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The Expense of being healthy.

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Old 06-07-2014, 09:46 AM   #1
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Default The Expense of being healthy.

It's not as expensive to be healthy as you might think. Think how much you can save by not buying junk food! As far as meals are concerned, you can eat the same thing you've been eating, but eat smaller portions and fill up on vegetables. Save any leftovers for lunch the next day.

For exercise, you can walk or run. Or just put on some music and dance. Dancing is great exercise. You don't need a gym or Bowflex.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:55 AM   #2
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I can't tell you how much money I've saved since I stopped binging on drive thru meals. I buy much less food now too, my portion sizes are dramatically lower than ever. Last night I could not finish my pork chop, it was amazing.

"If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you've had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist." - Geneen Roth
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:31 PM   #3
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This has been my experience too. When my mom was diagnosed with diabetes and I saw her stash of probably a dozen medications, observed how frequently she must go to the dr., I thought, there is no way changing my lifestyle is more expensive than that. I could easily throw down 5000+ calories in a day, ate out frequently, and kept getting gym memberships I didn't use frequently enough to make it worth the money. Now when we eat out, my fiance and I always split an entree, order water instead of so much craft beer (tear, lol). Just focusing on eating healthy portions has driven down our grocery bill significantly, the elimination of meat even more so. I invested in a quality treadmill for rainy days instead of a gym membership, which I wasn't realistically going to use often having two little ones. I'm so glad we saw the light on this one, so true, being healthier doesn't have to mean being broke.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:49 PM   #4
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I think for us, one of the biggest expenses was cutting out meat. We eat lots of bulk beans, lentils, whole grains, etc which are inexpensive. I do splurge on a lot of vegetables but our overall grocery bill is fairly low even when I buy mostly organic labelled food.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:48 PM   #5
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Not for me. Early on I saved a lot of money by eating less. Now I eat a lot of healthy stuff and it is expensive.

With portion control, you do save cash. To eat healthy with normal portions can cost more.

I eat a lot of fish. $$$

To be specific, to find a variety of low-calorie/fat protein outside of chicken and eggs is expensive. And there's probably a good reason for that as lots of people want to buy it.

Take baby squid in olive oil, for example. http://www.tienda.com/food/products/se-72.html?site=1

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Last edited by IanG : 06-07-2014 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:17 PM   #6
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Actually Ian, legumes are generally very inexpensive and so is tofu.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:23 PM   #7
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I spend a lot more money on groceries these days because I like to eat fresh foods- milk, meat, eggs, vegetables, breads, etc. I buy very high quality. It truly is cheaper to eat garbage in my opinion. It's better to pay the grocer than the doctor.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” - Nelson Mandela
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:33 PM   #8
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The initial switch over to healthy real foods felt expensive, but now 6 months later I realize that without buying all that bread, cookies, snack chips, fake meat products, fake cheeses, vegan ice cream, etc... my fridge is full with real food and I am not spending as much money.
I have been a vegan for 7 years but I got very unhealthy and fat over the last 5 years.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:34 PM   #9
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Initially, I probably did save money just on account of volume. But overtime, I'm probably not saving any money and may even be spending more. This is especially true of exercise. Besides my gym membership (which is actually a great price), I have become a lot more serious with running and I easily spend a few hundred dollars per year on it.

But I also realize that I am fortunate. I live in a relatively safe and active neighbourhood, where healthy food is readily available and affordable. I am close to different forms of exercise--a park to run or play basketball, a recreation centre to workout or swim, my own condo has a gym, and my commercial gym is pretty affordable. Not everyone has those advantages.

Also, I'm single and don't have to pay for childcare when I work out, etc. I don't have to pay for food for the rest of the family while I eat my own meals.

True, it's not nearly as expensive as some people make it out to be. But I also don't want to downplay the barriers that people have when attempting a healthier lifestyle. I mean, sidewalks would be nice. So many neighbourhoods don't even have those!
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:21 PM   #10
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Yep, I'm definitely spending more. But the bucks are worth it to me. Organic whole foods make up 90-95% of my intake and it gets pretty expensive. I've learned little tricks to help reduce my grocery bills, for example, planning my meals ahead of time and only buying EXACTLY what I need for that week (i.e., if a recipe calls for 1 celery stalk, that's all I'm buying...instead of buying the entire bunch).
Mini Goal #1: Onederland = 199.75 lbs - GOAL MET
Mini Goal #2: Halfway to Goal = 186.50 lbs - GOAL MET
Mini Goal #3: Back to 2013's Low = 165.00 lbs - GOAL MET

Mini Goal #4: Back to 2005's Pre-Pregnancy Low = 154.00 lbs
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #11
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I spend about the same on my grocery bill. I buy higher quality food and tons of produce, but I am eating less so it kind of balances out. I've noticed the biggest difference in my bill since I stopped eating breakfast (except on the weekends).

Started Jan. 2013 | Mini Goal 1: Onederland - Reached 5/20/14| Mini Goal 2: 179 (no longer obese) - Reached 2/13/15 | Mini Goal 3: 164 (15 pounds to goal) | Thank you, 5:2 and Intermittent Fasting!
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #12
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I'm looking at it as a trade off. Ground turkey breast or 90/10 ground beef costs more than ground chuck. Peaches, cherries and berries that I will actually eat cost more than apples that just sit in my crisper.

On the other hand, I just had arthroscopic knee surgery, at a cost of $4000 to me. If I can take the weight off, I may stave off a knee replacement, which costs $17K.

Plus size clothes cost more, and there are fewer options at thrifts.

Money spent on healthy food now will seem insignificant compared to some of the expenses I may incur by continuing my junk food, sedentary lifestyle.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:47 AM   #13
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I cook more and don't really drink much these days, so the increased grocery bill balances out with eating and drinking out a lot less.

Also, I quit smoking in 2012 - my bank accounts are happy about that decision! Cigarettes are like $11 a pack in NY and even more in NYC.
Push on some more!

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Old 06-09-2014, 10:51 AM   #14
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My groceries cost more, but I save with fewer restaurant meals and liquor store purchases. I'd call it a wash.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:02 PM   #15
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I never think about what I spend on junk food. Never. So I refuse to limit myself when it comes to healthy foods, though it's expensive. I eat a lot of chicken, the kind that is as non-cruel as I can find and it's 9.98/lb. I eat Hodosoy which is local, non GMO, organic, about 1.00/oz. Eggs are local and pasture-raised at 8-9.00/dozen. Most everything else (except whey shakes) is organic, non-gmo and not as cheap as conventional. Fortunately for me, I'm not feeding anyone else. And I'm much better at eating up what I buy since it costs more--no more produce goes in the trash.
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