One of the number one resolutions for each New Year is to lose weight and eat right – but at what cost? Keeping that New Year’s resolution in 2012 may be tougher than you think.
Is it really more expensive to eat healthy foods? If so, what’s a health enthusiast like you to do?
The real answer to this question depends on your perspective, where you shop, and what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to eat healthier.
There’s no doubt that shopping at the average health food store is costlier. They offer organic foods nature intended us to have, but these types of foods are normally priced by the pound, which can add up pretty quickly. However, there are ways to come out just fine in the price department when you know what to look for:
Keep track of weekly deals on produce from your local grocery store. Don’t be so quick to throw out those weekly sales papers. When you see a deal for a healthy food, jump on it right away – even if it’s at a store you don’t normally frequent. Coupons also help you save money where it counts.
Only shop for specialty foods on special occasions. Certain healthy foods are less expensive than others. For example, bananas, apples, carrots, potatoes, brown rice, chicken and frozen veggies are readily available at a low cost. You can forego a veggie like asparagus, some shrimp or a kiwi fruit for a less expensive choice at times.
Buy foods that stretch. Foods like potatoes, brown rice, bananas, chicken breast, onions, peppers, and salad ingredients can all be used in multiple meals, keep you feeling satisfied longer in small amounts, last a while before you’ll have to buy more (with the exception of bananas), and won’t hurt your budget.
Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are cheaper. Don’t overthink it. Fresh is oftentimes better for you, but frozen and canned goods also provide a good dose of nutrition at a lower cost.
Healthy Can Be Costly
On the flipside, one could argue that eating healthy definitely costs more money, and they also make a valid point. Here’s why:
The alternative junk food and fast food are cheap, quick and convenient to buy for a quick hunger “fix.” It’s true. You can buy an entire meal – a burger, fries, salad and drink – for less than five bucks at a fast-food restaurant.
It’s ready made, tastes good, and saves you the hassle of having to slave it out over a hot stove. Healthier foods take longer to cook and for five bucks, you can probably only get one part of a balanced meal – say, a pack of frozen turkey drumsticks, a bag of potatoes, or a bunch of fresh spinach.
You could look at it this way, though: The extra money spent here is enough to create a meal for several people instead of just one and you may even have leftovers. Because you’re not eating empty calories or excess fat, you’ll feel better, stay fuller longer and maintain a reasonable weight. Isn’t that reason enough to reconsider what foods you spend your money on?
Without good health, everything else in your life suffers. If you’re sick, you can’t work. If you can’t work, you can’t eat. If you can’t eat, you won’t last long. So what price can you put on good health?