Friday, March 9, 2007

The Cost of Healthy Eating

I've heard it over and over: "I can't afford to eat (or feed my family) healthy meals!"

Well... why not? Here's a challenge:

Add up the cost of all the junk food you bought the last time you bought groceries. Include "necessities" like chips for lunches, and include cake mixes and cookie dough and canned sweet rolls. If you bake from scratch, add in the cost of ingredients as best you can.

Take your total to the store and just look. Look at the apples and the cabbage and the broccoli and the carrots. Estimate how much fresh produce you could have bought for what you spent on junk food and be as honest about it as you can.

Compare how long the produce would last with how long the junk food lasts.

I'm going to make yet another confession: I did this. For some reason, I bought more junk food than I usually do, so I added it all up and went and looked. I'm embarrassed to tell you how much healthy produce I could have bought for that amount, so I won't.

I know that not all of you even buy junk food, but for the ones who do... take the challenge.


  1. I tried to do this, and then I realized it's been a long time since I've even bought junk food! I usually only buy stuff when: 1/ it's on sale 2/ I have a coupon for it 3/ when it's under $2, usually under $1. I stick to the outer edges of the supermarket (produce, dairy, meat) and rarely go through the aisles unless it's for toiletries and paper products. It's been a while since I've eaten junk food though. I think I might just buy some this weekend to carry on the experiment. (honestly, I think it might be fun. I am an odd one...)

  2. Yes, buying junk food for an experiment like this one is sort of an odd twist. :) Be sure to let us know if you do and how it turns out.

  3. You must be a mind reader, been having this conversation with my sister. I have been trying to establish a healthier life style. I found that if I eat what is suppose to be a portion of something I can save money too. I have lost 15 to 20 lbs this winter. I cut out the junk food, except for an occasional treat. Do you know how long a bag of junk food chips last if ya eat the serving size on the bag? We have super sized everything. I don't know to many people who would sit down and eat a hole package of baby carrots, like people do with chips. The carrots only cost 99 cents for 1/lb bag, the chips are 2.50 abag. Found I can make the change easier then I first thought.


  4. Yes, we have supersized everything. I was looking at some old cups the other day and they looked so tiny. Did you know that a drinking cup used to be four ounces? Then it changed to six and now anything less than eight ounces is baby size.

  5. We don't eat much junk food. The wife might buy a medium bag of chips a month. I like to snack on a couple dozen saltless Salteens with variours meat and veggie spreads whipped up in the food processor (recycled). Once in a while we buy cream cheese. Last night it was leftover liver and onions made into liver pate on crackers,

    Don't get me wrong ; I do love sweets but being as adictive as they are I just don't buy them . If they are not in this house we don't have to be carefull not to eat too many.

    Biscuts are even a treat. I figure if it's not good for you, don't have it in your house. The money you save you can treat your self with a jar of sweet roasted peppers in tomatoe sauce over a small portion of pasta or fruit for desert.
    Timothy T

  6. Yes, that's exactly my point, Timothy. When you don't buy junk food, it's easier to afford the things that are good for you.

    Your mention of liver and onions made me hungry though, and it's not even 8 AM yet!