(Originally posted on DreamPhysique.net, 09/2014)
I’ve seen and heard this through people mentioning how expensive groceries can be, especially for a growing family. I grew up in a household of 3 kids and parents. Two of the kids were big guys (myself included) and we could eat, a lot. The pantry was always stocked, as was our refrigerator. But once my eating habits changed drastically, I’ve noticed how full the cupboard and refrigerator still seemed.
The amount of food I ate, in comparison of what I used to eat downgraded quite a bit. Even more so when I moved away for college and had to dorm. Without a full working kitchen, I was affording just a microwave, tiny refrigerator and the DC (dining commons). This is where I learned how to manage my money and do with what I had.
Working part time at the preschool, on campus, helped me save some money without having to commute elsewhere. Off the bat, I can tell you that my groceries included Ezekiel bread, tilapia, chicken and protein powder. I got my egg whites and other food from the Dining Commons. Once I moved into a house, I was able to cook and see what else I could eat, that didn’t have to be heated in the microwave.
Now I had to do more research and see which grocery store was the most affordable for the highest quality of food to choose from. Since then I’ve found out that buying my meats in bulk from Costco saves me trips upon trips and is a tad cheaper than other grocery stores. If you’re looking for affordable healthy options, check out Sprouts ($1.99/lb of chicken thighs).
The excuse that I hear all the time that people don’t eat healthy is mainly because of cost. Eating healthy can be expensive, just look at Whole Foods. People automatically assume that healthy food costs the same all around. In a paper published by Drewnowski, he found that nutritious food prices rose by almost 30 percent, while highly processed foods rose by just over 15 percent.1 So yes, it’s true those prices becomes a factor, but then refer to what I said about Sprouts. Knowing how to shop will help you in the long run. Buying the essentials FIRST, then see what you can afford will help you and your family out. Rather than making a b-line straight to the candy section.
And yes, taste is a major factor for struggling families wanting to keep their kids happy. It’s just a matter of how we were raised. Our parents only let us have one treat, usually on the weekends. I’ve wrote numerous times that they also only allowed us to play video games on the weekends. If you keep feeding a dog treats, they’ll always expect it and it doesn’t become a treat anymore. Same thing can be applied to the human behavior. If you keep feeding kids sugary treats, they’ll always expect it and will make it a part of their regular diet. This is why our (American) population has an obesity issue.
It’s not rocket science, just pure laziness and excuses. The same thing can be said about eating out all the time. Miller wrote that the average American spends just about 13 percent of their paychecks on food, including restaurants and takeout. I can already tell you that I eat out maybe once a week, twice at most. The rest is spent on groceries, well below that 13 percent. And also taking lots of trips, or spending your money foolishly, while you eat fast food, isn’t what will lead you to a healthier lifestyle. You’re sacrificing your health to enjoy a weekend fling or 10 minute excursion. How about the rest of your life? How about the goals you tell everyone that you want to do? None of that will matter if you’re 50lbs overweight. So either save yourself the embarrassment and keep those hidden dreams to yourself and enjoy the fast food every day, or do something about it. I’m tired of hearing excuse after excuse as to why you can’t live a healthier lifestyle.
Your $6 cup of Starbucks could have bought you 3 lbs of chicken thighs, that’ll last you 3-6 days, depending on how much you eat. Think about your choices and think about what you ACTUALLY want to do rather than mentioning meaningless dreams.
1. Miller, Lisa. "What Food Says About Class in America." Newsweek. Web. 22 Nov. 2010. <http://www.newsweek.com/what-food-says-about-class...>.
- See more at: http://www.dreamphysique.net/blog/food-priorities...