Weight Loss Support - Eating Healthy Costs too much????




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txnikita
06-25-2009, 01:11 AM
Is it just me or am I doing this wrong??? It seems to me that the healthier I eat the more money I seem to be spending at the grocery store. I have noticed that since I have been shopping for food instead of running through the drive thru that my grocery bill has doubled or tripled.

I think maybe I am doing this wrong. I think I should be buying some things in bulk but that is expensive too.

any tips???


LandonsBaby
06-25-2009, 01:19 AM
Well, your grocery bill may go up but you aren't spending money at the drive thru which should help you at least break even, if not save. I do spend a bit more but I try to buy organics, foods without chemicals, simple ingredients, etc which I find is more expensive. If you can buy in bulk, do it! That will save you money.

Lissus
06-25-2009, 02:09 AM
I try to think about it in #'s of meals I get. That $10 at the drive thru for one meal can get me a couple of meals worth of food at the grocery store, or that $40 spent on pizza for me and the roomies for one night, can make 10 pizzas at home, and much healthier ones.

The rare occasions I find myself at a drive through now I end up figuring it out in my head, that I could have bought the ingredients to make lunch for a few days instead.


kaplods
06-25-2009, 02:41 AM
There are a lot of ways to eat healthier on a budget, but it takes a little extra planning and effort.

I've eaten healthy and not on large budgets, and small ones. Buying in bulk can help (you just have to do the math, because sometimes bulk doesn't save you any money).

If you search the forums on "budget," you'll find a lot of discussions we've had on ways to save money. There are great money-saving books and websites (I love the Tightwad Gazette three-volume book). Not all the tips are healthy- or weight-loss friendly, but many can be adapted.

Foods that tend to be the most economical (if not bought pre-cleaned and cut) generally (regardless of where yo live) include dried beans, lettuce, onions, carrots, celery, cabbage, white potatoes, eggs and sweet potatoes, tvp (textured vegetable protein, sometimes called textures soy protein - dry crumbles of defatted and baked soy beans that can be reconstituted with water - the granules make a nice ground beef substitute).

In general, the more work you do yourself, the more money you save (so chicken pieces are usually more expensive than whole chickins). There are exceptions though. Often chicken thighs or legs are less expensive than whole chickens because they're less "desireable" pieces (but they're often better than white meat in on the barbecue or in a crock-pot, because they stay moister longer). Walmart generally sell their baked rotisserie chickens for less than a dollar more than their raw whole chickens - that's nice, because it's convenient as well (which also shows there's an exception to every rule).

I've started adding recipes to my blog, and most will be pretty cheap, because hubby and I are on a pretty tight budget.

http://3fatchicks.com/diet-blogs/kaplods/

In many of the threads here I've talked about my tvp/ground beef recipe and I got so many requests for it, that I put it on my blog.

Recently, I made my tvp/ground beef mixture using a larger ratio of tvp than I've ever attempted in a mix before, I also used a lb of ground pork in the mix. Ground pork is a little fattier, which is why I chose to add more tvp (which is fat free) to bring down the overall fat content per serving. I used 1 lb of ground beef (80/20 at 2.89/lb, 1 lb of ground pork at 1.19/lb, and 4 cups (1 lb of tvp granules at 2.69/lb), and 2 (15 oz) cans of canned chicken broth (that I found on sale for .49 per can at a Big Lots type store).

Each cup of tvp is about equivalent to 1 lb of ground meat, but much lower in fat and calories, but by combining the meat and tvp, you can get meat flavor for just a few more calories than the tvp alone.

That makes about the equivalent of 6 lbs of ground meat, browned - a little over $1.00 per lb or $.25 per 1/4 cup serving (not counting the costs of seasonings).

It may seem crazy to make the equivalent of 6 lbs of ground meat for a household of two, but it takes only a few minutes more to make 6 lbs as 1 lb (as long as you have a big enough pot). , I freeze it in tupperware style containers or freezer bags and then stir or shake so that the mixture freezes into easily scoopable "crumbles."

I also recently bought a couple books from thriftstores and amazon.com on "ground beef" or "ground meat" recipes (the most expensive one cost me $5 with shipping). So I have tons of recipes that start with browned ground beef.

The nicest thing about having the tvp mixture on hand is that I cook once, and meals made with the mix are nearly as quick/easy as a microwave dinner. For example, I make sloppy joes by adding a low-sugar bbq sauce and microwaving (great over baked potato). I make "chili" by adding 1 can of any beans, drained to 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained and/or a can of tomato soup and add a cup of the tvp mix, and then microwave in a bowl or heat in a pan. I make taco filling by adding salsa or adding chili or taco seasonings to the mix and microwaving or heating on the stove top.

srmb60
06-25-2009, 05:15 AM
I think of it as an overall food bill.

Some friends of ours just took over a crispy chicken place. I stopped on the way home from work last night and grabbed a bucket. $33! Now mind that my family will eat this for two days but ... if I stop to replenish my salad stuff and use chicken out of the freezer ... my bill would have been about 12 bucks.

Delphi
06-25-2009, 06:06 AM
Actually, my grocery bill has went down. I went to the grocery store three times a week...to restock my cabinets with junk. Didn't want to run out of cookies, ice cream or chips. Man I purchased so much freakin' junk before. These days, I end of up spending substantially less than I did when I was eating myself out of house and home. ;)

rockinrobin
06-25-2009, 06:40 AM
I spend a lot of money on food. I shop constantly. For me, I can't really buy bulk, because the major majority of my foods are produce, which won't keep all that long. We eat a TREMENDOUS amount of veggies and fruits in my house. Rice is cheap - asparagus isn't. A box of pasta is cheap - baby spinach isn't. We eat lots of fish also. Salmon is expensive - chicken thighs on sale aren't. A box of cookies at the grocery store while on sale - fairly inexpensive - pints of fresh berries - pretty pricey. IMO, it is money, VERY, VERY well spent. Much better then on doctors bills and medications.

That being said, beans are fairly cheap. That is something I can stock up on when they're on sale. I also try to buy the produce that is cheaper for the week. If asparagus is up one week, but I see that brussel sprouts are down - I'll usually go with the sprouts. If the strawberries are lower one week then the blueberries, I'll take those. And so on and so on.

One way that I have saved. We very, very rarely eat out these days. Restaurants are very pricey, so right there's some extra bucks saved.

It really depends. If you are one that was buying gallons of ice cream, cakes, cookies, chips and oodles of fast food, and now you're not, I would think that switching to a healthy menu would be a great savings.

For me, it's inconsequential. As tight as money is these days, I look at any and all money spent on keeping my family and me healthy as money very wisely used.

Beckster
06-25-2009, 07:26 AM
How about dried pasta, pesto sauce, tins of chopped tonatoes, lots of fresh veg, frozen veg is also good too for stir fries. steering away from meat generally will lower the food bill and lowere the calorie and fat intake

MindiV
06-25-2009, 07:56 AM
If you live in a small, tiny little town, like I do, then yes, your bill will go up for healthier eating. Smaller stores don't order as much of the healthier stuff (if any at all), and charge a premium price for it. And if/when I go out of town to shop for more foods at a cheaper price, I'm paying for gas for a 100 mile round trip, PLUS cost of groceries and anything else I "need" to do while I'm there.

akacutie
06-25-2009, 08:26 AM
When you buy produce try to go to a farmer's market if you can- They usually have better quality and are cheaper- I love mine- i can even getter better meats there... I also use frozen broccoli and peas- They cook up great! I throw them in everything-

Personally, I am saving a lot of money on less resturant meals- Just the other day my BF and I went out to dinner and it was $32.00 I could have bought 2-3 days of food for that!!

MindiV
06-25-2009, 08:38 AM
When you buy produce try to go to a farmer's market if you can- They usually have better quality and are cheaper- I love mine- i can even getter better meats there... I also use frozen broccoli and peas- They cook up great! I throw them in everything-

Personally, I am saving a lot of money on less resturant meals- Just the other day my BF and I went out to dinner and it was $32.00 I could have bought 2-3 days of food for that!!


We went to a farmer's market (50 miles from my town) and it was waaaaaay more expensive than the store. A watermelon was $10...cantaloupes were $3 each, four yellow squash cost $4. Was it good? Sure...but we'll stick with the store-bought stuff from now on...

Hyacinth
06-25-2009, 08:40 AM
Perhaps it costs more right now because you're building a pantry of items that you weren't using before?

There are definitely ways to cut corners. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a good way to save, especially in winter when fresh food is more expensive. Rice and beans are cheap and healthy!

Heather
06-25-2009, 08:41 AM
I love our farmer's market, but it's certainly not cheap! Neither is growing my own (at least not this first year). But the flavor... so good!!!!!!!

thinpossible
06-25-2009, 08:54 AM
It does take a bit of planning, but my grocery bill is no more now than it was when I was eating poorly. If I really try I can feed my family of 5 on $50-60 a week. Though sometimes I do make less healthy exceptions. For example, ground pork was less than half the price of ground turkey this week at the market. I normally don't eat pork, but I couldn't pass up the price.

Lori Bell
06-25-2009, 08:55 AM
I admit that a Number 1 at the drive thru for $5 is pretty cheap. It's a whole meal, you are stuffed when you are done and and you burp it up for several hours after so the flavor experience continues for quit some time. If you try to spend that same $5 at the grocery store you can buy a loaf of bread and a package of lunch meat. Which is not a whole meal, but something you can make into 10 (or more) meals with a few extra ingredients. If you take that $5 drive thru meal and X3 for each meal of the day and spend that $15 at the grocery store you can get a loaf of bread, a package of low fat lunch meat, a dozen eggs, 1/2 gal. skim milk, a bottle of mustard, a few tomatoes, a few onions, a head of lettuce and a couple apples. Those ingredients can make approx triple the meals than the drive thru. with 1000's of less calories.

If you can grow a garden I highly recommend it! We've been eating tons of fresh veggies from the garden already this year and not only is it 100% organic, it is a lot of exercise!!!!

Tomato
06-25-2009, 09:28 AM
Perhaps it costs more right now because you're building a pantry of items that you weren't using before?

There are definitely ways to cut corners. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a good way to save, especially in winter when fresh food is more expensive. Rice and beans are cheap and healthy!

There may be ways to cut corners, but so far it's not working for me. I am spending TON of money on groceries, and I have to run to the store a few times a week. Just like Robin said, my groceries consist mostly of fresh produce. No matter what I do with spinach, after 3 days it is limp and not very palatable. A head of romaine lettuce takes a lot of space in the fridge. I try to buy what's cheaper any given week, but unless it's the peak of the season, raspberries and blueberries are always quite pricey and I go through a lot of those. Pineapple - the cheapest I can ever get (when on sale) is $2.99.
I used to shop at farmer's market but now I go to a spinning class on Saturday morning so market is out. (Ours is downtown and unless you get there early in the morning it's tough to find parking and I hate the crowds). I do agree that it may be a bit cheaper at farmers' market but overall it does not represent a big chunk of money because I can get there only once a week (if at all).

Rice and beans may be cheap and healthy but I crossed rice out of my diet completely. It's a lot of carbs in a portion that is not very filling. I use dry beans but that's only when I make soup in a crockpot (i.e. in winter only) - otherwise I use canned beans in chili, and various other chilli-variations of mine.

2behealthy
06-25-2009, 09:29 AM
Perhaps it costs more right now because you're building a pantry of items that you weren't using before?

There are definitely ways to cut corners. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a good way to save, especially in winter when fresh food is more expensive. Rice and beans are cheap and healthy!


That is what I was going to say- building a pantry of items-. At first my grocery bills tripled it seemed. Now that I am finding foods that work for us it has settled down. Without all the trips to McDonalds I figure it will eventualy even out to the spending I had before.

Lori Bell
06-25-2009, 09:48 AM
. Just like Robin said, my groceries consist mostly of fresh produce. No matter what I do with spinach, after 3 days it is limp and not very palatable. A head of romaine lettuce takes a lot of space in the fridge. I try to buy what's cheaper any given week, but unless it's the peak of the season, raspberries and blueberries are always quite pricey and I go through a lot of those. Pineapple - the cheapest I can ever get (when on sale) is $2.99....

Rice and beans may be cheap and healthy but I crossed rice out of my diet completely. It's a lot of carbs in a portion that is not very filling. I use dry beans but that's only when I make soup in a crockpot (i.e. in winter only) - otherwise I use canned beans in chili, and various other chilli-variations of mine.

A tip for spinach...Left over bag-o spinach is good cooked too. If you find you are not eating it quickly enough, wilt it in a skillet with a little cooking spray and store in the freezer in freezer bags. It is great in omelets, soups and veggie casseroles.

I agree about the rice. Rice is very calorie dense, and plain old white rice really doesn't have that many nutrients in it. I skip it. Same with pasta.

akacutie
06-25-2009, 09:53 AM
Interesting some people's farmers markets cost more than the supermarket. Weird how that can vary- We have two in town actually- I don't know what I would do with the one I go to- The produce at our supermarket is not that stellar and PRICEY-

I do use a lot of frozen veggies too and they are CHEAP! :)

rachinma
06-25-2009, 09:59 AM
I spend a lot of money at the grocery every week. But, I find that I spend a helluva lot more if I get lunch at Whole Foods during the work week!

We buy local produce at the farm stands -- I live in the country -- that is sometimes the same price, sometimes less, sometimes more, but always better than grocery produce.

I find that I spend the most on things like ground turkey and chicken. It is expensive to get good lean protein. I am super picky about chicken. It seems like the kind that's always on sale looks icky!

L R K
06-25-2009, 10:03 AM
I defintely spend more grocery shopping however in the end I am actually saving money by not going out to eat so often.

Thinfor5Minutes
06-25-2009, 10:05 AM
Farmers markets around here are trendy and very yuppie-ish, so yes, much more pricey. We have a garden, but hubby just spent over $100 on materials to build a fence to keep bunnies out...they have been gnawing everything down to the ground. So the garden is more of a hobby and really won't save us money over buying produce elsewhere.

rachinma
06-25-2009, 10:13 AM
Here's another tip:
Those Debbie Meyer Green Bags can be used to keep produce in the fridge for much longer than usual. I have no idea what the heck they do -- something about trapping and releasing ethylene gases from the food -- but we can keep strawberries for > 1 week!

McKenziesmomma
06-25-2009, 10:13 AM
I think it depends on what you are buying. The "diet" business is a huge money industry....so if you are spending money on 100 calorie packs or various other diet food then YES your are going to spend some money and your grocery tab can run up fast! HOWEVER....if you will focus on buying fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats, milk, dairy, etc....and stay away from the middle isles of the store you should save some money.

Some tricks I use are not buying pre-prepared veggies...like the ready to eat baby carrots, celery hearts, etc....it is more expensive. Also you can try buying bags of fruit or even mixed bags of fruit and bags of onions and potatoes....that should save you some plus your getting bulk...

Also try not to vary your menu a whole lot......for example....I will buy a pound of lean ground turkey and use half of it for spaghetti one night (spaghetti, value brand noodles, and I do splurge on the Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce but it is all natural and wonderful!) and then the next night or a couple nights later we will use the other half of the ground turkey for sloppy joes (buns, canned sloppy joe sauce, and baked tater tots)

Usually the meat is where I spend most of my money.....I will get online and check the sales papers for Wal-Mart, E.W. James, Kroger, etc. and see who has the best deal on meat and what veggies and such are on sale...and of course you can check your Sunday paper for coupons and several places will double coupons!

:goodluck:

bacilli
06-25-2009, 10:18 AM
I have a single friend who doesn't like to cook. He eats out 3 meals a day, and tries to eat as healthy as possible. He spends, easily, $20-$25/day on food and drinks.

I love to cook. 90% of my grocery bill goes to fresh produce, and buy organics wherever I can. I build my meals around what produce is in season and what's currently in my pantry. DH and I spend ~$400/mo on groceries and personal items, including feeding our two horses, errr, dogs. That includes feeding his beer and Mt Dew habits.

I suppose if you were living off of a Taco Bell value menu before, it would be significantly more expensive to eat healthy, but think of the money you'll save:

Medications over your lifetime - obesity has a much higher risk of cholesterol/heart/blood pressure issues. Not to mention body aches that require Advil/Tylenol/Aleve etc.

Clothing - The higher the size, the higher the cost typically

Cars - Less weight means less wear and tear and less gas mileage. Even 10lbs of extra weight puts a toll on your car, hence the suggestions to not carry a bunch of stuff in your trunk if you don't have to


And the list goes on and on. The "savings" may not be immediate, but they do add up.

Even more importantly for me, the more weight I take and keep off, the better I FEEL. The healthier I am, the more things in life I can enjoy. I only have this one lifetime, and I'd rather not spend all of it inside my house because I'm too big/ashamed/whatever to get out and enjoy it to the fullest.

Moralia
06-25-2009, 11:56 AM
Fabulous post, bacilli!! Couldn't agree more!!

We're a family of 6, so do spend a pretty penny at the grocery store, but I always just buy what's in season. I won't pay 4.99 for a lb. of grapes, for 5.99 for a pint of strawberries.. I stocked up today on boneless/skinless ch. breast 'cause it was on for about $2ish for a pkg. of 2 breasts! So I bought 10 pkgs... berries are always in season now, so we stocked up on those, and bought 3 blueberries, 3 strawberries, 3 raspberries... YUM!!

I find if I buy what's in season, I save $. And I will always buy "local" first & foremost, even if it does cost a bit more. I'd much rather support my local farmers than someone in California who ships my strawberries clear across North America to get them here in Ontario... kwim??

grneyedmustang
06-25-2009, 01:14 PM
My grocery costs are astronomical since I've been eating more healthy, but I do buy a lot of "higher end" meats (salmon, beef tenderloin, boneless skinless chicken breasts) and such, and a few "convenience foods" (laughing cow cheese, sugar free jello pudding, sugar free drink mix packets, etc).

I guess it's cheaper than eating out, but IMO, it is cheaper to eat junk (especially when you're cooking for one).

beerab
06-25-2009, 01:47 PM
Think about if you used to eat out 5-7 times a week at $10 a pop- that's $50-70 that now goes towards groceries. I'd go back and figure out how much you used to eat out worth in a week or month- then see how much more you spend on groceries.

Since my husband and I eat out less our groceries are slightly higher but in the long run we are saving money :)

For veggies and fruits and things try looking at places like Henry's or Trader Joe's or some othre whole foods type market- I buy a TON of produce each week and since I switched to Henry's Market my produce is like $20 a week for two of us.

kiramira
06-25-2009, 03:18 PM
Eating "healthily" depends on how you define that. If for you this means fresh orgainc produce from a local farmer, you are going to spend a whole lot more than a number 2 at the drivethrough. For sure.
If you are single or a couple and want to eat as fresh as possible, you will be making a bunch of trips to the grocery store weekly because you won't be wanting to store huge amounts of produce in your fridge for long periods of time -- it'll go bad.
So I agree, it CAN cost more, but it doesn't have to.
I have no problem with using frozen veggies, especially in the winter when a head of fresh romaine lettuce is $5.99 EACH. I make a mean spanakopita with frozen spinach. You can use fresh, but you're cooking it anyways. Frozen is just fine. We eat alot of frozen green beans -- cheap and I like them. Same goes for cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. We also used tinned veggies such as tomatoes and beans (I know, one is a fruit, and one is a legume, but you get the idea!) and stick with the no-name cheapest ones we can find. The price difference is HUGE.
We eat alot of frozen fruit, especially in the winter. Here, in the SPRING (i.e. right now) at the HEIGHT of strawberry season, 1 small carton is around $3.00. Raspberries and blueberries are $4.99 for a tiny carton. I use frozen for compotes and jams and in dessert recipes. They are way cheaper. I always check out the "specials" section in the produce department. You can get bananas for, say banana bread or other recipes like smoothies for $1.00 a pound. You can also get same-day use produce for less and it tastes just fine.
Pork tenderloin is about 1/3 the cost of beef tenderloin. We go with pork.
We buy family packs of chicken. If you get the chicken with the bone and skin on, it costs way less than, say, boneless skinless chicken breasts. I break the chicken down and freeze what we don't need. For stir frys, chicken tenders are 2/3rds the cost of boneless skinless chicken breasts. A pre-cooked ham is good for ham steaks on the bbq, then sliced thin for sandwiches, and the leftovers go into a ham strata for breakfast. A pound of bacon becomes 2 breakfasts, then cooked to add to sandwiches and the rest becomes bacon bits that I put in the freezer. The excess fat that is cooked off goes into a small jar, and I use just a BIT to flavor things like home-made baked beans.
I like omega-3 eggs, but since we eat primarily the whites, we get the cheapest eggs we can find. The yolks have the omega-3 and not the whites, so I won't pay a premium for it.
Dairy is costly, so I have to pick and choose wisely. A big brick of no-name mozza is way cheaper than pre-shredded Kraft mozza for pizzas. I will shred up the mozza and keep it in the freezer. The more plastic and packaging, the more it costs. I get big tubs of yogort and not the small single servings. I get no-name instead of brand names, too.We never get prepackaged processed cheeses -- we stick with brick style low fat options and slice them up ourselves.
I bake our own bread -- it is better for us and I like to do it and I can make a bunch of buns, and loaves and freeze them for use later. (I have a great multigrain recipe) and it isn't hard at all to make. It just takes time, but if I'm at home anyways, I can have bread rising while I'm doing something else. Stale bread gets ground up into bread crumbs, or cubed for breakfast stratas or made into croutons and stuck in the freezer.
You can save a TON if you can buy your spices in bulk instead of in the nice glass jars. A typical jar of spice costs $6.00 here: the same amount in bulk costs less than a dollar. Seriously.
But the most important thing you can do is cut down on your food wastage. Plan what you'll have for the week so that all the left-overs are eaten. Like us with the ham --we'll have ham steaks twice, some sandwiches over 2 days, and a breakfast strata that lasts 3 days. The bread I make for the sandwiches also goes into the strata, and the leftovers are made into croutons or crumbs.
I think it comes down to creativity, planning, and perhaps reexamining your definition of "perfect eating". You can do lots with not so much money. You just might not be able to eat organically or from the local market, but you CAN get your fruits and veg in cost-effectively.

Kira

kaplods
06-25-2009, 03:52 PM
I find that farmers' market produce lasts much longer than grocery store produce, sometimes 4 to 5 times as long, so I have a lot less waste. Even when the produce is higher priced than the grocery store, it's sometimes a better value if there's less waste.

I've been hearing about the green bags, and everyone I've talked to has said they work very well, so I'm going to have to try them.

I looked up and wrote down all of the farmers' markets within a 30 mile radius, and hubby and I are going to try out a few - just as something fun to do in the summer.

Asian groceries are often a great place for bargains. Large 1 lb cans of Canned mushrooms are often the same price as the tiny 4 oz cans of button mushrooms in larger grocery stores, and come in more varieties (I like straw mushrooms).

Quart bottles of gourmet soy sauces, and rice vinegars are as cheap or cheaper than small bottle of Kikoman.

Bean sprouts are fresher and come in huge bags for the price of small packages in other stores.

We buy the tvp from the bulk bins in a local health food store for $2.49 - 2.69 per pound (equivalent to 4 lbs of ground beef). If we bought it in 25 lb. bags, it would cost 1/2 to 2/3 that. I don't like ground turkey, but I can make ground meat with a similar fat content and a much better taste (to me) by mixing cheap ground beef with tvp. So for half the price or less of the cheapest ground beef, I can end up with a product that is as lean as the most expensive grinds of beef/turkey/chicken. I've done the same with chorizo and ground pork (ordinarily cuts that aren't very diet friendly, but they have a lot of flavor - by combining it with the tvp, I get the best of both words, flavor at a calorie bargain).

Saving money at the grocery is a matter of making many small changes. You save dollars by watching the pennies. If you have a super Walmart, they match prices - so you can take in the weekly flyers from other stores, and they will sell it at the flyer price (as long as it IS a price - they don't match buy one get one free, or other deceptively priced deals - because their regular price may be half that of the store giving the "deal").

There are a lot of ways to save money, and sometimes you can free up more grocery budget by saving on other things. I never buy new, if I can find it used. charity and thrift stores, garage sale, Freecycle (great site for giving and seeking items that would otherwise go to a landfill).

We do spend a higher proportion of our income on food, than we used to - but surprisingly since we switched to buying "cheap" our standard of living is actually as good, or better than when we were making four times as much money. We bought new and convenient, because we didn't think we had the time to make different choices. And to some degree, that is a challenge. If you're working 60 hours a week, it is going to be a lot harder to take the time, energy and effort it takes to save money (not just on food, but many things).

Stella
06-25-2009, 04:02 PM
Initially, I felt that I was spending more. I spent a lot of money to try new things, especially the pricey ones. But I got bored with them as well and now have gone back to more basic things. I`m in an organic box scheme which is way cheaper than supermarkets. I love some of the tipps which the others gave, too.

I do spend less on impulse buys (they are no longer done) and lunches. I always take a packed lunch now.

time2lose
06-25-2009, 04:46 PM
I think that where you live makes a big difference in how much it costs you to eat healthy and it is backwards to what I used to think. I thought for years that you could eat cheaper in rural areas. My experience now is the opposite.

I live in an urban area so I have many choices as to where I can buy food. I drive by an ALDI's everyday and find good prices on many things there. The grocery stores compete with each other and there is always Walmart.

I recently spent 2 weeks in a small town in rural Mississippi and grocery shopped for my parents and mother-in-laws home. I was so surprised at the price and quality of the fruits and vegetables at the two grocery stores in town. Walmart was a 30 minute drive away and when I made the trip was surprised that the cost of items there were higher than they are at the Walmart where I live.

My father pointed out to me that it was a little early in the summer for the road side stands. Once they are open my parents will be able to get locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables at a good price. He always gets eggs at a good price because he buys them from a friend that has hens. If you don't have a friend like that, you pay a high price at the grocery store.

It goes back to supply and demand. If there is little competition the price of healthy food will be higher than in a location where there is much competition.

However, even the small town in rural Mississippi had a McDonald's and Sonic where you could pick up greasy fast food at a relatively low price! That is until you consider the cost to your health.