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LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
11/26/12 12:56 P

Me too. I used to eat out a lot. Cooking at home has probably reduced my food bill by at leasr half.

RAINBOWCHARMER SparkPoints: (82,095)
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11/26/12 12:48 P

I think our budget has probably gone up a bit, but a lot of that is because we've switched to organic in many areas, and that tends to be more expensive. But in general, our grocery bill is not out of control, we stay within budget, and we eat well. Really - that is what matters. Add to that the fact that we've reduced medical expenses because of the lost weight, and I'd say we are coming out ahead.

PUNKYB830 Posts: 5,295
11/26/12 9:30 A

Where i live u can definitely get healthy cheaper but for me frozen is a must. I only get to shop. once per month due to transportation issues . So. i buy as much fresh as i can but the rest must frozen to make. it through the month. i also have to eat more now and its very hard when. u only have. $50 a week to feed 3 people. appleS are good but will not keep u full as long as a box of quarter mac n cheese. right now canned. veggies. are 28 cents frozen. .69 that's another reason to beat out fresh. Sometimes . and. organic forget that most. of the time it can br three times more here except for the occasional deal or a friends crop share.

Edited by: PUNKYB830 at: 11/26/2012 (09:38)
FLUTTERBY727 SparkPoints: (5,465)
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11/26/12 9:00 A

The only time I find it less expensive to eat healthy is when I can make it to a farmer's market - since I work and go to school, plus work on Saturdays, I RARELY find the time to go to one. When Ramen is $0.12 a package, it's hard not to fall into eating it. However, since I've found that 1 brick is actually 2 servings (and who only eats half a brick, really?), and I'm not supposed to be eating much salt/sodium, it's off the menu for good.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
11/26/12 8:37 A

I eat a lot of meat, so it is about the same at the grocery store. I think where it saves you a lot is not eating out. I would use $50 for groceries, as I do now, but spend $20 a pop at a restaurant twice a week.

I shop at a few stores throughout the week to get deals. It's worth a few trips to eat healthier, and I have an extra $40 for gas anyways.

VICKY5231 SparkPoints: (21,002)
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11/26/12 8:25 A

There are always some cheaper options for the expensive stuff. I don't find it that expensive to eat healthy, and it's way cheaper than eating out. Eating less is cheaper too.

CARILOUIE SparkPoints: (94,856)
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11/25/12 7:31 A

We've been saving some money, too, by eating healthy food at home. We eat less, have lots of leftovers to make into new dishes, and we don't mindlessly eat pricey snacks anymore.

ANGT10 SparkPoints: (8,896)
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11/24/12 9:56 P

I guess the money we spend eating out at lunch can be used to buy healthier things at the grocery store. I just need some fresh ideas for my lunch box. I get so tired of the same ole thing.

ZENRYAKU SparkPoints: (78,066)
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11/24/12 7:21 P

We have found that we enjoy preparing and eating at home the more that we do it. So we don't go to restaurants unless we are invited to, and the last time we had takeaway was when we were travelling on holiday in 2009!

Preparing meals from fruits, vegetables, meats, etc rather than ingredients that come out of a box, we have found is much cheaper. Together with portion control, we are eating less overall, and more healthy and nutritious food.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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11/24/12 5:37 P

I didn't really track how much I was spending before, but I'm one of those that doesn't find it expensive to eat healthy. Maybe it is if you compare it to boxes of mac n cheese or hamburger helper. That's how my BF was eating before I moved in, and when I brought home my first grocery purchases and mentioned how much it cost, he said "it costs that much?" It was only like $75 for an entire week's worth of home-cooked meals, which I thought was pretty good. Before I was eating healthy I ate out a lot, so maybe that's why I don't find it to be that much, when you compare it to eating out.

When my BF asks me to buy his junk food, which I will do, it makes my grocery bill go up higher than it normally will be when I buy based off my meal plans. I have a hard time paying $3 or $4 for a bag of chips, when that's how much all of my apples for the week cost.

USERSMYNAME, I moved here to CO from Central CA, and it is more expensive to buy fresh produce here than it is in CA, even stuff that's in season. It's even worse in areas like the midwest and east coast.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 11/24/2012 (17:45)
PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,650)
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Posts: 785
11/24/12 7:26 A

Wow, the cost of greek yogurt, quinoa, and flaxseed are much less expensive in the Chicago area. If your husband and son are picky because they don't like the taste of vegetables it may be in their genes. Dark green vegetables have a chemical that some people taste as bitter while others cannot. Mouth feel is also important to some people. That can be a challenge. I do think $200 per month is a small price to pay for a healthy wife. Good luck.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
11/24/12 7:24 A

Unless you are buying the biggest bag of quinoa ever made, you need to shop around. It is three dollars a pound here, and that is at whole foods. Plus that price has doubled at whole foods in the past five years. So while whole foods does have a reputation of being whole paycheck, there are certain specialty foods that are significantly cheaper.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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11/24/12 6:25 A

I'm one of those people who finds it more expensive. My grocery bill has gone up by at least $200/month. I'm also one of those people who had to start eating more when I started losing weight. Before I was quite content to eat just a tv dinner or sandwhich for lunch (about $2) and whatever my husband cooked for dinner or a frozen fish fillet and some frozen veggies. Now I eat 5 times a day. We only bought items on sale as well. Now, I have to be more choosy and I find it's usually the processed, less healthier items that are on sale. So I wind up paying full price for items.

Also, no one will eat my food! My husband makes seperate meals from me now because he's super picky (why he cooked for us in the first place). I am *trying* to get my kids onboard, but like my husband my son is ultra picky. I have been trying tons of new foods with them but he's refused nearly everything past a few bites. My daughter has been only slightly more willing. Going to keep trying though.

I also have to buy tons of ingredients that I never used to buy since I'm making all of my meals from scratch now. Greek yogurt is really expensive compared to reg. yogurt and I eat a lot of it. I can't even look at some of the things I wish I could add to my diet like; quinoa ($15 a bag!!) and flaxseed (about the same!!).

Mostly it comes down to, I'm just eating way more food than I used to and the cost of the food is higher than when I used to buy (everything that was on sale). My husband nearly has a heart attack every time he sees the grocery bill but he tries to stiffle it in order to support me. emoticon

My grocery bill used to be around $500-600/month. Now it's around $700-$800.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/24/2012 (06:31)
PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,650)
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11/23/12 11:27 P

I also save by buying whole items. I only buy the whole chicken. Then I bone it myself. I also cut and prepare my fruits and vegetables. I spend only a few hours on Sunday to do this. The chicken bones and veggie scraps are then used to make a stock that I use all week long for meals. I can also cook during the week in only 20 to 30 minutes. Can you really do it faster by going out to eat?

MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (212,753)
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11/23/12 6:15 P

I agree - if you stop buying fatty, salty snack foods, that money will help you buy fresh fruit and vegetables without going over your budget. Portion control helps foods go further too.

11/23/12 4:44 P

I completely agree. I've read many postings on Spark where people are advising others to buy canned or frozen vegetables as they are cheaper than fresh, which they claim are expensive. Huh?

It might be because I live in southern California where we have weather conducive to growing almost year-round, but fresh vegetables are significantly less expensive here than frozen/canned as long as you eat SEASONALLY. Do not buy the hothouse tomatoes in January. Whatever is plentiful and inexpensive in the produce area of your grocery store is probably in season and a great buy.

I make big batches of mixed vegetable soup and freeze much of it. Delicious, low calorie and healthy. And cheap!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,566)
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11/23/12 4:00 P

PSCHIAVONE2 - THANK YOU SO MUCH for bringing this up!

So many people use cost as an EXCUSE to make poor choices. The fact is, if we eat healthy, and don't OVEReat, then odds are we can eat FAR more cheaply.


SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
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Posts: 246
11/23/12 3:30 P

It's definitely cheaper to eat healthy food! Not only do I save directly on food costs --and not eating out a lot is a big part of that, too--, but I find that eating better means we're healthier in general, so I spend less money on doctor visits and medicines for me and my family. And, I hope, in the long run we will stay healthy longer and not suffer from chronic (and expensive) illnesses.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
11/23/12 3:24 P

Eating healthier is cheaper. A packet of cookies is cheaper than a bag of apples, but pound for pound healthy food is usually cheaper.It is also cheaper to cook at home than to eat out all the time.

THENEWROSE Posts: 1,410
11/23/12 12:11 P

Yes. By eating out less, I save money on food.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,152)
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11/23/12 11:51 A

In general, because I am forced to eat at home instead of eating out, I am saving more money compared to the times when I was eating whatever I can.

CAH-RD Posts: 1,083
11/23/12 11:32 A

Yup!! I 1000% agree! I'm so glad that you point this out because in my profession, I hear this complaint ALL of the time - "I can't eat healthy because I can't afford to!"

Hubby and I eat lot of fresh AND organic fruits/veggies, all of our dairy is organic or we use alternatives like almond milk, all of our animal products like meats, eggs, etc are organic and all of our grains are whole grains. We do not buy bags of chips (a bag of tortilla chips that my husband likes, which can last more than a month), snacks, processed cookies, Little Debbie crap and things like that. We DO buy the occasional carton of ice cream if we're really craving it.

MOST of what we buy are even pricier items with us eating so much organic. The cereals we DO buy are $4+ per box for a smaller sized box.

BUT....we eat in moderation. When we do have a random bowl of cereal, it's just that- a bowl. NOT three bowls or even two. Not a heaping bowl. It's a serving size. We don't guzzle down milk all day so the milk we buy lasts a long time. We split a chicken breast for dinner and really, all of our portions are generally smaller now.

Honestly, we spend a LOT less money shopping (even though the majority of what we buy is organic, which people complain about being so expensive) than most of the poeple I know or people that I've saw list their shopping costs. I know people who regularly coupon and still spend more than we do because they buy garbage.

Oh, and not to mention, we don't eat fast food. People think the dollar menu is a great bargain, but if my husband and i went to McDonalds and ate just off the dollar menu we'd probably spend an average of $6-7 for our meals. We can EASILY make a meal at home for around $2-3 that feeds both of us + my daughter (healthy food) with leftovers.

It really is amazing how eating healthy is NOT more expensive. I wish more people realized this and pointed it out to help others see!

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
11/23/12 9:51 A

I so agree. i find that since i don't buy the sugary refined stuff or the junk food chip stuff, i have money for my nuts and seeds which are so much better for me. i also don't buy dairy so the savings in that can be used to buy my almond milk when i don't have time to make it.

I also find that I can fill up better eating the veggies with a bit of fruit.

PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,650)
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Posts: 785
11/23/12 9:46 A

Have you found that eating more healthy costs more money? I have not found this to be the case. Now that I am not buying bags of Doritos and sugary breakfast cereals, just to name of few. I have found that it actually cost me less for weekly groceries. Turns out you can buy a lot of vegetables without a lot of money. I do eat less meat now also. Eating healthy saves me about 15% weekly. What have you found?

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