When you make a decision to eat healthier, it can come as a surprise that eating less can sometimes end up costing you more. The decision to forego fast foods in favor of more nutritious fare can come with a higher price tag that may make you medical weight loss program seem like more of a burden to your pocket book than it needs to be.
Cost is a common deterrent from living a lifestyle consistent with the skills you learned during your weight loss program. It is hard to rationalize spending a few dollars on a pound of fruit when you can get a hamburger for less than a buck in the drive thru window down the street. A recent report by the USDA claimed that when you consider price per portion, eating whole foods like vegetables, fruits and dairy products is cheaper than highly-processed junk. A lot of people had trouble believing this report, but the truth is when you break it down by dollar and ounce the economical choice is to eat healthier.
Even as you follow a full meal replacement plan you likely will still need to do the shopping for your family. Don’t let your family fall into the perpetual fast food trap just because you don’t need to cook dinner for yourself. By shopping better and keeping healthier foods around your house you can get your entire family into healthier eating habits.
Dollars and Sense
One of the reasons that so many people find eating healthy foods to be expensive is that they waste too much of it. Vegetables, fruits and dairy products all have strict expiration deadlines—and these unfortunately don’t come stamped on the wrapper for produce. In order to be cost effective when you do your shopping you need to plan ahead and eat what you buy.
By following a few cost-saving tips, you might actually find that eating healthy can save you and your family some serious cash:
- Set a budget: Know how much money you plan on spending on food for the entire month, and make sure to include costs for eating out in this budget. By knowing how much you are comfortable spending, you can then set priorities in your food budget and plan accordingly.
- Comparison shop: Most grocery stores have a certain day of the week when sales are posted. Try scheduling your shopping trip around those sales and benefit from a bit of saved money without the hassle of clipping coupons. When meat items are on sale buy several of them and freeze what is left for the rest of the month.
- Shop in season: Out of season fruits and vegetables can be expensive. By shopping in season you can get the freshest produce, and usually at a greatly reduced price!
- Store everything correctly: Don’t just throw a Styrofoam plate of chicken breasts in the freezer. Wrap each chicken breast individually with plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe, gallon-sized plastic bag. This will make it easier for you to decide how much chicken you want to use on a certain day and prevent freezer burn, so you won’t have to throw unused food away.
- Eat everything first, then shop: Many people are guilty of running out of one particular snack or meal idea, and running to the store for more instead of exploring what else they purchased. Instead of buying more food while your pantry is still overcrowded, make a habit of eating everything that you buy before going to the store for more food.
By planning ahead and using these helpful strategies to eat healthier you can lose weight and stick to your budget.