Friday, May 30, 2008

It is NOT too expensive to eat healthy

I love early morning jogs and walks. It's the perfect time and setting to review things and then put them in "buckets" for future use or storage!

A common excuse I hear from people is that it's too expensive to eat healthy. And I will admit, when a box of 10 Little Debbie Ding-Dong-like snack cakes can be purchased for $1.39, that's sometimes tough to argue with...unless you give a hoot about what kind of food you're eating...or feeding to your kids! Sure, you get a good value for your money with that type of purchase, but WHAT you just purchased is total crap. I'm not sure it can even be classified as food, can it? Let's see, where would that fall in the Food Pyramid? ( It doesn't fit into the larger categories of Milk, Fruit, Vegetables or Meat & Beans. Maybe a portion of it fits into the Grains group - maybe there's some refined, stripped and otherwise-devoid-of-any-nutrient-content white flour in there! Woo hoo! Oh, and of course, there is sugar! And that fits where? In the "Oil & Discretionary Calories" sliver of an allowance. I don't think this type of food should even qualify as a food, but it's cheap, right?

I suppose it really all boils down to what's important to you. If you don't know the answer, maybe it's easier to choose a poor option or solution, than to spend a little extra time up front to find the right answer or a better option, and make a change. Take oatmeal, for instance. Steel Cut or "not rolled" oats, specifically. I was once told by a friend that they are too expensive - upwards of $4.00 - $6.00 for a box at the grocery store. I checked, and this is true. Rolled oats are cheaper. This is true, too. Rolled oats also have a bit less nutritional value than steel cut, which is why I prefer the latter. Steel cut have a higher fiber and protein content because more of the grain is left in tact - they are less refined. I recently went to the local health food store, and found steel cut oats in bulk. I weighed the same amount as was in the box at the grocery store, and paid $0.81. Interesting, huh? I didn't come across this information because I knew more than the average Joe - I actually stumbled across it. I just had an interest in eating healthy for less. I, too, had paid too much for regular grocery store boxed oats for over three years - and now I pay less. Just takes a bit of research - if living a healthy lifestyle is worth it to you. This type of thinking outside the box works for most everything that might be in your culinary repertoire - it just takes a little more work or research up front. On the back side, it's less costly, and easier.

Oh, and just a snotty comment for those who may think they don't need to worry about paying less ( I used to have one of these people in my life) - you may not think you need to take advantage of savings like this because you're in a financial position where "it doesn't matter". Well, how about taking that extra you do save and upping your donations to causes that are meaningful for you - or start donating to causes that are meaningful to you. Do some good with that extra dough, versus brag about not having to worry to about.

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