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.

128 comments

Nimue P.

Vegan here, and it's cheaper! :)

Nimue P.

Vegan here, and it's cheaper! :)

Karen F.
Karen F.about a year ago

I can't see that it could often be cheaper - vegies, beans and lentils are cheaper than meat and fish, so I don't understand the resistance from some jails and schools to provide vegie substitute meals - healthier AND cheaper!

Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeckabout a year ago

Thanks

Tanja W.
Tanja W.1 years ago

thank you:]

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin2 years ago

awesome advice

Genoveva M M.
Genoveva M M.2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

John S.
Past Member 2 years ago

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?

Francesca A-S
Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing, useful info