I would describe myself as a “Food Enthusiast”, as an alternative to “Foodie” (which I really dislike as a descriptor). I think enthusiast better describes me, because I will eat basically anything available as food. An interest in food, especially “good” food could turn into an expensive habit, since it would be very easy to justify overspending – everyone needs to eat.
I classify “good” food as locally raised meat – I stick to beef and pork mainly, and lots of fruits and vegetables (which is difficult to find locally when you live in Ontario and it starts snowing in October). Based on various studies and my knowledge of growing standards, I don’t really find it worthwhile to spend the extra money on organic produce, but I know people who do.
I get most of my fruits and vegetables from a normal grocery store, but to buy my meat there, would be upwards of $15 per pound for some cuts and much higher for “good” cuts.
I feel very strongly in the meat products I have chosen, I am disgusted with most cattle and pork feedlots found in North America and the impact that these businesses have on both the animal and the environment. I buy my meat directly from farms, where I can (if I wanted to) visit/inspect the operation and see where my meat is “made” – what the animals eat, how much room the animals have to eat. In the past year, I have bought half a pig (at $5 per pound) and a quarter of a cow (at $6 per pound).
Getting animals in this form allows me to eat what I want to eat, at a reasonable price, and directly help the businesses I want to support – the farmer who grows the animal, and the small abattoir that butchers on a small scale (both which are becoming more scarce these days). I get the entire animal as well, which I enjoy (all of the organs, bones, and fat) – it’s as close as I can get to being in charge of what I eat.
Most things that seem expensive in the outset have a cheaper version that is probably 85% as good. Homebrewing (a hobby I am interested in) could cost thousands and thousands of dollars to upgrade equipment to brewery-quality, or you could get by with a couple hundred dollars worth of equipment and cobble together other items. Sports can be done cheaply as well, buying second-hand equipment and resisting the urge to upgrade constantly.
Moving closer to retirement, I know I will have much more time, and much less money coming in on a monthly basis. I think having the ability to find the “Other way”, which may result in patching together Kijiji findings to have stuff I want to have. This kind of thing can be seen as “Cheapness”, but I prefer to look at it as an efficient use of money.
Have you found an “Other Way” (maybe unorthodox) of taking part in something expensive?