Somehow eating healthfully has become synonymous with expensive eating. But the truth is, if you find that you’re spending more on food than you expected, it’s likely not the “health” of the food that’s putting a dent in your spending, but rather these few other factors.
While canned and frozen foods are certainly more convenient, providing longer shelf lives and reduced cooking times, you are definitely paying the price. For example, you are paying three and half times as much for a serving of canned beans versus a serving a dry beans. But, those canned beans take only about a minute to heat up, whereas dry beans can take up to three hours.
Labor is the number one reason dining out at a restaurant, or even fast food chain is usually more expensive than cooking at home: You have to kiss the cook! Or rather, pay the cook. But dining out is not the only time you’re paying for labor. You’re likely paying for this in the meat section of your grocery store most of all. I can guarantee that buying a whole chicken is much less expensive than buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts. That’s because there is a butcher who has to take the time to remove breast from the chicken, and then remove the bone and skin. Luckily, cooking a whole chicken doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and in my opinion, is worth the money that you save!
When you buy a packaged food, a percentage of what you’re paying for is the box and wrapper it comes in. Take granola bars for example. They come in a box, and then each are individually wrapped in its own package. Try making your own to save money and waste.
This is something you’re paying for without even realizing it, especially with bigger brands (think brands you’ve seen commercials for). Commercials, advertisements, and even fancy packaging all cost money, which is why a store brand item usually costs less than its branded counterpart. If you are going to buy preserved and packaged foods, check to see if there is a store brand equivalent you can purchase instead, to save a few dollars.
Without a doubt the least expensive way to eat healthy is to practice scratch cooking. However, as you can see, what you save in money, you might end up spending in time. Fortunately, we have four, easy to make, healthy recipes for you that can feed a family for four for under $15. Check out the recipes below.
1. Weeknight Chicken Curry from Food, Pleasure, and Health.
2. Mexican Fiesta Quinoa
3. Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto from Nutritioulicious
4. Crockpot Salsa Chicken Bowls from Hungry Hobby
Which of these factors do you think create the largest dent in your food spending? Let us know in the comments below, and let’s see if we can find some solutions!