The Cost of Eating Healthy

food-and-money.jpgChanging your diet for health reasons is a no brainer.  You should not just change your diet because your body told you to, but because it is actually a smart move and a decision that will improve your life.

BUT, it is unfortunately not cheap to eat healthier and it will take a little longer when shopping for and preparing food.  Changing your lifestyle comes with some financial impact, despite what all the social media accounts might suggest.

I fully appreciate that famous people share all their wonderful tips for getting into shape and how to eat healthier.  However, none of them are facing the daily/weekly financial challenges that we mortal people struggle with.  And, to make insult to injury, several of these celebrities do not know what it means to cook and provide for a family.  They enjoy “raising” their family using hired help to prepare meals and do the shopping.

My family changed our meal plan as a direct outcome of my health challenge, and that also changed our weekly food budget … going up, not down!

  • We are a family of 2 adults, 3 kids, and a headcase dog
  • We cook and prepare all our meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinners
  • Salt is banned in our cooking and foods
  • We snack on nuts and fruits
  • We bake loaves of bread and buns and have even attempted to make our own tortillas
  • We plan out every meal throughout the week
  • We only buy what we need for the meal plan
  • We visit the local farmers market to get vegetables in season

Every Sunday, we spent numerous hours pre-cooking meals, to make it easier during the busy school.  I’ve found that if we do not plan and prepare in advance, it is much easier to fall back on less healthy food options.

I love preparing food and we always have a variety of dishes, using many different cookbooks.  Most dishes contain large quantities of vegetables, seafood, roots, and poultry.  We rarely eat processed foods, red meats or pork.

While this all sounds very good and idyllic, it does take extra time.  It is time I’m willing to invest to make sure my family eats healthier, and I’m lucky my kids enjoy the meals we cook.  The food tastes a lot better, we believe, and it can also become a family activity where you teach kids how to cook.

Nevertheless, our weekly food spend has gone up.  Healthier options simply cost a few dollars more and supporting the local farmers is also increasing the prices.

Our average weekly food spend has probably increased by $75.

This may not seem a lot, but it is still a $300 increase a month, which we could have used for holidays or family activities.

We’ve only been doing this healthy eating for 6 months now, and we are certainly improving a lot.  I’m confident that we will be able to reduce our monthly food budget by learning how to eat smarter and do more stuff ourselves or shop locally.

For now, the cost of eating healthy is higher, and I can understand why families buy lower quality foods, premade foods, snacks, and fast foods.  Cost is much much lower and that allows families to afford other items they want.

Don’t be fooled by these food gurus and social media sites that offer you healthy eating for less.  It may work for some ingredients or meals, but to live healthy every day is costly.

You have to make sacrifices, but it will be great in the long run.  We love our new meals and changes, and would happily share our experiences with anyone.

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