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Expensive to eat healthy?

View Poll Results: Do you think it is more expensive to eat haelthy?
It costs more to eat healthy 36 64.29%
It costs less to eat healthy 20 35.71%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-13-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default Expensive to eat healthy?

Do you think it is more expensive to eat healthy?

We had a little debate over on my BB about this. I was curious of your thoughts...
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
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I spend less. I do cook, though, and eat a mostly whole-foods diet, which is cheaper than eating out (and WAY cheaper than eating lower calorie, healthier convenience foods, which I think is probably the MOST expensive way to go).
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:14 PM   #3
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It has been cheaper for me. We eat out rarely as compared to before. When shrimp or fish go on sale, I stock up. We eat whatever produce is on sale and in season. We eat lots of eggs and tunafish and lots of beans.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
I spend less. I do cook, though, and eat a mostly whole-foods diet, which is cheaper than eating out (and WAY cheaper than eating lower calorie, healthier convenience foods, which I think is probably the MOST expensive way to go).
Ditto.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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I cook more (although I always did), even things that I perhaps bought before (smoked turkey, roast beef for lunches). I make my own salad dressings now as well. Although it's been a long time I seem to remember spending $5-10 at drive-thrus a couple of days a week, and then there was the Friday night junk food stock up for the weekend. Of course, those never went into the regular grocery run, so they were 'extra'.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Eating better for less

For a specific volume of food, I spend more. But in total, I spend less - primarily because I eat less. I easily spent $10-15 on snacks and vending machines each work day. Don't do that now.

I spend less on fresh fruit after dinner than I previously spent on cookies after dinner. But that's because a sleeve of cookies was my normal portion.

We spend more per pound on specific pieces of fish and meat, but, again, spend less because we eat smaller portions.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #7
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I think I spend a lot more. But this year I planted a garden so hopefully I'll have some fresh veges for almost free.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:26 PM   #8
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Well, in may case I spend more.
Before I changed my eating habits (for better) I didn’t eat out unless in special occasions.
I used to buy frozen foods, like TV dinner and hot pockets (cheap ones from Wall-Mart) and I would also snack on whatever they had on sale, cookies, cake, ice cream... you can always find something very cheap and unhealthy.
Now I buy fruits, green and vegetables which aren't cheap at all, specially during the winter time.
But I just think that worth it!!!
Will save $$$ with doctors
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:59 PM   #9
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i think it comes to about the same for me, but i am one to go all out and buy the organic, or better quality items for a buck or two more.
i know that when i am in the bad habit of eating out, a meal at panera or some where costs between 8-10$.
I'm sure if i really tried, i could stretch my dollars more and significantly reduce the amount i spend per meal.

but to answer your question, yes i think in dollar amount, you will spend more to eat whole, nutritious foods. If you look at the cheapest diets, you would be eating boxed dinners for a couple bucks a night and bagged pretzels and chips and such for a few bucks. mostly made of processed grains which are super cheap to produce but high in simple carbs and generally low in nutrition. which in my opinion is the cause or a contributing factor for low income families to have problems with diabetes and cardiovascular health, etc.

In the long term, if you eat a poor diet, you will spend more on pharmaceuticals and health care, either that or the tax payers will. Spending more on quality foods however is an investment in your health care that will prevent you from developing chronic conditions.
So, whereas you might save money buying the value snack packs and mac n' cheese dinners, you will eventually end up paying for it in the long run.

that's the way i see it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:12 PM   #10
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I don't know that the question is that simple. When my husband and I were both working very good-laying jobs, we spend a lot more on groceries and eating out (whether we were eating healthy/dieting or not). Then I got sicker and my husband lost his job, and we had to file bankruptcy because of the medical expenses - and long story, but suddenly we were living on 1/4 the income that we had, then my husband was injured badly which sped up the progression of a congenital spine and joint problem (at 17 he was told he'd be on disability by age 30, at least he made it to 35).

So now, we're both on disability income, and our budget is pretty tight. It is more challenging to eat a healthy, balanced diet - and even more challenging to eat for weight loss, but it's far from impossible. If you've got a super tight budget, it is very difficult not to eat a carb-heavy diet. At our tightest extreme, we spent less than $50 for both of us for the entire month - but VERY carb heavy. Not necessarily "junk" food, because the cheapest foods are pretty healthy basics (rice, dried beans, and tvp granules, if bought in bulk bags or from bulk bins), but the cheapest foods do tend to be starchy, and fruit and veggie choices are limited - the cheapest usually being celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce (or sometimes romaine heads, at Aldi), red delicious apples and navel oranges.

I learned alot about saving money from the Tightwad Gazette and other frugal living books I checked out from the library. Eventually, I bought The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn and the cookbook Good Cheap Food by Miriam Ungerer (as with most of my books, I either get them from thrift stores, garage sales, or amazon.com if I can buy them used, cheaply enough).

If you're willing to devote the time to shopping, cooking, and prep work; you can eat healthy and low-calorie, quite cheaply. It's not even outrageously time-consuming, but you do have to plan a head. For an unorganized, impulsive people like my husband and I, that was the hardest part - planning ahead and staying organized.

I've participated in a lot of discussions here, on saving money while eating well, and have shared a lot of tips and recipes. Aldi (a discount grocery chain) is almost always mentioned, if not by me then by someone else in the course of the discussion- so if you search on Aldi, you'll find a lot of great threads on the subject.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:13 PM   #11
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My wallet is thinner (who says thin is always better?) - I shop at Whole Foods. Organic, Quality, Boutique Foods are $$$$.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:28 PM   #12
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I spend less. Now, I get to skip aisles in the supermarket--no chips, no soda, no ice cream. I do have a large vegetable garden, which probably helps.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:44 PM   #13
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When it comes to just what I spend to eat just at home - something we had already started doing because of the recession - I could feed two adults in my home with crap food for about $75 a week.

Now, I'm trying to find an economical way to go organic and that is costing more. I'd say our food budget is up around $100 - $125 in a typical week.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #14
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For me I spend less. Being single, when I cook I have ton's of leftover meals, so that saves money.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:39 AM   #15
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I couldn't vote! I actually spend about the same amount. Instead of buying all the junk food I am buying healthier options. I buy less food but it costs about the same as what I was paying before. My totals are usually around $110-$150 a week depending on what I need to get.
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