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Help me understand... how is healthy eating MORE expensive?

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Old 07-28-2009, 12:03 PM   #1
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Default Help me understand... how is healthy eating MORE expensive?

I have a good friend who just happens to be morbidly obese... her biggest excuse for not taking the jump and losing this weight with me is that it costs too much money to eat healthy. I'm not pressuring her because I know it won't help but I can't wrap my head around this!! I've heard other people say it too... Why do people have this misconception?

Case of soda.... $6 - Water... free
Meal at McDonalds for 4... $20 - meal for 4 grilled at home... less than $10
Box of cookies... $3 - Package of berries... $2
Bag of chips... $3 - Veggies... dirt cheap
Bucket of fried chicken... I have no idea lol - Bag of frozen chicken breasts $6
Hamburger Helper... $3 - Bag of brown rice $2

etc etc... not to mention the decreased volume of food you eat when you're losing weight and the lack of 'extra' non nutritive snack foods.

*sigh*... I guess I just don't understand. I want everyone to 'get' it and be healthy! In a perfect world I guess .
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:04 PM   #2
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I have a friend who uses the same excuse.
I mean, in ways it is cheaper to eat unhealthy. A box of KD costs like $1, and 2 boxes can feed an entire family
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:11 PM   #3
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I haven't gone out and done price comparisons but I know my freshman year in college my roommates spent as much money on food for the 3 of them as I spent on just myself. (They were the eat whatever you want and never gain weight types). They bought whatever was cheap: fried chicken and french fries in bulk. Lots of canned products, cheap junk snack foods. I bough lean cuts of steak, fresh chicken, fresh fruit and veggies, and a good number of lean cuisines (the price of those adds up fast). But you can go cheap and healthy if you are determined.
I saw in another thread a post saying that you can have two of the three: cheap, healthy, or easy. If it's cheap and easy it isn't healthy, if it's easy and healthy is isn't cheap, etc. So far has seemed pretty true to me
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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I agree. There are so many healthy foods that are inexpensive. Oatmeal, quinoa, couscous, lentils, beans, etc can be found bulk, for very little per pound, at places like Whole Foods, and they're organic to boot.

Yes, whole grain bread costs more than cheapo highly processed store brand white "bread", but that doesn't hold true for most things.

It's an excuse. Period.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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That is the biggest excuse for my sisters who are all in the obese range and they constantly scold me for "losing too fast", "eating too little" and/or "losing too much" . Very frustrating indeed
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:13 PM   #6
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i definitely spend more money on my nutritious meals than I did before I cared. Ramen noodles - 20 cents a package. Mac and cheese can be as cheap as 60 or 70 cents a box. Plus, cooking recipes requires an initial buying up of things like spices and other staples that can make a homemade meal add up to more than the fast food dollar menu, until you have a nice stock of things in your pantry. And healthy eating often centers on fresh, quickly perishable food, leading to expensive waste if you aren't organized or don't plan intentionally to use up all the food.

I am now committed to healthy meals and weight loss but in order to afford it, I have to put a lot of time into finding the best deals and figuring out which stores are cheaper for which things.

Have a little more compassion on us who are trying to get skinny while getting by!
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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It seems to be due to lack of education, or thinking that "healthy" means all organic, fancy boxed things rather than just whole foods.

Trader Joe's has fantastically healthy stuff that is so cheap. Whole wheat couscous, fish, veggies, cheese, cereals, etc.

I think if someone wants to lose weight or eat better they will find a way. And if they don't, or they are scared, then they will find an excuse.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:17 PM   #8
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I didn't mean to be uncompassionate!

We're a miitary family so I know all about struggling to get by ... I just feel like I spend less money when I take the time to plan out our meals and use fresh healthy ingredients... I'm trying to understand where my friend is coming from is all .
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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Whether or not eating healthy NOW is cheaper, down the road it definitely is. What you "save" by eating at McDonalds will eventually come out of your pocket anyway, when you have to treat health problems that have arisen from not taking care of your body.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:24 PM   #10
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I rarely find that the people making this excuse are living without cable, iPods, new cell phones, etc.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:25 PM   #11
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I'm the one with the cheap, healthy, or easy theory. And I believe that people who are using this as a reason for not losing weight are really saying "I am not willing to put in the effort to prepare healthy, inexpensive foods, and instead buy cheap, convenient, unhealthy foods, because right now I value my time more than I value my health". It's really that simple.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:27 PM   #12
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I agree with y'all that the money can be an excuse that gets in the way of changes, and that healthy eating can be affordable. I just think you should take it more seriously, not dismiss it as "just an excuse"...it's scary to commit to a new way of life, and when you're used one way of feeding yourself while keeping the electric service on, it's even scarier to abandon that for what feels like spending even more money.

And FYI, JulieJ08, I don't have cable, I only have an iPod because someone gave me their old one, I only get a new cellphone when the company gives it for free and my cell service is currently shut off until I can pay down the bill, because I spent my money on healthy food at Trader Joes.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:28 PM   #13
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I spend a lot less money on food than I used to, but the money is definitely distributed differently. Before, I was all about the fast food and pizza and junk like that. But I wasn't eating just for one person, I was eating enough for several people! Now my grocery store trips are more frequent, so the money spent there is up, but with no money spent on fast food, that's a huge chunk of cash back in my pocket. I have noticed that I rarely need to go to the ATM anymore and that it's because I'm not dropping money here and there on quick food fixes. Before I used to run through my cash like crazy. So all in all, eating for ONE person rather than binging and eating for many has made a big difference in the money I spend on food. I personally spend a whole lot less.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:35 PM   #14
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I think to some people the time taken to prepare meals counts towards the cost for them too- it's easier to pick up some McDonald's than take the time to buy the groceries, clean, prepare, and cook the food, then wash up afterwards.

Also if you go to high end chains food can be very expensive- I try to go get my veggies and stuff at places like Henry's and Trader Joes cuz it's much cheaper than Ralphs or Vons.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharongracepjs View Post
IAnd FYI, JulieJ08, I don't have cable, I only have an iPod because someone gave me their old one, I only get a new cellphone when the company gives it for free and my cell service is currently shut off until I can pay down the bill, because I spent my money on healthy food at Trader Joes.
Yes, I never said otherwise. I didn't say no one.
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