Wow. I actually can't believe the Greatist Challenge is over. I probably feel that way because eating healthy on a budget hasn’t been that hard. Sure, there were times I really wanted Starbucks or to just go out for dinner, but overall it's been a relatively simple lifestyle change. As soon as I started thinking of health and budget considerations as non-optional, everything else just fell into place.

Since I laid out some rules at the beginning of the Challenge, I thought it might be cool to look back and see how I did.

  • I will not suffer. Success! I actually really loved (or, at least, didn't hate) everything I ate this month. It was nice being forced to eat a wholesome, delicious meal three times a day (no skipping lunch!) plus healthy snacks.
  • $60 a week. Done-zo! In retrospect, this goal may have been too easy. Once I put considerable thought into my grocery shopping, it usually only came to about $40 a week. Then I just had one lunch out every week and usually stayed under 50 bucks.
  • What’s healthy? At the beginning of this challenge I said that, to me, eating healthy means eating a little of everything (emphasis on fruits and veggies) and not a lot of processed foods. I definitely stuck to that, no problem. It helps that it's the diet I enjoy eating in general, health considerations aside.
  • We all get cheat days. Oh, yes I did. I have to admit, I think I might have cheated a bit more than usual on weekends just because I could. I indulged in greasy bar food about once every weekend and ate at restaurants at least a couple times. In the end though, keeping the splurging to weekends still trimmed my monthly budget.
  • I will tell the truth, the whole truth. Of course I did. Then again, I wouldn't tell you if I were lying, would I…

All in all, this Challenge has been a really positive experience for me, and I aim to keep it up for at least the next month. (Then I'll reassess and maybe tweak the budget some more). The hardest part was easily all the blogging and tweeting, so it'll be more natural to keep up with the moola-savin' now that I’m on my own. If you're interested in seeing more weekly menu plans and shopping lists, you can find them every Friday on my personal blog.

Tell me, have you been keeping up with the Challenge? How'd you do?

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