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How Much Does It Really Cost to Eat Healthy?

How Much Does It Really Cost to Eat Healthy?

How much more does it really cost to eat healthy? $10 extra a day? $5 extra? Guess what — it costs the same as a medium cup of coffee.

Reuters released a study which concluded that eating healthy takes only an additional $1.50 a day — much less than your standard latte. That amounts to about $550 more per year for an individual. Of course, this can add up for a family of 4 — over $2000 additional dollars a year.

Granted, being unhealthy is expensive, too. Think about the medical expenses you’re saving your family from, whether it be constant colds from poor eating habits and a weak immune system, to dealing with the ramifications of diabesity down the line. Save your health. For $1.50, you could easily skip your morning trip to Starbucks 3 or 4 days a week, or save gas money by driving more economically. If you are truly on a shoestring budget and can’t cut corners, try these 7 simple tips to extend your fresh food dollar.

Buy in bulk. Buying 5 pounds of dried beans is going to be far cheaper than their canned equivalent. By buying the building blocks of your meals in bulk, you’ll save a lot of money in the long term. Buy beans, legumes, flours, nuts, and other dry goods in large quantities to reap savings.

Use your freezer. Your freezer should be your best friend. You can freeze practically anything, meaning that you won’t have to waste food OR money. Make things in bulk on the weekends — like cookies, cooked beans, soup, salsas — and freeze the excess to enjoy later. Be sure to wrap the food tightly, or invest in a super useful vacuum sealer.

Shop smart. Make a list and don’t deviate! Going into the market without a plan is a sure way to burn a hole in your wallet. Plan on buying your pantry staples, fresh produce, fresh protein, and little else. Opt for more affordable sources of fresh protein, like whole chickens, eggs, pork butt, and beef chuck.

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Buy in season & local. Seasonal produce is often cheaper than non-seasonal counterparts. Buy locally whenever you can and save more. Think — local food doesn’t get shipped halfway around the world to get to you. Therefore there are no shipping and handling costs included in the price. Just wholesome, local sprouts of deliciousness.

Use the EWG’s list. Check the EWG’s list for what produce you should and shouldn’t buy organic. Check it out here if you are unfamiliar, or take a peek at their entire list.

Dig into DIY. You would be amazed at how many condiments and staples you can actually make yourself. Ketchup, crackers, bread, salad dressing, salsa, tortillas — you name it! Making these staples in bulk can actually be cheaper and far tastier than your traditional options. Plus, it’s great fun on a rainy Sunday! Give it a try…

And, of course, shop the sales and stock up when you can. Eating healthier doesn’t have to break the bank. You can be healthy and financially stable at the same time. Find that $1.50 elsewhere, and reap the benefits of a happy, nutritious life.

Read more: Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Drugs, Family, Food, General Health, Green, Health, Healthy Aging, Obesity, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

123 comments

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8:24PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

awesome advice

5:13PM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

5:36AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Thank you :)

3:07AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Doesn't buying in bulk require that I increase my storage space? And shouldn't I check the unit price as frequently I have found that the smaller size is actually cheaper?

6:50AM PDT on Jul 6, 2014

Thanks for sharing, useful info

11:37PM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

Good advice.

4:30AM PDT on Jul 4, 2014

noted

12:58PM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

As a healthy consumer myself and the wife of a nutritionist, I can say it costs A LOT LESS than having cancer and fighting to stay alive.
Beyond what it might cost in budget terms, you have to think what eating junk and non-organic foods will cost you in terms of health and well being on the long term. It's like cigarettes, it won't kill you on the short term, but you'll live with the symptoms long before the big C hits you in the gut.
Personally, I'd rather spend $225 in grocery bills than in doctor visits.
My husband and I have a healthy food budget, but I'm glad to say, and with no exaggeration, that we spend $0 in medical bills of any kind.
The only medication we have at home is Ibuprofen.
It pays to eat well.

7:47AM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

Beans are rising in cost, leading to people eating mostly rice with some beans. Not actually all that healthy. My local farmer's market is about the same or more than shopping at WalMart. We live in a small town. I can buy a week's worth of ramen, WHITE bread, peanut butter and jelly, WHITE rice, pinto beans, and mac and cheese for around $10-$15. Buying brown rice, beans, celery, carrots, onions, salad, and meat would cost me between $25 and $30. This is a huge difference for someone who doesn't have the extra $10 or more. This all depends on where you live, and it's rather sad.

7:47AM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

Beans are rising in cost, leading to people eating mostly rice with some beans. Not actually all that healthy. My local farmer's market is about the same or more than shopping at WalMart. We live in a small town. I can buy a week's worth of ramen, WHITE bread, peanut butter and jelly, WHITE rice, pinto beans, and mac and cheese for around $10-$15. Buying brown rice, beans, celery, carrots, onions, salad, and meat would cost me between $25 and $30. This is a huge difference for someone who doesn't have the extra $10 or more. This all depends on where you live, and it's rather sad.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Thanks for the reminders.

Whew! Thank God the cereals I DO buy aren't even on that list! I used to buy Kellogg's Honey Smack…

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