If you are like most people I know, food and you have a weird relationship in your life. On one hand, you love to eat it. On another, you hate what it does to your wallet. But, there are some people, who see food as a necessity and are much more comfortable spending $50.00 on eating out and have trouble spending $50.00 on a pair of jeans or a shirt that is needed.
Whatever your relationship is with food, you have to admit it is expensive. But, food also determines how healthy you are. No matter how much you exercises or avoid the topic, a healthy person eats healthy food. This isn’t saying that we can’t indulge or even have a bad week or two. But, overall we are what we eat.
So, if this is the case, why don’t more people purchase healthy food from organic stores and such. The prevailing belief is that healthy food costs more. This is really the basis of many things. The thing that pushes people over the top is price.
This may be the case when comparing organic tomatoes to regular tomatoes. We often see the single extra dollar we are spending and we say to ourselves, “Healthy food is too expensive.”
But…if you were to really look at your spending; you would come to find that on average, most people spend far more on unhealthy foods than healthy foods. We purchase many foods that are high in saturated fats and added sugars.
I really think that when it comes to food, we get tunnel vision. When we are concentrating on our grocery bill, money is the primary concern. But when we are out eating, tastes, food choices, and our emotional standing plays more of an issue.
Be honest, have you ever needed a break from work or from kids and the best option was a good lunch moment with some bad food. We often exclude this little expenditure in our overall viewpoint of the cost of food.
The USDA looked into this very argument. They compared near 4,500 different types of food both healthy and less healthy. They compared price per calorie, edible weight, and average portion size.
If the researcher is based on edible weight and price per portion – it is easy to see that healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, yogurt and other healthy foods are more affordable than roast beef, chicken, or canned tuna.
When it comes to price per calorie – healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables are slightly more expensive than chocolate, candy, ice cream, and chips. But barely. The interesting thing is that based on the edible weight – the cost is about the same. The discounts that are given at stores are largely due to the desire to sell more foods. Vegetables and Fruits don’t last forever on the shelves as does most candy and ice cream. That should tell you something right there.
How to overall improve your diet and save money
Money is often lost due to lack of preparation. If we don’t bring food with us to lunch – we tend to spend large amounts of money for food that is unhealthy. Fast foods are often the haven for the unprepared.
1.) Plan meals ahead of time to cut out cost
2.) When cooking – make leftovers and minimize waste. An entire meal could be saved and not wasted in some cases.
3.) Since meats are so expensive – use other items as the main course and meats as a side to the meal.
4.) Buy fruits in season – they tend to be less expensive
5.) Build a garden. Save money by planting a garden. This pushes you to eat the food that you’ve grown.
Food prices are increasing dramatically. Be more conscious of good food and good prices. Planning is really the key. Good and healthy food is well within our reach, both price wise and availability.