Eating Healthy Is No Cheap Task

I wouldn’t consider myself a health nut by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, up until the point I graduated college, I would have to categorize myself as anti-healthy.  Even though I was extremely active and played tennis, baseball and golf throughout high-school and college, it was the food that I liked to eat that would wash away any good exercise I could accomplish in a day.

Working at McDonald’s for six years certainly didn’t help, because when you’re offered free food each and every day, you take it.  I did my best to rotate the grilled chicken, crispy chicken and fish fillet sandwiches and I probably ate those three 90% of a time, and a burger the other 10%.  I think I did pretty well for a while but then I developed a habit of just grabbing lettuce and dipping it in barbecue sauce.  Man was that good stuff.

Moving on to college, it was no secret that I liked to gamble.  One time, after winning $5,000, I decided to get all singles from the bank and see just how much money that was spread out across a table.  One of my friends decided he wanted to take some home, so we bet $1,000 on a game of high card.  He didn’t have any money on him, so if he lost, I had 100 Wendy’s fast food pick-ups that he would pay for.  Dave Thomas would be proud of the double stack.  My friend drew first, and it was a 5.  The room cringed and he cursed.  Having what I thought to be an inevitable victory, I laughed and then proceeded to draw a 4.  Lost $1,000 in singles that day but had I cashed in on a win, I might not be here today.

Today, I’ve tried to eat healthy, I mean really tried.  After finishing up all of the frozen snacks, sodas and candies, I’ve made a concerted effort to never buy those things again.  I spend a lot of time in the fruits and vegetables aisle, buy a lot of chicken breasts and check nutrition facts on almost anything I buy.  Three meals a day with a light snack after dinner and from here on out, I think this is the way it has to be.  Current weights is 215lbs and for a guy that’s six feet tall, I’m not terribly overweight but I hope to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year.

But the difficult part of this whole endeavor is not actually eating healthy.  The food is starting to grow on me and I’m really enjoying it.  The problem is that everything is really expensive.  Dinner use to be as easy as popping in a frozen hungry-man XL or Stouffers entree but now, after buying all of the ingredients for a salad and then making a solid meal for two, I’ve spent a pretty penny.  And if I ever take my shopping cart down the organic aisle, I know I’ll spend even more money.

So every once in a while, I’ll splurge on a bag of pizza rolls, or pick up a frozen pizza because they’re on sale and I just don’t have the money to spend on cherries at $3.99 a pound.  My efforts to only buy items that are on sale have taken a big hit since I’ve started to eat healthy, but one of the big positives of spending more money is that I’m feeling better everyday.  With a little more exercise and a little more money to spend on the good stuff, I think I’ll live a lot longer than my late night Wendy’s benders would allow.

Topics: Smart Spending

5 Responses to “Eating Healthy Is No Cheap Task”

  1. A good way to eat healthy for more cheaply is to focus on produce that is in season. When a given item is in season it is always cheaper. Plus, this ensures that you don’t develop a habit of only buying certain types of the produce, which in turn keeps you from getting sick of specific fruits and vegetables.

    I switched from eating mostly processed foods, to mostly produce and other items that require preparation to eat about a year ago. By following what’s in season and what’s on sale in the produce department my grocery bill is now a fourth of what it was when I bought mostly pre-made packaged foods!

  2. I have a friend that does not mind spending more to eat healthier food. His adage is that it is more expensive to pay for hospital bills than buying and eating healthier food. And I do agree thus if your finance warrants it, buy healthier food.

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