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A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach

Kicking Ass with Money is much like healthy eating and joyful living. It’s a series of daily habits that get you ahead, rather than a one-time heroic effort that fixes all your problems so you can go back to whatever you were doing before.

Because of this parallel, the subject of food is one of the nicest examples of Mustachian living, and one of the most powerful and efficient things to master.

Your eating choices will drastically affect your budget (especially if you are raising a family), but they also affect your health, energy levels, productivity, and happiness. The path to a great life goes directly across your dinner plate, so it is important to take this shit seriously and not mess around with your nutrition.

I’ve written about food several times before, sometimes with a focus on recipes or costs or general principles. But people often don’t believe me – they think I am either lying about my family’s grocery spending, eating a diet that is poor in nutritional value, or at least spending an inordinate amount of time on meal planning and preparation.

The truth is none of these things, although the actual story may still surprise you. So I thought that instead of issuing vague commandments like the preacher I am, I could share my functional and (somewhat) affordable eating style, even though it’s unusual and surely not for everyone.

So I’ll lay out a single day’s nutrition strategy, and why I think it is a good one. And then you can choose whether to ridicule it on Reddit, or adopt any tricks from it that you like for your own family. Are you ready? Then let’s take a trip into the MMM kitchen!

Alongside the Table Saw, the Cutting Board is also a favorite tool.

The first bit of crazy is that when I’m home, I eat almost the same thing every day. My son eats exactly the same thing every day* for now, and Mrs. MM runs her own show, perhaps with a bit more variety than either of us. This is a unique situation in our family that is different from most, and it adds extra complexity but fortunately not extra cost. You play with the cards you are dealt.

Most Important is your Eating Philosophy

For most people, food is just an automatic routine. They eat whatever seems tasty whenever they are hungry. People with stronger passions (sometimes known as Foodies), spend a large part of their day and mental energy seeking out perfect ingredients and flavors and meals. And for many, eating is an addiction – food calls to them (especially desserts and snacks), and they fight this addiction with varying degrees of success. People with a busy urban social life like New Yorkers get most of their food from restaurants, which throws both the nutrition content and the monthly cost into a randomizing hat.

The problem with all of these philosophies is that each is a huge gamble, with your life as the stakes. Because depending on your body chemistry and the foods you choose, you can end up anywhere on the health scale – I have met sweating car bound 25 year-old office workers who could barely stroll from the parking lot to the building, and also know a ripped 65 year-old carpenter who can still frame a three-story house by himself. The difference in the diets of these two men is as stark as the contrast in their physiques.

So my eating philosophy has always been that of the Engineer/Robot. Design each meal and each day’s food intake, according to my body’s current needs. Since my activity level changes drastically (yesterday’s mountain hike requires several times more calories than today’s work on this blog article), the food intake has to change accordingly. And since I don’t always get things exactly right, the mirror tells me when it’s time to make adjustments.

And finally, I’m a big fan of high standards and not fooling yourself. Stay lean and keep your body in condition to work hard. Learn to use the mirror, the measuring tape, and the scale as allies rather than generators of guilt and fear. If you’re not there yet, keep yourself moving in the right direction rather than being complacent. For example, if my abs get paved over with fat, I’ll adjust the variables below to go into fat loss mode until the problem is corrected. On the other hand, if I’m getting too skinny and trying to put on strength and weight, I’ll add the extra meals back in.

The Weird MMM Meal Plan

Breakfast

I have come to think of Breakfast as the time of Breaking the Fast.. but by now we all know that fasting is good for you, right?  So the design of your breakfast presents an interesting life-boosting opportunity: When you wake up, you’re already in a nice low-blood-sugar state, which means your body is beginning to think about burning fats as a source of energy (ketosis). This means that you can just prolong the fast by skipping breakfast and just enjoying some coffee or water, or take a softer approach and at least have a breakfast that is very low in sugar. So I do this:

  • Espresso Coffee with Whole milk and Coconut oil
  • A handful of mixed nuts
  • A few squares of dark chocolate (85%)

Subjectively, I find this breakfast is satisfying and delicious, but also keeps my body in low-sugar mode so I can begin a day of physical labor without hunger – and potentially work as long as I want, even skipping lunch and running on stored bodyfat if desired. (Note, I make the espresso with this cheap but good espresso machine and heat/fluff the milk and coconut oil together to get the result in that picture).

The end result is this nutrition profile:

note: all nutrient weights are in grams

At this point, you may be asking, “Wait, does Mustache really weigh and analyze his food?” – and the answer is “sorta.” While I endeavor to lead a relaxed, hippy lifestyle, the Engineer/Robot side is always in the background running the numbers. If you have at least a rough idea of the nutrition content of what you are eating, you will have a far easier time getting the results you want.

Mid Morning Snack

After breakfast, I usually bike downtown to a mixture of construction and weight training in the back “prisonyard” of the MMM-HQ Coworking space. After a few hours of this, I am ready for a bit more nutrition:

  • A giant salad
  • Plenty of water, or even the indulgence of a second cup of coffee

These big salads are a big part of my daily food expenditure and effort, but probably an even bigger part of my health. So they are definitely worth it. I make it easier by making salad in bulk every few days, and starting with a base of a pre-made $2.28 Kale Salad Kit from Sam’s/Costco. This provides a bunch of greens and saves much chopping. But I discard the crappy sugary dressing that comes with the kit and use my own olive oil-based dressing, also made in bulk from high quality ingredients also bought in bulk, (like 3 Liter Jugs of olive oil!)

I may throw in a protein bar (30g protein, $1.00) to this snack, depending on the intensity of the work.

Lunch

After the midmorning snack, I am back out for quality time with the saws and ladders for a few more hours, which feels great on a relatively light load of food because the body is burning clean and lean. The low carbohydrate nature of everything I have eaten so far keeps the hunger level so low that I could even work right through and skip lunch if needed, or if I were trying to lose fat. But since I’m currently at roughly right fat level and not wanting to be any lighter than I am, I break at around 2PM for something like this:

I have been on a bit of a Tilapia binge in recent months, because they are almost too convenient and tasty and easy to prepare. So much so, that I jokingly refer to them as “marriage savers” – there is no need to fret over whose turn it is to prepare dinner, if something with such a good nutrition profile is always in the freezer and just 15 toaster oven minutes away from your tongue.

While the nutrition profile is good, they are still a bit of an expensive source of protein. $2.00 sounds like chump change, but the same protein can be had for under fifty cents from other sources like bean and rice combinations, eggs, or even whey protein supplements.

A cost difference of just $1.50 per person per meal, multiplied over a four-person family’s 372 meals per month makes a difference of $558 per month, or about $96,000 per decade after compounding.

Yes, that is a hundred grand, and this is just the difference between a semi-frugal $2.00 meal component and a fifty cent equivalent from, say, your crock pot.

Imagine, then, the effect that impulse grocery purchases like those little $7.49 packs of sushi would make, if you casually toss them in the cart on a regular basis? A decade of a family’s innocent-seeming Whole Foods indulgence could pay for a house outright, while leaving them no better nourished than wiser meal planning with bulk ingredients.

Put a crock pot and a Costco membership to good use, and just watch what happens to your bank account.

Now, I took that sushi picture on my own kitchen table, so we too are guilty of this indulgence. But we are long past financial independence, and even then it is a rare purchase. The overall lesson is just, again, to take this shit seriously – make sure you appreciate every food purchase above beans-and-rice level as a conscious luxury rather than just a habit. And if you are in debt, no sushi for you!

Dinner

Another typical dinner – main dish is based on potatoes/veggies plus fancy sausages baked into a cheese-laden casserole.

Around 3:30pm in the afternoon, I’ll walk or bike home from “work”, so I can be there when my son returns home from school – one of the biggest rewards of early retirement. One of us parents will cook him a homemade pizza at this point (I pre-make the personal size shells and keep them in stacks in the freezer), so he can recharge with about 480 calories from a delicious meal that costs only about 50 cents to make.

Then us Adults will usually collaborate to make something like pulled-pork tacos:

 

On the side, we might add chopped fresh vegetables, more salad, or something more substantial as the appetites require. Like the filets, it’s not the cheapest possible way to get a meal, but at least it is reasonable. Also, we are omnivores, which is a more expensive and polluting way to get protein – but if you’re not badass enough to eat vegetarian you can at least make a substantial dent in your eco footprint by making beef your last choice of meats.

Adding it All Up

Although it took me quite a few hours to collect all this data on what I eat and add it up in a spreadsheet, the results have been quite interesting because I had never done it before. With just the stuff described above, I arrived at this point:

 

And the numbers were a bit surprising to me, in the following ways:

  • I am spending a lot more on food than I thought. If all three of us ate the way I do, our annual grocery bill would be $8600, not counting additional indulgences or food for parties. Since our real bill is closer to $6000, you can see that I am doing more than my share of the spending. Then again, I do weigh more than both Little MM and his mother combined , so perhaps this is fair.
  • My base calorie level is about right for my age and height for a moderately active person, but on active days I need closer to 4000 calories (if you look up a 185 pound male “athlete” for the baseline)
  • My base protein level is also about right for moderate activity, but on highly physical or weight training days I like to boost that to one gram per pound of bodyweight.
  • So while everything in this article is detailed and accurate so far, I tend to eat a variable amount of additional food to meet hunger needs, scaling it all up and down depending on what the mirror says. I use one or more of the following boosts.

Boosts

  • Handfuls of Nuts (1 ounce worth, 160 calories)
  • Protein Smoothie (banana, peanut butter, plain yogurt, tiny bit of milk, ice, water, and vanilla protein mix – about 1000 calories and 40 grams protein)
  • 2-3 simple eggs cooked in olive oil with a bit of cheese: 500 calories, 20 grams of protein, 50 cents or so.
  • Avocado toast: 3 eggs, some shredded cheese, avocado, all on a piece of whole wheat toast with butter. A truly decadent weight gainer of a snack, although quite cheap. Leave out toast if you are not trying to maintain or gain weight. 1000 calories, plenty of nutrients about a buck.

 

 

*and while I won’t explain this in detail here, parents of children with his personality type will understand without question. It is something people do tend to grow out of as they get older and gain confidence with new experiences.

 

  • Mr. Financial Freedom Project May 15, 2018, 3:44 pm

    Love the numbers, thanks for taking the time to dice up your food intake and share it with us. I suffer from an extremely slow metabolism myself. I can go virtually a full day without feeling the pangs of hunger or thirst, but the downside is that I can eat very few calories without the mirror telling me I’m in trouble.

    The combination of little need for food and a hectic work schedule meant that I used to skip breakfast and lunch both on weekdays, then eat a single large meal for supper. This didn’t work well as it exacerbated my slow metabolism. Combined with my largely sedentary job, I found myself gaining weight.

    I started packing a small lunch every day to work, something small and relatively unhealthy like a Smart Ones-brand frozen entrée. These were typically 250-400 calories. While I wasn’t hungry, I’d force myself to eat at mid-day. This combined with a conversion from sitting at a desk all day to standing at my desk for 50-75% of the day to result in a weight loss of 35 pounds over the course of about a year. No other changes in diet or activity level.

    If you haven’t looked into the benefits of eating small meals frequently and standing rather than sitting, do it. It’s crazy to think about it, but sitting can be just as bad for your heart and long-term health as smoking. And no amount of exercise can reverse it.

    Nowadays, I’m able to make more time in my life for thinking about and preparing food now that I’m not tied down to the 15 hour workdays anymore. Mrs. FFP does a great job of keeping the menu interesting, a byproduct of marring a foodie! We eat like kings and queens on a grocery budget of $320/month. Lots of organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free product versions thrown in.

    We rely heavily on shopping at Aldi’s and finding tasty recipes from Budget Bytes, a tip discovered years ago in the comments section of article from the early days of MMM. We love many of the rice bowl recipes, and find Beth’s recipes are a perfect blend for us of taste and cost per meal:

    https://www.budgetbytes.com/

    We also participate in a local CSA for fresh fruits and veggies throughout the summer. That is, until our virgin orchard starts bearing serious fruit of its own. If blossoms are any indication, this may be the year!

    Reply
  • John Rock May 15, 2018, 3:59 pm

    MMM , it looks like prices are significantly cheaper in the US than Canada. Would you agree? I do Costco and grocery mix, with some crap to keep the wife and kids (2) happy (cold cereal, granola bars, pasta) but can’t easily get under 1200$ per month, including cleaners and tissues. We try to stick to affordable fruits (apples, bananas, grapes and frozen berries) and veggies (baby spinach, cheery tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, brocoli, celleri, coliflower and grean been. Eggs, nuts, real cheese, full fat yogurt and affordable meats. We waste almost no food, but can’t bring it below 1200$ easily. This excludes alcohol, but does include food for hosting, maybe once a month. And the boys are just 9 and 6 at the moment!

    Reply
    • Ilona May 15, 2018, 4:09 pm

      I am also in Canada. The prices can be cheaper if you use coupons, points, CO51 and shop when they have sales. Cereal can go on sale every 6-8 weeks, especially around back to school time or January healthy year beginning time. And you know in ON, September and October is the time for lots of cheap fruits and veggies being harvested :)

      Reply
      • John Rock May 15, 2018, 8:58 pm

        I don’t do the coupons or change grocery store. I will buy what’s on sale and freeze when doable. My cereal, my rule is don’t buy over 0.50$/100g. Quite frankly, if I was doing ALL the buying, we would save a few 100$ :)

        Reply
    • Woofer2609 May 15, 2018, 5:16 pm

      How much processed food are you eating/buying? I’m in Canada as well, but can feed a family of 3 for $400-$500 month.
      Costco is good, but you can end up with a lot of needless processed/ prepared foods.
      By pasta do you mean prepared, or are you maki g your own sau e? It all adds up. Buy berries in the summer and freeze them, same with other fruit. Is the baby spinach in a clamsgell? Might be cheaper by the bunch/ frozen. Just some thoughts.

      Reply
      • John Rock May 15, 2018, 8:53 pm

        We eat a lot of processed food when you think about it: individual yogurts for kids lunches, sliced ham, whole wheat bread, pb, unsweetened apple sauce, cereal, crackers, cheese, sausage, etc. But typical standards, we eat great, but still a lot of processed food. My wife also likes to buy Costco lasagna and sheppard’s pie to freeze lunch portions for the kids. We stick maybe 90% to a standard list of food items, but maybe 10% “impulse”.

        Reply
    • Hs May 15, 2018, 8:33 pm

      Agree! I moved overseas and food was so much cheaper in the US. For example, a liter of high quality rice is around a dollar at the local farmers market, and a pound of chicken is around 2 USD. I guess they don’t subsidize agriculture to the same extent here. Oth, there are far fewer processed foods around. Anyway yeah we eat a pretty balanced diet of veggies, tofu, carbs and animal protein, no soft drinks and almost no alcohol and fruit for desert… All cooked at home including our morning coffee… Still manage to spend a hefty amount. That said we have kids and we eat well – I personally enjoy good tasting food – we do spend for the free range eggs etc now that we can afford it.

      Reply
  • Ilona May 15, 2018, 4:06 pm

    Frugal? Well if your pocket book can afford this, and if the food helps to reduce your chances of getting cancer, reduce your chances of getting a chronic disease and increase the chances of leading to a longer & healthier life, then Yes! This is a very frugal longevity and health care plan! BTW, about the mid morning salad, can I steal that idea? Great blog post!

    Reply
  • DaveNItUp May 15, 2018, 4:17 pm

    Beautiful…just beautiful MMM.

    The execution, the efficiency, and the face punches:

    “The path to a great life goes directly across your dinner plate, so it is important to take this shit seriously and not mess around with your nutrition.”

    “While I endeavor to lead a relaxed, hippy lifestyle, the Engineer/Robot side is always in the background running the numbers.”

    That is so me. My wife always says the problem is not what I’m saying, but how I say it. I maintain steadfastedly, “but that’s how I think.”

    I really do have high hopes\expectations for humanity, unfortunately I often end up indicting it, which really bothers my wife.

    Thankfully, she’s somewhat open to MMM like logic, but in small doses and really doesn’t like the face punches. I don’t understand it. It’s like there’s all these people that want to live in a “safe zone” free from inspection, personal or interpersonal. I tell her, “people don’t have to do it like me or MMM, in fact I don’t want to be in charge, but please…just do it well, otherwise I don’t want to be aware of it.”

    We are non-coercive parents (https://peacenews.info/node/3898/non-coercive-parenting), so our kids eat what they want, if they want, at family gatherings. They are well behaved and entertain themselves. On the other hand our nieces are under constant verbal scrutiny from all sides: parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents. It’s really hard to be around once you know otherwise. The nieces go out to eat every night with their parents because “it’s just easier” (especially if you can’t keep your kitchen clean). Actual conversation: “Eat more hot dog before you get more chips.” But the inlaws concur that the aunt and uncle are “good” parents because they don’t let their kids drink while they eat their meal – just like they were brought up. Our kids are free to drink soft drinks or otherwise with their meals, which I’m sure bothers them all.

    Reply
  • Jo May 15, 2018, 4:21 pm

    Very interesting post. I would be careful though using olive oil to fry the eggs. I read somewhere that it can become toxic when the olive oil gets too hot.

    Reply
  • Stop Ironing Shirts May 15, 2018, 4:25 pm

    Awesome article – eating habits can change, but it takes time and discipline. A nutribullet was the best investment we’ve made over the last year to improve our diet.

    Reply
    • Ground Karate Monkey May 15, 2018, 4:40 pm

      Ditto, a high quality high speed blender that can turn anything into a smoothie is a great way to increase fruit and vegetable intake (refurbished Vitamix from Amazon).

      Reply
  • Leo Piller May 15, 2018, 4:35 pm

    Pleasantly surprise to find my diet is remarkably similar!

    While not a “foodie” the home economist in me certainly appreciates the process of making delicious food. I think cooking new and different things is a great insight into the ingredients themselves, culture, and how other people view food in their life. It pushes a lot of happiness buttons and is a little hedonic bump all in one.

    There is almost always some extra when you buy food at the grocery store. Folks on the hamster wheel let it go bad in the back of the fridge and throw it away. I think its important to fame this a fun challenge to cook with a constraint. I cant emphasize enough how important it is to form “closed loops” with grocery shopping. I always look at what I have already and ask myself “what can I make with this or with one to two more ingredients?” Surplus from what I buy becomes the basis for the next meal prep and the cycle revolves until food supplies are fully depleted.

    All too often I see homes with overflowing fridges/pantries and they want to go to the store because “they don’t have any food”.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache May 15, 2018, 5:37 pm

      Yeah, I have heard that wasted food is a big issue, although it’s hard to imagine in my own life. We don’t really enjoy cooking any more than necessary, so ALL leftovers are scraped clean before anything else is cooked. And I get nervous when I see a disorganized fridge, so it is really rare that anything goes bad in there and needs to be sadly thrown in the compost.

      Reply
    • Carey May 17, 2018, 5:43 am

      I removed a shelf in my fridge , and repositioned the remaining shelves so that it would be easier to see what’s in it, and easier to reach items in the back. Result was less food waste and savings of about $50 per month on food cost.

      Reply
  • Matt May 15, 2018, 4:36 pm

    You mention plain yogurt, no love for greek? Makes the smoothies thicker, and there’s an unfair amount of protein per serving. Blending flavored protein powder into it just feels like cheating at that point: ~10g good fats, ~23g of casein protein, ~23g of whey protein, and <10g of carbs.

    Reply
  • Mark May 15, 2018, 5:26 pm

    Tilapia? I have read so many bad things about this farm raised fish (garbage, zero nutritional value) it is the last thing I would eat. The past year I have been eating vegan at home but have added wild caught fish to my diet. When I go out I settle for vegetarian and try not to be too obnoxious about it, but it has improved my “numbers”

    Reply
  • Rebecca May 15, 2018, 6:03 pm

    I would really appreciate it if you would be willing to share your rice/beans crockpot recipe. Or any other crockpot recipe you would recommend
    Thanks in advance.
    Your food looks really appealing by the way :P

    Reply
  • Geoffrey May 15, 2018, 6:04 pm

    That’s a nice looking spreadsheet…care to share it? Easy enough to recreate but no sense in reinventing the wheel.

    Reply
  • Anonymous May 15, 2018, 6:30 pm

    Dude. You advocate dark chocolate for breakfast. You’re my hero.

    Reply
    • lurker May 19, 2018, 12:45 pm

      with amazing coffee!!! double hero!!!!

      Reply
  • C May 15, 2018, 6:34 pm

    This is really useful. I always struggle with balancing cooking healthy foods at home, sticking to our budget, and eating out. I try and meal plan and cook in batches, but get overwhelmed in the kitchen trying to make too many dishes. Then I end up tossing out either ingredients or prepared meals that have gone bad because we couldn’t eat them in time! So wasteful. I think a lot of people must struggle with this, which is why expensive subscription meal services have sprung up.

    MMM, would you ever consider writing an e-cookbook featuring your family’s go-to meals that are reliably cheap and healthy?

    Reply
  • Simplesam May 15, 2018, 6:45 pm

    I also find a very strong connection between success with food and success in Mustachianism. This is due in no small part to the fact that I absolutely love restaurants. I consider the better ones works of art that engage all five of your senses; and in New York City where I live, there is no shortage of such places. However, when I discovered your blog about a month ago, I realized that I’d been ridiculous in my restaurant use. I was squandering money on “cheap” places in hopes of sating my eat-out tapeworm, and subsequently not having enough to go to the better places I just described. This is especially embarrassing to admit because I’m also paying off about 4000 of hair-on-fire emergency credit card debt. But at least now I know better. Since finding your blog, I’ve been out to eat exactly zero times, and I’ve been consciously optimizing my grocery dollars.
    When I’m not squandering money on restaurants, I also like to eat a lot of the same things every day! My favorite breakfast is even kind of similar to yours – coffee with half & half and roasted, unsalted jumbo-size peanuts. I’m not crazy about greens and veggies, but I have a five-year-old nutribullet which makes it a hell of a lot easier and way more fun to get them into my diet. Also, I make popcorn in a pot most nights with non-gmo canola oil. Those are my staples, and then I supplement with greens and veggies I bring home from work. I work in catering. I never used to bring stuff home, but then realized I don’t have to bring home the fatty hors d’ oeuvres and desserts: there’s enough fish, cooked veggies and salad left over to stock my and most of my co-workers’ fridges every week. This is probably because guests mistake these things for mere garnish. Lol.
    At times of the year when the work is dry, I get brown rice, black beans, popcorn, peanuts and bullet ingredients, and stick to those.
    I have zero intention of setting foot inside an eating establishment, no matter how great it is, until the debt emergency is over, but when my wallet is ready for them, I will optimize those experiences too and savor every single (rare) moment of them; and not just eat out because I want something cooked and don’t want to cook it myself!
    Thanks for your most excellent blog. :)

    Reply
  • That Frugal Pharmacist May 15, 2018, 7:54 pm

    There’s another aspect that we have noticed over time… we rarely enjoy restaurant food that much. When you can cook everything for yourself at home AND it tastes better AND its cheaper you find little reason to go out to eat. That is a real turning point.

    We end up eating out when my husband forgot to defrost something and haven’t been grocery shopping lately.

    Contrary to standard moustachianism, we live rurally. That means Costco is about 2 -2.5 hours away and the big box grocery 30-45 minutes away. We do buy in bulk, but I can’t take as much advantage of Costco as I once did, sadly.

    We have always felt we ate pretty well. I used to think it is expensive to eat well as a vegetarian. Then we started eating meat again last fall and HOLY CRAP it made our expenses go way up. If we were buying the cheapest meat available it might be do able, but for ethical and health reasons we try to buy would I would consider mid priced meats (often organic, grass fed if possible).

    And of course, grow what you can. I’m in the PNW and have literally gallons of blueberries a year. I couldn’t imagine paying store prices for blueberries again.

    Lastly, don’t get in to chicken keeping as a cost saving measure. The cost AND the opportunity cost do not add up vs. buying store bought eggs. There are plenty of other reasons to do it though.

    Reply
  • Mathieu May 15, 2018, 8:18 pm

    Why the coconut oil in coffee? Health or taste? Would it make my simple pour over brew (which I drink at work instead of buying it thank you very much) taste any better?

    Also note Im getting back to cycling 11 miles to work, and looking for the optimal breakfast to shift some weight (ie I’m too fat so I want to consume less than I burn)

    Reply
  • Todd S. May 15, 2018, 8:35 pm

    Nice post Pete. The point about the rigid meals + daily pizza really resonates with me. One thing I was surprised to learn and experience is that diet can play a tremendous role in personality quirks, especially the rigidity that I once had. [A few years ago I would have laughed in someones face who suggested this]. The last thing I want to do is preach how to raise your son, or live your own life. But pro tip, a 30 day “elimination diet” changed my life. I used to eat pizza and other “beige foods” (grains + cheese) daily, especially as a kid, and was quite cranky if I didn’t get it. (There is literally an opiate withdrawl process from the gluten and casein no longer leaking through your gut and stimulating/inflaming your brain). Medicine and science is catching up that many modern foods are highly inflammatory for susceptible people like myself and quite a few others. This contributes to ‘intestinal permeability’, burning up serotonin, and other not great things. An ‘elimination diet’ on a ‘paleo template’ can self-diagnose any sensitivity, and for us curious types there is no reason not to try. This just means taking a strict pause on the worst offenders like gluten, dairy, and sugar for a few weeks. I know the whole gluten thing can seem obnoxious, but I’m glad I gave this a shot.. if after 30 days the suspect foods can be reintroduced without problem, then great, you have a green light to continue enjoying them for life. In my case, they now give me splitting headaches, breakouts, mood changes, and other hard to miss confirmations that they don’t agree with me. It’s enlightening, not a placebo effect, and many paleo evangelicals find it to be life changing also.

    The paleo diet is misunderstood — I recommend Chris Kresser’s book “your personal paleo code” (later publisher-rebranded to the more bullshit sounding ‘paleo cure’).. he has the right balanced outlook. It’s just whole foods, like you’re already eating now, but taking a pause on the newer agricultural stuff that we have not fully evolved for yet (grains, dairy, and sugar). To be clear, most people can eat these foods and be fine. I’m not saying there is a secret epidemic that only the tinfoil-hat-wearing have uncovered, and that the masses are unenlightened. Program wise, the ‘Whole30′ is another excellent book (*better is its precursor, “it starts with food”). You will agree with Chris’ grounded and evidence-based, light-touch style (at least I did). Through my lived experience and the feedback of many others, I’ve learned that pizza is basically the worst possible food for someone like me to eat, despite being the most alluring. Having it daily as a kid definitely contributed to my.. behavioral individuality. Passing this hard-won info on… bet you these books are available via the library.

    There is a deeper rabbit hole to optimizing hacks for people near the spectrum; much of the situation it is treatable. I did mostly grow out of it, but not completely, yet a lot of this stuff is reversible right away, and can be diagnosed with hard-science labs, not woo-woo alternative medicine. I also had ‘SIBO’, confirmed through lab testing, which is very common for aspie types and was easily treated + resolved with a specialty antibiotic called rifaximin. My mood and personality significantly changed/normalized after, and the labs show resolution. Others have trouble detoxing, so heavy metals from routine exposures accumulate and then give rise to behavioral changes. Or, some have an imbalance in their gut flora, with more bad guys than good guys. There are hard science tests for all of this… a much more extreme version of this all is detailed here http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/12/can-autism-be-cured/

    The best way to investigate these things is through an emerging interdisciplinary approach dubbed ‘Functional Medicine’ which is essentially headed by Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic. Chris Kresser is a legend too, and takes patients in Berkeley (and is my personal doc). Martha Herbert MD/PhD of Harvard Medical School also has a great book ‘the autism revolution’ which details the diet and body connection, after decades of private practice and cutting edge research. These are things I wouldn’t believe nor care about if I hadn’t gone through it myself, and seen the huge improvements. A good place to start is with the curious & free elimination diet experiment, not dropping g’s on tests right away. It builds credibility and validation, that there could be something to this stuff.

    You add a lot of value through this free blog, so just giving you some info back, do with it as you please! It took many years and much dinero to learn all this. Happy to add more info if you are skeptical, or shut up and pretend this comment never happened if this all seems like a weird, projecting suggestion. Best regards, Todd (Nissan Boulder solar guy + we met for about 6 seconds mid-business-meeting one afternoon in the prison yard 2 months ago)

    Reply
    • DLcygnet May 16, 2018, 10:29 am

      I’ve been sticking to a mostly Whole30 lifestyle! The strict 30 days changed my relationship with food completely. I found out that beans make me bloated or slow weight loss. Milk made me constantly congested & gave me heartburn – all these years I thought I had perpetual pollen or mold allergies! Chocolate and alcohol stalled weight loss. Bread makes me constipated and contributes to the congestion. I was able to reintroduce soy/edamame, small quantities (<1/2 cup) of rice or whole beans, and I can have a little bit of goat cheese (or other highly processed cheese) in my omelette. And YES – my husband thinks he'll die without pizza and yet, that's got to be the worst food on the planet for me (HEARTBURN!). Oddly enough, my almost 4-year-old has been paying attention to what I do and started parroting back things like "Carbs are sugar. I don't need the carbs," but he'll still dive on the pizza when we have it.

      Reply
  • Kandice May 15, 2018, 8:56 pm

    I will be really interested to see how your grocery spending shifts when your son hits the teenage years. My son easily eats more than his father and I combined, and our daughter, who plays competitive club sports, eats almost as much. It is not unusual to go through one of the Costco sized pieces of salmon (3 pounds) at one dinner meal, usually served with asparagus and roasted potatoes, leaving one small container of leftovers for my husband’s lunch the next day. Then, a couple hours later, I hear the sound of popcorn being made. That covers the hours of 6:30 p.m. to bedtime only. Our food costs are going up every month and I have no reasonable expectation they will go down until my kids head off to college. 😂

    Reply
    • Lisa May 16, 2018, 2:41 pm

      Kandice—I am so with you on this. Even my ten year old eats more than be. We are basically feeding five adults in about $1000/month. Can’t seem to get it any lower.

      Reply
  • Mateo Burfardo May 15, 2018, 9:13 pm

    To me, beans and lentils are the greatest foods. I just can’t get bored of them, there are so many types and endless recipes using them. My daily salad, which is similar to yours, always includes a type of bean tossed in with often a whole grain like barley, quinoa. I only eat “more luxurious” foods if I am out of beans. They are SO healthy and they make you RICH.

    Reply
  • John May 15, 2018, 9:23 pm

    I suggest the book How Not t Die by Dr Greger. I have been following his daily dozen for over a year. The food is cheap and filling. I had by far my fastest 1/2 marathon time in my life and I am over 50. I feel great and my cholesterol has dropped to the lowest in my life. All my blood work is the best ever. All fact based info.

    Reply
  • Dylan May 15, 2018, 11:31 pm

    I work at a tech company where I’m spoiled with 3 meals a day and limitless snacking options. It saves me money for sure, but it causes me to have little food at home sometimes.

    When I had a job that didn’t include meals, I would be making delicious meals in bulk with fresh ingredients from Costco and packing lunch. How ironic it is that now I eat like a king at work but come home to snacks, non-perishables, and frozen food. I’ve been buying frozen mini gzoya from Costco that are ready with some steaming in 6 minutes! I’ll have to try these 15 minute frozen Tilapias as well so I can go back to eating like a king at home too.

    Reply
  • Rachel S. May 16, 2018, 12:06 am

    So glad we’re not the only “robots” out there. My husband, son, and I essentially have the same 4-5 meals every week. It would be much easier on me (the cook) if we’d all eat the same thing as each other, but no – husband is a carnivore, I’m a vegetarian, and son is a picky pants.

    Reply
  • Mr. FiT May 16, 2018, 12:20 am

    Great article!

    Being financially independent also means maximizing every aspect of your life, including eating healthy. The personality type of someone who can do what you’ve done with your finances also spills over to other parts of your life too.

    I’ve been eating paleo for a few years and it’s done wonders for my health. I’m not big on the whole ancestor diet par behind it, but I want to avoid processed food along with gluten and soy, so it’s perfect for me.

    I’m curious how you avoid feeling hypoglycemic if you have so little for breakfast and sometimes skip lunch while doing physical work? I sometimes feel a bit off after waking up in the morning before having breakfast and couldn’t imagine going for so long on so little. I wonder what I’m doing wrong…

    Reply
  • strummin May 16, 2018, 12:20 am

    Peanut butter is beautiful thing. Cholesterol, especially naturally occurring, is well utilized by the body and protein is too. Plant based diets are good but my vegan friend was in a Mexican jail for the weekend and he loved him some chorizo when he realized nobody was gonna serve him any food :). I think MMM is spot on, burn as many calories as you put in and avoid empty carbohydrates like the plague. The data is pretty clear about fats and heart disease and the best cardiologists will tell you that they don’t know exactly how people develop coronary disease. They do know that smokers and people who have developed insulin resistance from too much sugar intake are at a much higher risk than the average person. The data also shows that people who refrain from carbohydrates can reduce their chances of developing heart disease even in the setting of no limitations on dietary fat. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1270002/ What blows me away is that this article was in 2004 and they state that the impact on diet and atherosclerosis is not well understood. It just goes to show the damage that the research in the 90s has done and how dangerous it is to have the American Heart Associations stamp of approval on anything with whole grains. Rock on MMM!

    Reply
  • Claire73 May 16, 2018, 2:00 am

    Another benefit of eating more or less the same thing each day (and wearing similar clothes each day) is that it reduces decision fatigue.

    Reply
  • Sophie May 16, 2018, 3:05 am

    So my partner and I have a frugal but pretty wildly different approach I guess – probably what you would call significantly more labour-intensive.
    I’m a trained chef (yeah, I know, advantage) so a lot of the labour is much less time-consuming for me than for many people. Plus, I choose it as a career because I enjoy it, so, it’s not a chore for me.
    Basically, we try to live pretty low- waste, which reduces our costs pretty significantly. Veggie scraps and animal bones (I will buy whole birds/ larger cuts and butcher) get out aside for stocks, extras get pickled and jammed, all that kind of stuff.
    We’re living in a former Communist region (my partner’s home country) and so with our apartment comes an “allocated” garden plot elsewhere in the town, where we grow a lot of our own fruit and veg, plus I will tend to go out every now and then with my MIL to collect something that’s in season. It’s a nice walk, and you come home with some chestnuts or berries (mushrooms ate expert-only level).
    We get stuff that can be longer cold-stored like potatoes from a local farmer in bulk (20kg potatoes is about USD$3). We also will tend to eat a lot more traditional kinds of ‘foraged’ foods like leafy weeds rather than expensive plastic-packed mixed lettuces etc.
    I fully recognise that our lifestyle means a fair bit of labour on food, but it’s pretty pleasurable for us, so it’s no big sweat – we’d be doing it anyway. And there are local advantages in terms of the traditions/climate/historical structures in place that make it pretty easy for us to live this way. We also choose to live like this because minimizing resource consumption is as much of a priority as frugality. So obviously it’s not for everyone. But I would say our diet is really healthy; it’s very veggie and fruit heavy, lots of nuts and good fats, and USD$20 would be about our maximum weekly spend (and yes there are things that cost a little less in our area of the world but not by a lot, and some things, like good olive oils or decent meat, are more expensive). We also consumer very little plastic. It’s not for everyone, but it suits us; we eat well, we’re pretty fit, and it costs very little.

    Reply
  • Kiev May 16, 2018, 3:06 am

    Thank you for this great post. Nutriation is a big topic I did not took care on my path to financial freedom. We prepare our food ourselfes and I am living most of the time as a vegetarian. However, if we do barbeque I like to have a piece of meat. I drink only water, no juice and I did reduce sugar, alcohol and sweets. I do lots of sports and have two young children. Since I have to work for the living I do not have too much free time. I do 2-3 times a week 8 mile runs. But I do not know the day in advance. It depends on the work at home and weather. So I need some quick energizing solutions, which does not disturb too much. Your banana drink sounds promising but I do not know the ingredients. I do not have protein powder either. At the moment I am eating too much pasta. And I love my homemade bread. So I am most likely eating way to much high carb. But I even do not know how much I should eat on a regular basis and what to do if I am jogging 8 miles or cycling with the racing bike. In that case I take some banana with me.
    Do you have a good book recommendation for this? At the moment I am eating till I am not hungry. I do eat the left over at work the next day. So I already ensured not to throw away food and also reduced bad things. But that is it. I do already have peanut butter and nuts to satisfy my attacks of hunger. But I use the peanud butter on bread.

    Reply
    • CapitalistRoader May 16, 2018, 4:13 pm

      Gary Taubes: The Case Against Sugar, Why We Get Fat, and Good Calories, Bad Calories

      Reply
      • Laurie May 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

        Both excellent choices for deep dive information.

        Reply
      • Kiev May 22, 2018, 1:43 am

        Thank you!
        The consumer orientated version “Why we get fat” is also available in german. I did also find a german website but it is far too complex for me. I will give the book a try. Hopefully, it provides also information for sport orientated readers. I want to do long (>>100 miles, maybe up to 24h?) distance cycling tours.

        Reply
  • Alex May 16, 2018, 6:24 am

    MMM

    You should keep in mind that early in the day is when we’re most insulin sensitive making it the opportune time to consume carbs not fat. Consuming fats makes us less insulin sensitive for our next meal compared with a meal with a lower amount of fat. Something to keep in mind if you want to eat carbohydrate and trying to figure out the best timing for it.

    Reply
  • Steve P. May 16, 2018, 6:55 am

    Thanks for sharing your approach to food and exercise, it helps me as I’m 42, well overweight and starting to eat healthier, exercise and bring bicycle riding back into my life.

    Great tips on how to connect healthy eating and staying fiscally responsible, something that could easily come across as opposing terms.

    Reply
  • JessiBrader May 16, 2018, 7:15 am

    OMgggggg a new mr money moustache artcile!! im so excitedddddd:D and thank you so much, needed that push towards eating healthier..i eat fairly healthy already but sometimes im jsut having wayyy too much sugar…im an addict=p;D anyways, cheers for the article, so excited;D please write more again!!!!:))))xxxx

    Reply
  • Lucy May 16, 2018, 7:20 am

    Preach!! An excellent article with so many good points.

    My boyfriend and I recently started eating a vegetarian diet at home, and were *shocked* to find we saved about $150/month. We had never been huge meat eaters before going vegetarian, so didn’t realized just how much we were spending on meat when we could have had eggs and tofu!

    We’ve also both started eating 2 meals per day instead of 3, which further cut our grocery bill and has been excellent for our health! We find we have more energy throughout the day, sleep better, and in general consume less.

    Thanks for such an important article and reminder that food is the key to a happy body and happy wallet!

    Reply
  • Steve May 16, 2018, 7:42 am

    I’m all for scientifically analyzing nutrition strategies, but I suspect the resulting impact on health will be minimal.

    There’s much discussion in paleo circles about the unhealthiness of bread, but bread is fairly tame compared to most of the things you’ll find on the shelves at your local 7-11. Massive bags of Swedish Fish, for instance. I don’t think I’m being naive when I say that the unhealthiness of Swedish Fish is pretty widely understood across most strata of society. Yet people keep buying them- buying something they know is unhealthy. So giving them more information about its unhealthiness seems unlikely to change anything.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of unhealthy eating is driven by conscious or subconscious psychological issues that people are medicating with food. Which would mean that the best solutions are to 1) work out the issues, or 2) make it harder to medicate them with food. The latter would entail a social and legal shift similar to what happened with smoking.

    Reply
  • MKE May 16, 2018, 7:53 am

    What MMM does not make obvious in this post is that he has no choice but to eat this way. He can either eat like this, or he can give up his lifestyle. I really appreciate his willingness to share a day of his eating, I often wish people with active, athletic to semi-athletic lifestyles would write books and share what they eat. I found Brendan Brazier’s “Thrive,” and it sure helped me add veggies and clean up even though I am not vegan.

    The typical American “lifestyle” goes like so: bed, couch, car, desk, car, couch, bed, couch, car, desk, car, couch…

    Sure, you could add in a couple more cars in there, or even a chair or two, but that is the crummy, lame-ass life you will find most people design for themselves. What difference does it make what they eat? Eating healthy and avoiding restaurants becomes difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.

    Eating healthy and saving money is easy IF…you stop driving! If you ride a bike almost everywhere, and make the overwhelming majority of your trips on a bike, you HAVE to eat like MMM. You can’t eat garbage and live an active life. Get busy living and you will automatically stop spending 20%+ of your pre-tax income on cars, because you will realize how stupid it is. If you know you are going to have some fun, and ride your bike to work, the store, your friends’ houses, -wherever – you make food your fuel, instead of gasoline and junk food.

    MMM’s post has no evidence of conflict, struggle, and craving. It’s because he is riding a bike. You can struggle against this if you want to try, but I don’t see the benefit. Why fight the odds?

    Reply
  • Katie May 16, 2018, 8:04 am

    I’d be curious to know what your son’s daily diet looks like? My 11 year old son is extremely picky and I am always looking for tips to make his diet healthier.

    Reply
  • Mr. 1500 May 16, 2018, 8:30 am

    I’ve been paying attention to my diet since I left formal work and the number 1 thing I discovered is how much of a horrible thing sugar is. When I first started trying to cut down, I’d have incredibly powerful urges to eat the crap.

    I’m better now, but I’ve discovered that if I let it slip and eat one sugary thing, I want more immediately. It’s like a friggin’ drug.

    At my worst, I was 180. Since I changed my diet up, I’ve lost 20 pounds. My body fat percentage is still unhealthy (17%), but I’m getting there…

    Reply
  • Becky May 16, 2018, 8:36 am

    Loved this post and the comments.

    I think each individual must find the best healthy diet that suits their body and lifestyle. Obviously Mr. MMM has done that. I’ve tried something similar and my cholesterol shot up, so that one is not for me.

    I enjoy watching Dr. Greger’s videos and think a vegan diet is great for health and the environment I’ve tried it and it is not right for me either. I felt tired and hungry all the time. I disagree with Mr. MMM that vegans bodies don’t look all that great – think Rich Roll and Rip Esselstyn (and they are both over 50 years old). Obviously the vegan diet suits their bodies and lifestyle.

    The diet that seems best for my body, age and lifestyle is The Blue Zones Diet. Lots of fruits/vegetables, beans, nuts, fish and a little bit of meat and red wine! That’s the diet that gives me the most energy, is easiest for me to adhere to and keeps my cholesterol, triglycerides and ratios at a healthy level.

    Being a female, I would love to hear about Mrs. MMM’s diet.

    Reply
  • Liz May 16, 2018, 10:17 am

    Avocado toast with a fried egg is an almost daily meal in our house. One tip that we love – rub a clove of raw garlic on the toast before you load the rest of the items on it. I then mince it and sprinkle it in the mix as well. It’s aromatic and oh so good!

    Reply
    • lurker May 19, 2018, 12:47 pm

      garlic is the best!!!!!!!

      Reply
  • Another frugal early retired Canadian May 16, 2018, 10:51 am

    Thanks for this post. I was very interested in the compounded monetary effect of beans/rice/veg meals over eating higher up the food chain. We’re in our mid 60s, have been plant-based eaters (with the occasional organic egg) since our early 30s and I’m sure it’s been a major contributor to our ability to retire early – that and the fact that we ditched the car more than 12 years ago in favour of walking, biking and transit.

    Our monthly ‘food’ bill is comparable to yours (we include beer and wine as food) though we eat lunch out twice a week. Too keep the restaurant calorie intake down we always have one meal and share it (meals are always too big anyway)- also helps with the cost!

    Reply
  • Justin May 16, 2018, 10:54 am

    If you haven’t thought about sauteeing the kale salad, you’re in for a treat when you do. I take Costco’s version and dump the whole bag into a pan, add a little water for steam, then put a lid on it. When it’s wilted a bit, I take the lid off and douse with a little olive oil and saute the whole thing up. If you like soy sauce, add a bit of that after it’s done which gives it a stir-fry flavor. I make it twice a week probably. Fantastic.

    Reply
  • K May 16, 2018, 11:03 am

    You seem to like self education- I would be curious to hear what you think of the WHOLE30 “It Starts with Food” book and philosophy…Because according to their science some of those choices would not make the cut due to their hormone inflammation inducing qualities…

    Reply
  • brendan May 16, 2018, 12:07 pm

    I enjoy an after-dinner toke, which used to lead to poor food choices, and weight gain. My solution has been to pre-make a small bowl of fruit salad which Mr. Weed really digs, while keeping me at my “fighting” weight.

    Reply
  • Greg May 16, 2018, 12:09 pm

    Do you track your beer intake along with your meals? At 200 – 300 calories per pint, they quickly add up so I’m wondering if you modify your meal plan to accommodate tossing back a few?

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache May 17, 2018, 10:43 am

      Yes! I try to keep the alcohol intake to a still-sociable minimum, and it usually ends up around 3-5 beers or wines per week. These things make me fatter when I indulge, so I make downward adjustments to the “Booster” snacks whenever the mirror indicates I need to do so.

      Reply
  • O.S. May 16, 2018, 12:21 pm

    The biggest chunck of your daily protein intake is coming from chiken/pork/Tilapia that you pay around 4$/lb.
    That’s very cheap.

    Aren’t you scared by the quality of those products ?
    Short term you might not feel anything bad, but god know what type of nutritents they have been given in their farms and the long term impact on your health.

    I would never buy any kind of meat at those prices, especially in the US (Hello growth hormones/antiobiotics and other funky stuff allowed by the USFDA).

    I used to live in Europe and the standards are very different there (not saying it’s perfect either) in term of what can be given to animals being farmed.
    Strangely enough, the body types are very different as well althgouh we (as Europeans) don’t get more education on what’s healthy or not compared to an average US person.

    I won’t go full organic or grass fed only for everything, but I won’t mess around with the meat and fish quality, especially when eating ~2 pounds of those daily…

    Thoughts ?

    Reply
    • O.S. May 16, 2018, 12:35 pm

      Same comments for the tomatoes a 2$/lb, I bet they are not organic.
      Tomatoes are sadly a member of the dirty dozens (Top 12 produce with the highest level of pesticides).

      https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

      Reply
  • Barry R. May 16, 2018, 12:24 pm

    I always weigh my food, otherwise you can’t do anything specific with your diet. A few suggestions:
    For salad, grow your own sprouts. Very economical and nutritious and easy. Then you can reduce your greens and vegetable costs, but certainly not eliminate.
    Animal products are a waste of money and they pollute your body. Tilapia are raised in China in a pool of their own shit – avoid it at all costs.
    Rather than buy chocolate, buy cacao powder, and mix with nut butter/coconut oil, and nuts. Carob is better than cacao.
    Include much more omega-3s, flax (which you need to grind when you consume it) and chia.
    If you want protein, add spirulina. If you want to be truly awesome, grow your own spirulina.
    I love tomatoes, but compared to sprouts, they are just not worth the cost.
    Always buy organic.

    Reply
  • Kieran May 16, 2018, 12:52 pm

    I used to be the same as far as liking to get 1g/lb of protein until I read this:

    https://bayesianbodybuilding.com/the-myth-of-1glb-optimal-protein-intake-for-bodybuilders/

    Worth a look, may save you a couple of cents without worrying that you’re muscles are getting shortchanged.

    Reply
  • Torrey May 16, 2018, 1:01 pm

    Where do you buy the Tilapia? Are those from Costco as well? I gotta try these “marriage savers”!

    Reply
  • Jeffrey May 16, 2018, 1:03 pm

    Lots of interesting info here. I am intrigued to try coconut oil in my coffee. Big fan of a healthy breakfast as a start to the day and as someone who experienced success on the Fast Metabolism Diet which requires it be eaten within 30 minutes of waking up.

    Reply
  • Sherry May 16, 2018, 1:07 pm

    Hello, I am a little confused about the giant salad breakdown. How are you making 10 giant salads from one cucumber, one tomato and one green onion and one 12 oz bag of kale salad mix? Am I reading the chart wrong? I’m thinking with that amount of ingredients maybe 3 salads max and not even sure those would come close to qualifying as “giant.”

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache May 17, 2018, 10:40 am

      It’s a giant cucumber, plus there is a yellow pepper in there and many small tomatoes, not just one. Total mass of the salad is 1.4 kg as stated in the spreadsheet, and if you weigh out one tenth of it, one third of a pound of salad (140g) is a pretty big pile on your plate. Especially when you add feta, avocados, and dressing as indicated.

      Reply
  • Rob May 16, 2018, 1:12 pm

    Hi – what is the $1 protein bar you mention here?

    Reply
  • The Bordeaux Kitchen May 16, 2018, 1:18 pm

    Great advice on eating whole, nutritious foods at a reasonable cost. I’m a foodie and my husband is a longtime MMM devotee. We’ve combined forces to find tasty ways to prepare low-cost, nutrient-dense foods ‎- oily fish like mackerel and sardines, organ meats, and other less trendy meat cuts and bones that butchers are often happy to give away. I call this “Mackerel Economics” – getting the most nutrition and satiety for your money. And from pastured/grass-fed sources, animal products like meat and eggs can be health-enhancing and also regenerative to the soil. We’re now applying the DIY approach to food – homebrewing bone broth, fermenting veggies, and rendering our own tallow and lard for cooking and skin creams – in a nod to our frugal and bad-ass ancestors!

    Reply

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