I really want to eat healthy but it seems that healthy food is more expensive! I’m on a really tight budget and it’s seems cheaper AND quicker to eat out and prepare ready-made frozen meals for my family. Can you show me how to eat healthy on a budget?

4 min read

That is a great question that I seem to hear a lot these days. True, we are all trying to save money wherever possible with the current state of the economy. But when you say it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy foods, I couldn’t disagree with you more. Although it may seem as though it is less expensive to grab a fast food combo for yourself for lunch and a large greasy pizza for the family for dinner, these expenses really add up. It is actually less expensive to buy nutritious foods and prepare your own healthy meals than it is to buy convenience foods, fast food or eat at a restaurant. And while it can be quick and tempting to buy a family sized cheese covered pizza from your grocer’s freezer section, it can be equally affordable and time efficient to prepare a nutritious and delicious meal for your family. Allow me to demonstrate how affordable it can be to feed yourself a healthy breakfast, lunch and prepare a nutritious meal for your family for dinner:

Convenience Plan

The Femme Phorm Plan

Sausage and egg breakfast sandwich from drive through with hash brown, juice and coffee ($5.25)
(eat at home) ½ grapefruit ($0.50), small bowl of oats with small, snack sized box of raisins ($0.40), 6 egg white omelet with diced veggies ($1.15)
Mid morning snack:Coffee beverage from coffee shop (cappuccino with non fat milk) ($4.00), blueberry muffin ($1.25) Mid morning snack:Serving of 1st Phorm Level-1 protein mixed with water ($1.29/serving), 1 oz almonds ($0.30)
6” turkey sub sandwich with meat, and veggies, chips (Doritos), and soft drink (12 oz Pepsi) ($6.75)
Brown bag Lunch:
Mixed field greens salad with cherry tomatoes and low fat salad dressing ($1.25), 4 oz grilled chicken breast ($1.00/serving), 3 melba toast crackers ($0.50), 1 container non-fat yogurt ($0.49)
Dinner (for family of 4-5):
Family sized lasagna ($14.99), family sized package of garlic toast ($2.99), family size Caesar salad ($4.00), 4 servings of chocolate ice cream ($3.99)
Dinner (for family of 4-5):
BBQ turkey breasts ($9.99), baked potatoes with fat free sour cream ($1.99), steamed frozen veggies ($1.99), sliced bananas and fresh berries ($2.99)
Total Cost: $39.77Nutritional values
Calories: 3300
Fat: 130 g
Carbs: 441 g
Protein: 110 g
Saturated fat: 50 g (20 g daily max*)
Cholesterol: 550 mg (300 mg daily max*)
Sodium: 5700 mg (3000mg daily max*)
*these values are determined by the American Heart Association
Total Cost: $22.33Nutritional values
Calories: 1400
Fat:  26 g
Carbs: 160 g
Protein: 140 g
Saturated fat:  2 g
Cholesterol:   4 mg
Sodium: 705 mg

This table illustrates how much more affordable it is to prepare your own healthy meals than it is to eat fast food and microwavable prepared entrée’s. The nutrition totals also show how eating a convenience plan every day can add excess amounts of unhealthy saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium to your diet that can contribute to many health problems if continued. At a whopping 3300 calories (close to 1300 calories more than an average healthy adult needs), the convenience plan will cost you $17.44 more than the nutritious and affordable meal plan. It looks like the only thing cheap about the first meal plan is the rip off of nutrients you would be missing out on if you ate this way every day! And I’d hate to see your medicine cabinet in 20 years when you are on medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type-two diabetes.  Sounds like it’s not that cheap to eat this way, is it?

So now lets talk about how you can make eating healthy convenient for you:

  • I personally like to prepare my food in bulk. I like to buy the large package of fresh chicken breasts and prepare them at the beginning of the week. I cook them all at once and portion them into Tupperware for my meals throughout the week and freeze any extras.
  • Buy in bulk. When you can, buy items like frozen veggies, meat and potatoes in bulk. It is less expensive this way and you can also prepare what you need for a few days ahead of time and freeze the rest. Brett and I use Sam’s Club and do almost all of our grocery shopping there. This saves us a lot of time and money in turn we make less frequent trips to the grocery store.
  • When I make a meal for my family, I will usually prepare an extra portion for my lunch the following day.
  • You may benefit from planning out what your family will eat each night for dinner ahead of time. That will make it simpler to prepare something nutritious for your family rather than standing in front of your cupboards after a long day of work, when you are starving and have no idea what to make.
  • Keep it simple! In order to make meals that do not contain excess fat and sodium, keep the ingredients simple. You can quickly and easily whip up a stir fry or spaghetti dish for your family using only 5 ingredients! By eliminating all the fancy stuff, you not only spare the calories, you save yourself time! Here are my five ingredient meals:
    • 5 ingredient spaghetti- lean ground turkey, mushrooms, green peppers, jar of organic tomato sauce and whole wheat spaghetti noodles.
    • 5 ingredient stir fry- fresh chicken breasts, snap peas, broccoli, steamed rice, teriyaki sauce.

With a bit of careful planning, you can prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family that are quick, delicious and cost effective. I can’t forget to mention how good you will look and feel by eating a more nutritious diet.

Be sure to get in touch with me and let me know how my tips are working for you!  As always, I’m happy to answer your questions and hear your comments and feedback at Gillian.Risebury@1stphorm.com. You can also find me on facebook at facebook.com/jillian.amy1. Until my next blog, eat clean and train hard!  Because there is nothing sexier than a fit body!

♥ Gillian

The post I really want to eat healthy but it seems that healthy food is more expensive! I’m on a really tight budget and it’s seems cheaper AND quicker to eat out and prepare ready-made frozen meals for my family. Can you show me how to eat healthy on a budget? appeared first on 1st Phorm.

1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury
1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury

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