Healthy Foods Cost More Than Junk?

Is it possible to save money on food while cutting back on calories and making healthier choices?

Is it possible to save money on food while cutting back on calories and making healthier choices? 

I say absolutely! 

I am always concerned with the cost of food, services, and miscellaneous items. I am the keeper of the budget and our whole family works hard to keep our expenses down. With a family of 9, you can be sure that food is a large part of our monthly expenses. People often complain to me that it costs more money to buy healthy food than junk food. In some ways they are right, but there’s another side to that comment.

One of the first things you typically do when you are changing your eating habits is to get rid of the "bad" food in your pantry, and replace it with healthy alternatives. However, once you get to the grocery store you might be surprised when you realize that apples are $1.49 a pound and a little bag of baby carrots costs $1.99. Chicken breasts seem so expensive at $2.09 a pound. You can’t afford that – or can you?

Take a look at this quick comparison: (these are the average prices at my grocery store over the last 3 weeks)

  • Cost of 11 ounces of potato chips – $3.21
  • 14.5 ounce cookie package – $2.75
  • 16 oz. powdered sugar donuts – $2.19
  • 12 oz. box cinnamon cereal – $3.39
  • 48 oz Canola oil – $3.99
  • 12 pack can Coke – $3.33
  • 1 package chocolate chip cookie dough – $2.99
  • 1 pound sirloin steak – $4.99

When you see that list I ask you – now what's expensive? Pre-packaged food that has very little nutritional value, or wholesome fruits and vegetables? Expensive steaks, or chicken breast on sale? 

I often wondered why it was that when I was overweight, I thought nothing of spending $2 – 3 dollars on a bag of chips, but balked at spending the same amount of money on a bag of apples? Why was it okay to buy the $2.50 1 pound bag of chocolate candy pieces that I would eat in one afternoon, but refused to spend the same amount of money on fresh veggies that would last much longer?

For me, I didn't value the fruits and vegetables as much as I did the junk. The junk was fast, available and made me feel good when I ate it. The fruit was fruit. Salad was salad. I thought it had no pizzazz and I gained no emotional comfort from eating healthy food. I wanted junk and junk I got. As I gained more and more weight over the years, I ate less and less healthy foods. I was careful with the kids’ diets – they ate good foods, but I didn't. I made up the excuse that I couldn't afford to buy enough apples and grapes for all of us, so I'd just eat cookies.

I used money to justify my bad choices, when in reality I was spending much more than I needed to buy purchasing foods that weren't healthy. I would ask if you are doing the same thing when purchase junky foods. I challenge you that next time you are at the grocery store to do a little comparing of your own. I think you may be surprised. 

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

Keep Reading Show less