’s a must see.
The average grocery store in the USA has around 40,000 items and most of them are backed by big time marketing campaigns that are doing their best to make sure you choose them. So of course shopping at the grocery store can be overwhelming. These companies will do their best to take your money and most of them don’t really care whether you received a good deal or are slowly working your way towards a heart attack or diabetes. There is plenty of good news though. Their tactics can be beat. Every single one of their ploys and tactics don’t stand up to an educated and determined person. You can eat healthy for much less than they’d like you to think and it might even prove to be tastier! Here are 17 tips to help you shop on a tiny budget at the grocery store and get the most out of your money.
As the night was coming to an end yesterday, gunshots rang out nearby in the neighborhood. I knew they weren’t really close by and it was probably just someone playing with a gun, but it put both Cheryl and I on edge. Laying in bed after a late night I was soothed by the boisterous sound of crickets chirping in the patch of woods behind us. James said that in a few years the patch would be cleared to make way for condominiums. I was sad to hear this. There are a lot of changes taking place here in Bankhead. From what I’ve learned the last years have been a very tough time on the community. Off the main road, there are as many abandoned and run down houses as there are lived in houses. I saw plots of land hundreds of yards long where apartment buildings once stood, now just a dumping site for trash and tires. Giselle said that a lot of people couldn’t continue to pay for their houses due to financial hardships, which is apparent in the number of crumbling and vacant buildings. It’s a sad state to see so much go to waste and so many dreams crumble but there is a sense of beauty in seeing nature take back the land. The houses are growing over in trees and there is more green in this neighborhood than I’ve seen in many.
There is so much controversy out there about what you should do to be healthy. Thousands of articles are published daily that contradict one another over what is the healthy thing to do. It can be overwhelming and very consuming. It doesn’t have to be so complicated. If you go back to the basics you can forget most articles and spend your time really living. Here are 12 undeniable ways to better health!
This has been an extremely eye-opening experience already and it has barely begun. For the next month, I will be journaling my experience here in Bankhead. The journal will be my personal journal that is open to the public. For the most part, you’ll read things just as I am feeling them but I’ll write in a manner that lets you into the community and fills you in on the details you’ll need to understand everything that’s going on.
After 3 years in the making, I’m so excited to finally bring to you my Sustainable Living Series. The series documents my off the grid bike ride across the USA on a bamboo bicycle where I practiced sustainable living to the extreme. In 4,700 miles of cycling, I used just 160 gallons of water, burned less than one gallon of gas, never turned on a light switch and created only 2 pounds of trash. That is 80x less water, 200x less trash, 600x less fossil fuels, and 1,000 times less electricity than the average American! Plus I ate nearly 300 pounds of food from grocery store dumpsters to prove just how much perfectly good food we’re wasting in the USA.
The things I did were extreme but in this series you’ll learn how your daily actions affect the world around you both near and far. The episodes are food, waste, water, transportation, and energy and each episode informs you in an inspirational and fun way. By the end of the series, you will know the basics behind sustainable living and what you can do to live more sustainably without going nearly to the extremes that I did on my journey. Each episode ends with what you can do to be the change you wish to see.
One year ago, I shared a story titled “This woman is dumpster diving her way through her PhD” She was living completely off food from dumpsters while earning her PhD and also started up a food rescue program to donate food to people in need.
She struck me as a really noteworthy person doing wonderful things for her community and the earth. We’ve stayed in touch during that time and I’ve seen her continuing her path of simplifying her life and dedicating more of her time to others and the betterment of society. Today I am happy to bring to you a guest blog written by Liselotte on what she has been up to for the last year!
23 million Americans live in “food deserts” or “food swamps”. That is about 1 in 14 Americans. A “food desert” is an area where there is no or very little access to truly healthy food. Typically if there is no grocery store within a mile in an urban area it is considered a food desert. There is however an abundance of junk food at corner stores and fast food restaurants. Because there isn’t actually a lack of food but rather an abundance of unhealthy, highly processed, low-nutrient food in these communities the term food desert is much less accurate than food swamp. These areas are a swamp of unhealthy food.