Is Eating Healthy More Expensive?

Article posted in: Lifestyle
fresh produce in baskets

With food prices soaring and a more pressing need to save money where you can… chances are, your biggest concern with a healthy diet is the possibility of your wallet thinning out faster than you. It’s likely that you’ve heard the rumors and your understanding is that eating healthy is more expensive. But, is eating healthy more expensive?

It might seem logical.

The thinking: When you eat better, you buy better food. Better food equals higher costs. Higher costs mean higher prices.

Well, here’s where it gets interesting. The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine published a study in the journal Family Medicine in 2010 that found that the average cost for a healthy food regime was $5,019 per year. Creating three square meals from convenience foods instead (more than) doubles this number, at $10,298 per year. The average daily cost of a convenience food diet in this study averaged $15.30 a day. Be prepared to have your mind to be blown further… Nutrisystem offers both healthy choices and convenience, the best of both worlds, for as little as $9.07 a day! (Want to eat healthy with Nutrisystem? Find out more about our programs here).

Don’t let the rumors scare you. Eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing on everything else. Just find the system that works best for you. If dieting is still new to you, or exploring wholesome food options is something you have trouble doing price-consciously, there are many options.

Eating healthy more expensive variety
Eating healthy doesn’t need to be more expensive, trust us.

Try following these seven tips from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to save some money and eat like a (health-conscious!) king:

1. Make a grocery list and stick to it.
By keeping to a list, you’ll reduce any added costs from any last minute, impulse purchases. This can make a huge difference over time.

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2. Stock up on nutritious nonperishables when they’re on sale.
You’ll end up needing and, or, using them at some point, so get them while they’re cheap.

3. Choose foods that are high in nutrition and low in cost.
This includes beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, eggs, peanut butter, canned fish, oats, brown rice, frozen fruit and vegetables. Some of these foods can be purchased in bulk for even bigger savings.

4. Use everything before it goes bad.
Toss that wilting celery or carrot into a pot of veggie soup. Take ripe bananas and freeze them for smoothies.

5. Consider store brands.
They are, typically, of comparable quality to name-brands, and can cost 15 to 20 percent less.

6. Shop the perimeter of the store first.
That’s where the produce and dairy tend to be located, while the junk food is food in the aisles. Stick with the aisles that offer healthy, whole wheat breads, grains and oils, and definitely avoid the ones with tempting sugary, salty treats.

7. Buy produce in season, when possible.
It’s usually cheaper… Think $2 for blueberries in July and $7 for blueberries in November!

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8. Look for great deals in the frozen food aisle.
Frozen and canned foods can be just as nutritious as fresh, maybe even more so, according to studies. Frozen foods are usually quite budget friendly, especially when making family-sized purchases.