$8.80 per Day

That’s how much my 1,500 calorie meals are costing me each day.  When I started my foray into conventional foods, I was worried that the cost to eat healthy meals would be higher than I could afford.  Boy, was I wrong!

Grocery Store Receipts

I sat down with (you guessed it) a spreadsheet and worked out exactly what I’m paying for each of my meals and snacks.  Here’s a summary, with links back to the details for each meal:

Meal Cost
Breakfast $2.56
Morning Snack $0.69
Lunch $0.88
Afternoon Snack $0.59
Dinner $1.22
Evening Snack $2.37
Packaging, etc. $0.50
$8.80

The meals which are most expensive are breakfast and evening snack.  They both contain 80¢ cups of Greek yogurt, which I could easily substitute for plain yogurt costing half as much.  Due to a pricing paradox, Kroger’s Greek yogurt is actually less expensive when purchased in individual portion cups than in large tubs.  I also caught a great sale on 100% whole wheat bread.  Several loaves are in my freezer as we speak.  Frozen bread makes excellent toast.

In my former life as a drive-thru addict, there’s no way I could have eaten three meals and three snacks for less than $9.00.  This total even includes my daily multi-vitamin and fiber supplement.  I try to use as few disposable bags and forks as possible, but I estimated 50¢ per day for those.  I believe the true cost is somewhere closer to 18¢ per day.

By comparison, this is about $3.50 per day less than I was spending on meal replacements alone.

I’m not a big consumer of organic foods.  As I once heard it put, “The Whopper will kill you much faster than the pesticides.  A vegetable is a vegetable, whether you have to peel it or not.”  Still, if you’re working on a budget and still want to avoid the nasties, you should learn the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen.”

The Dirty Dozen are the most-contaminated fruits and vegetables, and those are the ones you’ll want to prioritize on when buying organic.

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

On the other hand, there are vegetables and fruits which either do not come in contact with pesticides, or which do not retain pesticides as readily.

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Frozen Sweet Corn
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

 

What do your healthy meals cost?  Do you buy organic?

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3 thoughts on “$8.80 per Day

  1. keepnupwithj says:

    Thanks for the pin back! I love your blog and will definitely be back! 🙂

  2. jskamiera says:

    Great breakdown on how inexpensive healthy eating can be! I don’t actively search for organic but I end up buying it on ocassion.

  3. […] my recent analysis of my grocery spending, I noticed that almost twenty percent of my food budget went to store-bought Greek yogurt. […]

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