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The cost of healthy living



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MBSHAZZER
Posts: 18,378
6/12/12 12:29 P

I have to admit that my BF does all of the grocery shopping, so I have no idea how much we spend on food; that said, I do know for a fact that in addition to "convenience" foods being less healthy, they DO cost more.

Also, I think a lot of people automatically think that you MUST eat all organic fruits and veg to be "healthy" and that's just not true. Yes, it's better to buy organice off of the "dirty dozen" list, but other than that, regular produce is fine.

I think a lot of the "cost" from healthy food comes from the time needed to prepare it. White rice takes 15 minutes to cook; brown rice takes 45, for example. But, if you factor in sickness and loss productivity and time spent in doctor's offices, it's STILL cheaper to make it yourself!



WHOLENEWME79
Posts: 918
6/12/12 12:17 P

I appreciate seeing peoples repsonses to this. While the initial cost may be more, chances are, if you are buying fruits, veggies, lean proteins, nuts, etc., it actually would be less per MEAL. I have found this out myself recently. Plus there are the long term costs as other have pointed out.

One thing I have noticed since I started my healthy journey- When I am at the store I notice that fat people usually have a lot of the "cheap foods" in their carts- frozen or boxed meals, canned items, etc. I would think that may be the first clue that the "cheap" foods aren't really cheap.



GRANDMABABA
SparkPoints: (120,302)
Fitness Minutes: (104,604)
Posts: 5,996
6/12/12 10:30 A

I can buy lots of fruits and veggies when we don't eat out or stock up on my dh sugar free Popsicles. Unfortunately he currently downs 8-20 per day. I worry about all that artificial sugar and color. He is very slim, so maybe this is o.k. ???



MARG17
Posts: 269
6/12/12 9:54 A

is priceless, health is more important, do not find it costly, just watch the sales



SWEETDARLA
SparkPoints: (2,378)
Fitness Minutes: (935)
Posts: 200
6/12/12 8:38 A

I struggle with this for my kids. It's one thing to be a motivated adult who needs to lose weight. I can get by with eating lower calorie fruits and vegetables. It gets so costly, though, with kids who are stick thin and need all the calories they can get. I give them an enormous amount of cucumbers and strawberries for a snack and they are still hungry afterward and I'm out $3 (with items at sale price). It's hard not to give in and give them a $2 box of crackers instead that will last them 3 snack times. Wish I could get them to eat meat and cheese for added calories, but they refuse.



SILVASHAN
Posts: 167
6/12/12 8:32 A

we have found that by only eating out once a week the $ we save offsets the extra cost of healthy groceries.



SNAZZYMC
SparkPoints: (28,006)
Fitness Minutes: (27,738)
Posts: 267
6/12/12 7:50 A

Recently CTV News ran a blog comparing the cost of healthy snacks vs treats for kids' lunches:
healthblog.ctv.ca/post/Are-healthy-snacks-
more-expensive-Lete28099s-put-it-to-th
e-test.aspx

Now, yes, I understand that not every child is going to want a cup of green peppers for a snack! And, yes, I also understand that it can be a challenge to transition a child from "treats" to a healthier snack ... but to use cost as an excuse to buy junk .... that argument doesn't generally hold up well.



CMCOLE
Posts: 2,667
6/12/12 7:49 A

like others, I have to weigh the options/choices of being healthy, or living "cheaply"

Processed (prepared) meals are usually not cheap, so definitely that would be out (both cost-wise and health-wise).

Choosing long-lasting ingredients, coupled with the more perishable options are good, like:

- dried beans & grains
- root vegetables that last longer (carrots, turnip, squash, etc.)
- frozen (they're frozen at their peak of freshness, with nothing added - usually)

I want my family to be healthy, as well as fed.



STDWYNWEN
SparkPoints: (10,946)
Fitness Minutes: (4,491)
Posts: 545
6/12/12 7:36 A

Not to mention all the residual costs associated with a more 'processed' life style.

Tylenol (for when your kid is bouncing off the wall from too much sugar or you ate too much sugar)
Over-the-counter medicines
Prescribed medicines which a healthier lifestyle could eliminate.

I'll buy fruits/veggies any day over Maalox, Tylenol or unnecessary $25 co-payments.





MAGGIEMURPHY4
SparkPoints: (13,865)
Fitness Minutes: (10,813)
Posts: 936
6/12/12 6:44 A

I shop at a discount super market which has the best produce for the least amount of money. I often see people who are food assistance with there carts filled with boxed, canned and high calorie, and high sodium foods with little or no nutritional value. My cart is filled with fresh fruit and veggies. Perhaps, I am paying a little more but the benefits out weigh the cost. I also know that if I ate the "crap" they have, I would eat twice as much of it because most of those items are empty calories. I am on a tight budget so, I am always looking at the price of a meal. I buy my meats in bulk when they are on sale and repackage it and freeze it. I buy fruits by what is in season...because they are usually on sale. The average fast food meal is about $7.00 and last only for one meal....I can make a dinner for less than 3.00 per serving.



JENNI_X
Posts: 238
6/12/12 5:52 A

Eating chicken or salmon for example is VERY expensive. I have thought so many times in a supermarket how cheap pasta, rice etc. are and veggies are not that cheap either to add to my plate. I live in Finland and pretty much everything is expensive here, but I just decided to invest the money to myself and be healthy. Eating out, even fast food would be even worse...



LIRPA246
Posts: 701
6/11/12 7:30 P

I'm always torn about this. It also depends on quality. I'd love to eat a healthy all organic, non-GMO diet but that caliber of food DOES get expensive. No reason to result to fast food though.



SONICB
Posts: 4,193
6/11/12 7:28 P

It is much, much cheaper to prepare healthy meals at home than to eat out even a few times a week... However, it also requires investing a decent amount of time in your week to plan out meals and prepare them. If cost weren't an issue for me, I would probably eat out (but make healthy choices) much more often so that I could focus on my graduate studies more. But you don't get paid much as a grad student. :)



BUBBLEJ1
SparkPoints: (21,988)
Fitness Minutes: (20,943)
Posts: 2,801
6/11/12 7:14 P

I have this conversation with people all the time. Eating healthier is cheaper than living on fast food. $10 worth of Mcdonalds will feed you for a meal, whereas $10 worth of fruit, veg and lean meat could easily feed you for a day or 2.

It is all about perspective. Yes, a packet of cookies is cheaper than a bag of apples, but pound for pound, the apples are cheaper and more filing.



SALSGIVERL
SparkPoints: (2,275)
Fitness Minutes: (710)
Posts: 141
6/11/12 6:06 P

Sounds like you and I are on the same path. I switched over to a whole food plant based diet and I found a place where I can get fresh produce less then what I would get them at Walmart! I just posted to the message boards under Diet and Nutrition about 19 Reasons why I adopted a whole food plant based diet!



WHOLENEWME79
Posts: 918
6/11/12 5:54 P

I've heard for years (and made this argument myself) that eating healthy, buying fruits, veggies, lean meats, etc., is more costly that fastfood and pre-packaged meals. When I saw this article it definately made me think about the cost of eating healthy vs not-so-health.

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/17
/usda-healthy-food-isnt-really-more-ex
pensive/



 
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