It’s been a while since I last posted but honestly, I have been way too busy to think about anything other than school. Now that the semester is coming to a close and less of my time is spent in a classroom, I have more time to post. Recently, my boyfriend has been low on funds so even though I have enough money to get by, we have been much more careful about how we are spending money. We buy groceries together which means whatever he can’t afford, we can’t buy (I would feel like a jerk if I bought myself all this food that he couldn’t afford). However, these past couple weeks of really monitoring my money have made me come to a conclusion: eating healthy is totally affordable.
I always assumed that I was spending more money than my other roommates who live off of delivery and Costco bulk because my food is organic and fresh. It has been assumed too often that eating healthy means that you will be spending your entire paycheck at the store (i.e. the joke that Whole Foods’ name should be changed to “Whole Paycheck”). I didn’t mind because I would rather spend my money on food that will make me live a long and vibrant life than on junky food that will cause me to break out and be depressed while saving a few bucks. However, careful monitoring of what I spend and what my roommates spend on food has led me to the somewhat shocking conclusion that eating healthy food is cheaper.
As always, there are exceptions, especially if you live off of $30/lb super food or if you choose to only eat top ramen, the bills will be drastically different. But lets take my roommates and myself as a small case study and do the math:
Breakfast: 1 apple and 1 banana (organic) $1.05 and $0.34 (respectively), 1 kind bar $1.64= $3.03
Lunch: Salad from the COOP $2.03 leftovers from dinner (chickpea stew over rice that in total cost $5 for both servings) $2.50= $4.54
Snack: A handful of organic trailmix (the bag cost $4 and I ate 1/4 of it)=$1
Dinner: Homemade black bean burgers with avocado $5.48, with steamed broccoli $1.00= $6.58
Total for the day of eating healthy: $15.15
My roommates (typical college students)
Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese with a medium coffee, $2.50 and $2.00 respectively= $4.50
Lunch: large Meatball Sub from a local sandwich place $7.50 and a bag of chips $1.95= $9.45
Dinner: Delivery Pizza from a local pizza place= $10.95
Total for one day of unhealthy eating: $24.90
It also may seem like it takes more time to make a homemade, healthy meal, but take into consideration the amount of time it takes to order food and pick it up.
It was an interesting experiment but it made me much more confident in my decision to eat so well.