Archive for the tag - eating healthy

How Much Does Eating Healthy Actually Cost?

Dear Davey,

I really want to improve my diet, but I’m on a tight budget. I know that I need to lose weight and eat better, but I don’t think I can actually afford it.

From,
Dan

For Skinny Athletes How to Gain Weight HealthfullyHey Dan,

There are certainly plenty of ways to eat healthy on a budget. Doing things like buying in bulk, buying foods that are in season, growing vegetables and stocking up on frozen veggies and fruits all can help.

But let’s not beat around the bush. Healthy diets do tend to cost more money. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health released a comprehensive study about the cost of healthier foods. Researchers concluded that the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 per day more than the least healthy diets.

While $1.50 per day doesn’t sound like a lot of money, it actually is. On planet earth, 2.7 billion people live on less than two dollars per day. And when you multiply $1.50 by 365 days, eating healthy costs nearly $550 per year. For people that are trying to make ends meet, this number can be insurmountable.

Why does eating healthy cost more? Researchers suggest that existing food policies focus on inexpensive, high volume foods which has led to a complex network of farming, manufacturing and transportation infrastructure that favors high processed foods. Just look at the shelves of a typical grocery store and you’ll see the proof.

But it’s also worth noting that obesity accounts for 21% of U.S. healthcare costs. In fact, an obese person typically incurs medical costs that are $2,741 dollars higher than non-obese people.

In other words, the bigger, long-term picture is more complex. And while you may pay more in one area of your life, you’ll likely save more in another. Of course, when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, thinking long term is a luxury that not everyone gets.

I always say… do the best you can, where you’re at, with what you’ve got.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you do want to make an investment in yourself and shed excess body fat, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% during checkout.

10 Tips: Eating Healthy on a Budget!

Hi Davey,

I really want to get in better shape. I’ve been following your blog and doing a lot of the “at home” training as I cant afford a gym. Actually, I cant afford a good diet either. I’m unemployed and have to stretch my dollars.

Are there any suggestions you could make for a good diet on a very low budget?

Cheers,
Pauly

Hey Pauly,

That healthy diets tend to be more expensive is a huge challenge for this country and our planet. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that unhealthy diets – though cheaper at the register – will contribute to expensive and potentially debilitating medical issues down the road. So while the upfront costs of an unhealthy diet may be less, the longer term costs can become quite staggering.

Having said that, there are plenty of ways to eat healthier while still on a budget.

Try these tips:

  1. Buy in bulk. Lean meats can be expensive – but when you buy in greater quantities, the cost per serving becomes discounted. Freeze your bulk purchases and defrost as needed.
  2. Drink water. And not just any water – drink tap water. The water that comes out of your faucet is probably quite similar in quality to the water you can buy in bottles, but it’s a fraction of a price. The national average price for tap water in the United States is $2.00 per 1,000 gallons. Now that’s cheap. Moreover, water is a healthy (and cheaper) alternative to other beverages – like sugary juices and soda.
  3. Buy in season. Seasonal produce tends to be much cheaper than purchasing out of season; stock up when you can.
  4. Buy generic. Opting for store brands can save you a bundle. The foods are likely similar in taste, ingredients and flavor – and usually only differ in price.
  5. Eat eggs! Yes, eggs are cheap – and a great source of protein. True, eggs have cholesterol – but dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol are not one in the same; they are healthy (and delicious!) to eat in moderation.
  6. Eat fish – from a can. Canned tuna is another great way to get protein without breaking the bank – just make sure that the sodium levels aren’t too high. Fuel your body by adding tuna to salads and sandwiches.
  7. Avoid packaged and processed foods. If your meal is coming out of a box, it’s probably not going to be healthy. Cooking from raw ingredients isn’t only healthier, it’s cheaper. To that end, make your own meals.
  8. Buy frozen veggies and fruits. Fresh produce, especially when it’s not in season, can be super expensive. Berries, in particular, tend to be very pricey. However, buying frozen produce is a great alternative – and because the produce is frozen at peak ripeness, frozen produce often contains more nutrients than the fresh alternatives.
  9. Grow a vegetable garden. If you have the outdoor space and some extra time, grow your own vegetables. It’s fun, easy and it will help curb your weekly grocery bill.
  10. Don’t buy junk food. Instead of buying junk food like potato chips and candy – which are neither filling nor nourishing – put that money towards healthier, more wholesome purchases.

Is eating healthy on a budget a challenge? Yes. But it’s not impossible – and, longer term, it will result in better health and reduced medical and healthcare costs down the road.

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. If you have any tips for eating healthy on a budget, please share them in the comments below!