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!
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:
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.
- Grapes (Imported)
- 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.
- Frozen Sweet Corn
- Frozen Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
What do your healthy meals cost? Do you buy organic?
- Healthy Snack Ideas (stayfitchronicles.com)
- Meal Plan and Recipes for 3/3/13 – 3/9/13 (keepnupwithj.wordpress.com)
- Greek Yogurt Cups (needlesspounds.com)
- The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- Budgeting: Save Money on Food (quicken.intuit.com)