Why It Seems Expensive To Eat Healthily
So there is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. About a month ago, Mr. Hungry texted me out of the blue SUPER EXCITED. He says that apparently, a place in Tempe will mail you oats overnight. Get this, he says, all you have to do is put it in a shaker bottle with milk, and in the morning it’s done.
I’m dumbfounded. He was so freaking excited about it, and I wanted to say, this is what you have for breakfast at least ten times a month. But, I was too busy tracking down the place the monetized overnight oats to respond. I immediately looked this up, and it’s 45$ dollars for a pack of 12. Their ingredients suck, I mean they don’t suck, I’m just not a big fan of artificial sweeteners seeing as how the research relates them to all kinds of adverse effects like poor GI health and increased weight. Plus that’s 3.75 a serving, for overnight oats. Is this for real?
Let’s just do a little experiment, if I made the same thing myself:
- protein powder 1.87 a serving (calculated using 3/4 scoop of Formulx)
- oatmeal .40 cents per 1/2 cup
- ground flaxseed not even 1 cent per tablespoon
- chia seeds .31 cent per teaspoon (which I’m overestimating, typically I only use a teaspoon of chia seeds in overnight oats)
- add 10 cents for a teaspoon of cinnamon
That’s 2.68 a serving for the same thing, with the same amount, if not more, protein. Well, they have unique flavors, and you can too. Throw some apple chunks, or sub protein powder for pb2, whatever you want it will still be cheaper than 3.75 a packet PLUS the milk. See How to Make High Protein Overnight Oats
I get it, I do. When you work 50 hours a week or more like I did, you don’t care about price; you care about convenience, I’ve been there. That’s what you are paying for here, convenience. If they didn’t have sucralose and ace-K, I might consider even reviewing their product if they reached out to me. Unlikely now seeing as how I’m writing this post, but what I care about is the people that see that and think:
“Jeez I just can’t afford to do this, I just can’t eat healthily.”
Especially when compared to things like hamburger helper, boxes of mac and cheese, or top ramen which are pennies on the dollar per serving. The thing is, keep in mind, when you eat that stuff, your body is still starved for nutrients. You are likely to be hungry quicker because your body wants micronutrients, fiber, and other nourishing ingredients. You are likely to crave that food faster because they put chemicals in there that make sure you do. It’s a vicious cycle. You will end up eating more in the long run and dealing with more expensive consequences, do to lack of nutrient dense food. The thing is, you can eat healthy without spending a fortune!
Tips for Eating Healthy On A Budget
If you don’t want to pay $4 per bag of overnight oats, I don’t blame you! Here are some practical tips to eat healthy without spending a fortune:
- Buy produce in season – this about the least expensive most healthy food you can get. I’ve gotten bags of carrots at farmers markets for 10 cents!
- Buy poultry and meats in bulk – buy conventional sources and trim the fat as best as possible. Make sure to freeze what you don’t use; this ensures you get the best price.
- Use the bulk bin, so you don’t have to over purchase higher priced ingredients like nuts and seeds. I would also avoid expensive nut flours unless you can buy them in bulk. While those things are fun to make baked goods out of, they are expensive. If you are trying to eat on a budget pass, then I would pass on them. I now get my almond flour from Costco, and it’s a huge savings!
- Avoid the “organic” section in the store. Yes, I said AVOID. Example, you can find one brand of oats in the Fry’s organic section for 2-3$, the store brand in the cereal aisle is less than a buck, and it’s the SAME thing.
- Avoid high-cost junk food. Just because a pop tart knocks off is organic doesn’t mean it’s right for you, or worth the $10 bucks they are asking you to pay for it. I might rather you have a box of chemical filled real deal pop tarts once a year, then a box of organic pop tart knock offs every week.
- Freeze your fruit, a lot of times it’s over priced when it comes already frozen. Cut it up and freeze it yourself.
- Don’t over purchase food, if you over buy and it goes to waste you are losing money. Use my free meal planning template to help you plan your meals using what needs to be used up first!
- Buy beans canned. Beans are healthy, cheap, and convenient in a can. If you are short on time, take this budget friendly shortcut without any guilt.
- Invest in a good lunch box so that you can take anything with you wherever you go. The thing is, fast food is cheap but isn’t healthy. Fast food salads are gross, ain’t no way I’m going through the drive-thru at McDonald’s and being happy with overpaying for a soggy salad with gross dressing. Anyone who says they do that on a regular basis is lying, that’s right I’m calling you out! So your other option is to go somewhere with healthier more appealing options like Panera, paradise bakery, or in AZ we have salad on the go. Those are great options, but more expensive than your soggy McDonald’s salad. Bringing food with you will ensure fresh food that you like and save you money.
- Shop the sales and use coupons. Admittedly, I’m kind of bad at this one. It takes a little bit more time, but if you can skim through the ads when they come in the mail, you can get high priced items on sale. For example, stevia drops are 15.99 at the store. That’s highway robbery, in my opinion; they charge that because they know they can get it and that’s the only reason. Recently Sprouts had a buy one get one free, even though I wasn’t out yet I stocked up to save money. The only problem with this one, don’t fall trap to number five and waste your money buying a bunch of on sale organic junk food.
Linking up today for thinking out loud!
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