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is it cheaper to eat whole, healthy foods, or processed foods?

Your opinion?

This is a spin off from another q here in p & ce, so that's why I'm posting here.

Do you feel a healthy diet is too expensive to be attainable? Is it therefore too difficult to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle?


Asked by lovinangels at 10:24 AM on Jul. 28, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (112,638 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (78)
  • I can feed my family healthy food for a dollar a meal per person. There is NO WAY you can buy fast food for a family of four for only four dollars. It's crazy when people say its cheaper to eat fast food.

    Processed food is NOT cheaper. A box of instant potatoes or frozen fries is MUCH more expensive per serving than a 10 pound bag of potatoes, and making baked potatoes is hardly difficult or time consuming. Modern conveniences such as microwaves and crock-pots making home cooking pretty effortless, too.


    Answer by mancosmomma at 12:01 PM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • I eat healthy and it doesn't break the bank...I find that I spend just as much eating 'healthy' as I do eating shit food

    Answer by Yoshi_Yoshi at 10:26 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • In my PERSONAL experience, it's so much easier to go to the dollar store and buy $50 worth of boxed processed foods. So. Much. Easier.

    We spend a lot of money when we buy fresh fruit and healthier foods, and we shop at Wal-Mart and Aldi ONLY. If we could afford it, sure we'd shop at Whole Foods. But we have to pay rent, for goodness sakes. We have to make sacrifices somewhere.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 10:26 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • Cait...when I eat that stuff, I'm hungry again right away. And I need to eat more, and more...and more. But when I eat decent foods, it's not like that. I'm full right away.

    Answer by Yoshi_Yoshi at 10:33 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • I find it cheaper to eat healthy versus fast food and processed foods. Beans are cheap, low fat and full of fibre and protein.  And they taste great!  Veggies - frozen (but not processed with sauces) can be healthier than fresh and they are practically free.  Meat can be expensive, but you don't need much.   3 oz is a healthy portion.  

    The trick is to plan meals and buy just what you need so you don't end up throwing food away. 


    Answer by Bezu at 10:36 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • I spend less than $250 a month for a family of 4 adults and 3 tweens, and that includes food, paper products and personal care products along with pet food for 3 dogs and 3 cats. We eat healthy and filling meals only because I cook from scratch and avoid processed foods as best I can. This week we're having/have had roasted chicken, grilled chicken, chili, chicken alfredo, Swiss steak, chicken & rice, baked ham along with all the side dishes and desserts. It's a lot less expensive to buy a bag of potatoes and make scalloped potatoes than it is to buy the box of scalloped potatoes because you can get many more meals out of the bag and only one out of the box. I can get 3 meals out of a whole chicken by cutting it up myself and then boiling the carcass for even more meat, so why buy a package of chicken legs, chicken breasts and then canned chicken? As for fresh produce, farmer's markets are great along with my own garden!

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 10:46 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • I find it way cheaper to buy fresh vegetables and produce with the occasional box of spaghetti and sauce. Buying frozen processed, prepared food is extremely expensive and we dont do it. In our home, we have a strict grocery budget of $125 a week for 6 people. I could never buy processed food to last us all week for that price. My kids LOVE canteloupe, strawberries, apples, broccoli, carrots, celery, pineapple...just about anything. They do NOT love pasta, rice or anything textured. I think thats weird but whatever. THey do love bread and its fairly affordable. We limit our sugar to 1 box of debbie cakes a week. So for 6 people, that doesnt go very far...LOL

    Answer by momofsaee at 10:47 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • Bezu, I agree. We eat 25-30 lbs of fruit and veggies every week, and I spend 3-400 a month on groceries. (Family of 5 With two kids in diapers.)

    It does take some work and planning, though. I'm wondering if the cost is really the issue, or if the planning and execution of a healthy diet is really daunting for some?

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:47 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • I cannot believe I am saying this, but I agree with Yoshi. Healthy eating is not more expensive. Here's why I say that. Say you buy a box of Hamburger Helper. You have to add milk and ground beef. Both pretty expensive. And the sodium level is astronomical. Instead, you can stir fry in-season veggies and serve them over whole grain pasta. It is much more filling and much more flavorful. Even frozen veggies are cheaper and healthier than the canned ones.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:47 AM on Jul. 28, 2009

  • Portion control saves money and is healthier as well... So spend less and eat better by eating less! JMO

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 10:48 AM on Jul. 28, 2009