Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Fun fact: Junk food is often actually more expensive than healthy food.
Fun fact: Junk food is often actually more expensive than healthy food.
Image: Shutterstock
Our society is being misled, and it’s a tragedy. For years, many people have been under the impression that eating healthy is expensive, and that eating, well, crappy, is cheap. And while, yes, you can buy a fast-food meal for fairly inexpensive, the truth is that eating well isn’t nearly as expensive as it’s often made out to be. In fact, it really doesn’t have to be expensive at all.

In a recent article on the Huffington Post, author Nate Morrow demonstrates beautifully how eating healthier, fresher food is often actually cheaper than eating fast food or junk food. Looking at food from a price-per-serving perspective, Morrow shows us that though junk food has a lower price per calorie ratio, fresh produce still gets you more bang for your buck:


Image: Nate Morrow / Huffington Post
Morrow goes on to provide a sample meal plan that cost him less than $6 per day, about 17% below what than the average American spends on food. And all the food is gloriously healthy, especially compared to Twinkies, Doritos, and fast food meals. Plus, Morrow says, “this daily plan is for a 6-foot, 3-inch, 200 pound man, so I’m not exactly skimping on calories here.”

Indeed, Morrow’s plan provides more food than I could eat (which means leftovers for lunch the next day!). He also provides his full shopping list, complete with the full price for the items, and then broken down by price per serving. Check out his article to see the meal plan and shopping list!

One thing I do want to note is this: choosing to cook healthy food at home does require an investment. Initially, buying the ingredients you need may cost a little bit more, but the overall price is cheaper in the long run. For example, two dozen eggs might cost $4 up front as compared to a $1 serving at the local fast food joint, but you’ll get twelve servings of two eggs as compared to one. That makes the “cheap” fast food three times as expensive overall!

Here in Seattle, I go shopping about once per week, and on average spend $200 per month. I cook nearly all my meals at home, and try to keep them healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, so let’s stop using that as an excuse not to!
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