I’m very serious. Never buy into the lie that eating healthy is expensive. And in fact, I am coming to realize more and more that eating healthy foods actually saves us money.
I’ve been working at this nourishing food thing for 14+ years now, and while our food budget has increased substantially during these years, I’m certain the blame goes to growing appetites and an increased number of family members, not to the cost of apples.
Today I am here to present a few simple ways eating healthy foods saves us money:
1. Eating Out is a Budget Buster
When our family of nine (or seven or however many of our crew is around at the time) goes out to eat after church, even fast food costs a minimum of $40, but usually somewhere around $60. I don’t even want to talk about how much it costs to eat at a sit-down restaurant.
Meanwhile, I can take 5-minutes to throw together a Crock Pot Pizza Casserole before church. It’s ready when we get home, we can get out salad stuff and a bowl of grapes, and when it’s all said and done, the cost of our meal was around $15. The cost difference is enormous, the workload is minimal, and the taste? Well, have you tried making this pizza casserole? It’s incredible.
So except for when we’re traveling or for the very occasional splurge, we eat at home. It’s obviously healthier and saves thousands of dollars for our big family.
And yeah, I know we all know that, but it seemed worth mentioning again and comparing the cost! ;)
2. Nourishing food satisfies; junk food…doesn’t
Your honor, may I present as evidence the bag of potato chips?
I will admit that chips are my junk food of choice and I splurge on them sometimes. But when I do, we plow through them in about five minutes and are then ready for an actual meal. Why? Because chips only fill a hole; they do not nourish. So while our bodies are craving substance, we fill it with the nothing that chips provide, then we go in search of something to satisfy our bodies’ needs (protein, vitamins, minerals, etc).
So in essence, chips are tasty but kind of a money waster. The dollars I spend on chips could be used to buy actual food that leaves us satisfied.
The only exception to this, in my experience, has been corn chips. We almost never eat corn chips by themselves but instead use them as vehicles to eat nourishing dips. Long live the corn chips. They help us eat avocados. :)
Here are our favorite corn chip dips:
- Black Bean Salsa
- Easiest and Best Guacamole
- Cream Cheese Salsa Dip
- Simple Bean and Cheese Salsa Dip
- Easy Cheesy Bean Dip
- Real Food “Velveeta” and Rotel Dip
3. Real food ingredients cost much less than pre-made boxed foods.
This is a fact. As we’ve added foster children to our lives, I’ll admit it: I’ve splurged more on processed foods than I used to. I’ve needed it for survival some days, and I have no guilt over it.
But goodness do those boxed foods cost more!! And they almost always include ingredients I don’t feel great about. (I just don’t read the box. If I don’t know there’s MSG in there, it can’t hurt us, right? Heh.)
Most of the time, while taking care of all the kids, I try to fall back on all of our Simple Real Food Recipes that are just as convenient but made completely with real food ingredients.
When I fill my grocery cart with ingredients – yes – the cost adds up. It takes a lot to feed a large family with big appetites! But the cost is still lower – much lower – than filling my cart with corndogs and pizza rolls. It goes without saying that the real food ingredients I buy nourish us as opposed to whatever it is those pizza rolls do. Yikes.
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So there you have it. These are the most basic ways that eating healthy foods saves money. These are no brainers, but I think it’s good to be reminded and encouraged that eating healthy and saving money is easier than we often think!