Friday, July 17, 2015

Healthy Eating Is Completely Affordable!

Beef sirloin steak and stir fried vegetables

We got in a huge debate at work one day and of course I had something to say.  The topic of conversation - "It's too expensive to eat healthy."  My response - "That is so not true!"

I'm a firm believer that the value menu at a fast food restaurant is not less expensive than buying groceries and you'll never convince me otherwise, but that was one of the arguments.  However, when I pointed out that a bag of potatoes cost less and goes a whole lot further than a bag of potato chips not to mention an actual potato is healthier the conversation began to lose its momentum.

Two homemade pizzas using homemade whole wheat dough
and fresh ingredients. Cheese, mushrooms, pesto, pepperoni.
The closer you are to a food's original form the less expensive it is to buy.  The more it is processed the more it costs.  I can make a healthy delicious homemade pizza for far less money than one you get delivered.  In fact, I can make several.

I keep a lot of fresh produce in my house as well as milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, whole wheat bread, lean meats, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, and so much more.  As a rule I tend to buy ingredients at the grocery store and then I go home and make food rather than buy my food at the store or the drive thru.  Does that make sense?

One of our weekly produce hauls for three people.
I also buy canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.

I won't say I never buy chips or convenience foods because that would be a lie.  And I'm not saying one should never buy those things, but if it comes down to being able to afford healthy food or prepared food I'll choose the healthy stuff and leave the chips at the store.

Another thing to think about is that a lot of Americans, in general, tend to eat too much.  We also tend waste a lot of the food we buy, rather than eat it.  It costs a lot of money to support an unhealthy high calorie diet.  Not to mention the costs associated with the medical ramifications of that type of diet, but that is a whole other issue.  

Homemade vanilla yogurt with frozen berries

I still think my healthy eating lifestyle is a constant work in progress.  I know I can do better and I'm going to keep working at it.  And I know I can do it affordably.

Developing and maintaining healthy eating habits is near and dear to my heart. 

How about you?  What are your thoughts?

Homemade whole wheat bread and granola


4 comments:

  1. I agree with you Dana. One can certainly eat healthy and be affordable.
    I even entertain with economical and healthy food. However, it does take some smart shopping, planning and creativity. I love to have pizza parties, Italian Night In, the Big Game Day parties just to name a few.
    I use ground turkey rather than hamburger in my meatballs, I make a huge jar of my own bbq rub to use on chicken wings rather than buy a tiny packet for the same price. But the biggest benefit is I control the salt, sugar and fats that go into the foods. The three biggest culprits that cause hypertension and diabetes.
    And yes, we do eat "junk" foods but only in moderation. We are human after all.
    Thank you for addressing this subject. It's something we all need to think about.
    Vanessa B

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    1. I think my family eats healthy 90% of the time with 10% allotted for "junk". My biggest weakness is sweetened breakfast cereal. We love it. But yes, I agree with you as far as smart shopping and creativity go a long way. We entertain friends a lot and do it with what is already in the cupboards. I seldom make a special trip to purchase anything for company. We keep it pretty well stocked around here. And on a budget! :)

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  2. I can't think how that idea got started - unless some advertisers leaked it somewhere! Or perhaps people feel they have to buy the latest 'in' foods from health food stores and those are more expensive than junk. But I think pretty unnecessary. My favourite breakfast cereal is raw oatmeal with milk, honey and half a sliced banana. It has a nutty flavour and texture, but my brother in law (who has loads of money) likes to let his soak and soften in the milk for a while.

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    Replies
    1. It wouldn't surprise me at all if advertising had something to do with it and the media as well. There has been a lot of hype over here too about food stamp budgets being unreasonably low for providing healthy diets. Of course people forget that subsidy doesn't meat replacement. These programs are meant to subsidize your budget not provide everything. However, what our family would qualify for in food stamps were we eligible is over twice what I spend every month.

      We love oatmeal for breakfast. I add brown sugar and cinnamon. Sometimes dried fruit or fresh berries. Delicious and nutritious.

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