A real bounty

Plant Based on a Budget Challenge

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means there's bountiful talk of food. But not everyone has the financial means to indulge, and, besides, most traditional holiday meals aren't particularly healthy. Why not use this time to instead think about thrifty ways to eat well year-round?

The bloggers over at Plant Based on a Budget, a vegan recipe and lifestyle site founded by Sacramento resident Toni Okamoto, have devised a number of ways to eat healthier on the cheap.

The Plant Based on a Budget Challenge encompasses a collection of free meal plans to serve as a guide. Each plan approximately follows a weekly $25-per-person budget. Stock up on the recommended ingredients—dried legumes, fresh fruits and veggies, inexpensive pastas and grains, etc.—and then follow a set of simple recipes and meal suggestions. There are plans devised for various family sizes and time frames and all are adaptable.

Okamoto frames the project as something of an answer to the popular SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge, in which participants commit to spending only the equivalent of what a person or family of comparable size would receive via the federal government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“I think that ‘food stamp challenges' … are a little insensitive to folks who permanently have very little food money,” Okamoto explained in a blog post.

Rather, she said, think of this as a lifetime change. “How smart can we be with our money?” she asked. “How much better can we treat our bodies?”

Certainly, it's an appetizing question for the ages. plantbasedonabudget.com.