Now, a lot of people complain about healthy food being more expensive. They say they can’t afford to eat well. They’d rather buy Top Ramen for 99 cents or get 2 bags of chips for $5 than buy a box of strawberries for $4. The problem I have with this is that these people think they’re being “savvy shoppers.” The truth is, they don’t know what being a savvy shopper is. A true savvy shopper is able to buy nutritious food that will last long, all while staying under budget.
See all this food here? All of this was bought at a local grocery store for $70. It might not look like much, but there’s enough food here to last one person well over a week, maybe even 2 weeks. If you break that down financially, that’s less than $10 a day spent on food. Think of that in terms of eating out. If you go to an average priced restaurant, $10 can you get one meal with tax and tip. If you go to a fast food place, $10 can get you maybe 2 regular meals. Or you could take that money and use it towards healthy, nutritious meals without the grease, saturated fat, and sodium.
If you’re afraid of buying fresh fruits and vegetables because they’ll go bad, you have two options: buy them frozen or use them first. When I buy fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s because I know that I will go through them in the next 3-4 days. If I don’t think I’ll be using it that soon, I buy frozen fruits or vegetables. If you want to use fruit for smoothies, buy frozen fruit (it’s about 1-2 dollars cheaper). If you just want a mix of veggies to have as a side with your dinner, buy them frozen then steam them. Not only do you want to spend less money while at the store, but you also don’t want to waste food. Know your eating patterns and even planning out meals before going to the store can really help.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. If you buy lean ground turkey, you have endless possibilities for use (turkey burgers, stir fry, wraps, etc.). You don’t want to get the same foods all the time because then you’ll just get bored. If there’s a sale on a product you’ve been wanting to try, then go for it! You may discover a food you’ve never thought you’d like before.
Coupons are your friends. None of this food was bought with coupons, but if I had looked hard enough, I probably could have saved an extra $10 just on coupons. Check your local newspaper for deals (on the healthy foods) or check out mysavings.com. No shame in cutting coupons.
The benefit of health food well outweighs the potential cost of junk food. You may think you’re saving more money by buying the processed food, but in the long run, you’re going to be spending a lot more money on medical bills and health issues. If you can take preventative measures now, with simple things like buying food that maybe costs you an extra $5-10 a week, then it’s well worth it. Because if you continue to put the processed, sugar-filled, high calorie foods in your body, you’re going to be facing a lot more expensive medical bills down the line. Health food not only tastes good, but it makes you feel good too. And who doesn’t want to feel good?
I’m a college student living off a minimum wage job where I only work 2 days a week. If I can afford to be healthy, you can too.