Eating Healthy to *Save* Money?

Woman w/ Baby and Vegetable

Photo by USDAGov

It’s nearly a truism to say that healthy food costs more money. When we buy chard instead of chips, we tell ourselves we’re investing in our health, paying the price for good nutrition.

But what if eating healthy food could actually save us money?

That’s the finding of a recent USDA report. Our misconception comes from comparing food prices based upon the calories they contain. To consume 300 calories, you’re going to spend a lot more money on bananas than donuts. However, when we compare food prices in terms of average portion size, the healthy food comes out much better. I can eat two or three donuts before I’m full, but one banana usually leaves me satisfied.

Of course, it’s not nearly this simple. Just like there is cheap and expensive unhealthy food (mmm, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream…), there’s expensive and cheap healthy food. Grass-fed, free-range beef may cost you a pretty penny, but beans and lentils will benefit your health and your wallet.

It may be hard to shake the idea that nutritious shopping at the grocery store requires extra funds. But perhaps all that’s really required is extra effort, to reduce our waist lines and our bottom lines.

(For more a more extensive summary of the report, see the Huffington Post’s helpful article.)

by Tommy Grimm

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About Tommy Grimm

I have an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and currently work as a Wellness Advocate with Spirited Life. Born and raised in the heartland of America, I'm a certified Hoosier who loves basketball. I've recently discovered the wonder of beets, and I take guilty pleasure in gas station candy, particularly circus peanuts and spice drops.

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