Healthy In the Park: Does Eating Well Really Cost More?

by / / Health & Well-being, Northern Expressions Arts Collective
Kiwi fruit

The argument I hear often is that it is cheaper to eat unhealthy foods than to eat healthy. You can buy 10 frozen pizzas for $10. Those frozen entrees go on sale all the time [and they are just so darn convenient!]. Frozen fries. Boxed dinners with all sorts of processed ingredients.

But here’s the thing: eating healthy can be economical as well.

Here’s one example: You are in the grocery store with your child and she gets hungry and wants a snack. You can spend $1 on a candy bar on the way out, or you can go to your produce section. Many times, kiwis are on sale for three for $1. For the same price as a candy bar in the checkout lane, you have purchased three separate snacks for your child, each with a healthy boost of Vitamin C.

Maybe I’ve convinced you there. Everyone wants to see their child eating healthier foods.

But what about you? You are on your way to work and you throw one of those individual frozen entrees into your bag. You know, the ones you bought because they were a good deal, and you promised yourself that you would only use them in dire emergencies? From my experience, if they are in my freezer, I am going to eat them. They are full of sodium and processed foods, and will make your entire office smell bad.

Take control! Here are some healthy and thrifty suggestions for lunches for busy people [and doesn’t that describe all of us?]:

*Salads – Wash and tear your lettuce right away when you buy it and separate it into individual containers. Take about five minutes each evening to add your favorite ingredients and you have a quick “grab and go” lunch that is just as convenient, but much more delicious and healthy than the frozen dinners!

*Not a fan of lettuce? Make an extra portion or two of whatever you are eating for dinner and immediately place that portion into a container. This works especially well for spaghetti, casseroles and stir-frys. You control the amount of fat and sodium that goes into your meal and again, you have a convenient lunch that you can grab on your way out the door.

*Beverages – Again, experience has shown me that if it is in my fridge, I am going to drink it. That includes cans or bottles of soda. Even diet soda can make you crave sweet foods and, if you drink enough of it, does not make you feel your best at the end of the day. Instead, invest in a quality water bottle and fill it up throughout the day. It is better for the environment – and for you! Mix-ins and flavor drops can help if the water at your place of employment is less than tasty, and they are much more economical than continually buying 24-packs of diet soda.

I hope that I have provided some great ideas for convenient, healthy and economic eating!

Share some of your ideas with us!

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