But It's Sooooooo Expensive To Eat Healthy! - The UltimateFatBurner Blog

But It’s Sooooooo Expensive To Eat Healthy!

The incongruity of this statement dawned on me the other day as I stood in line at my local grocery store. ‘Cause it’s one I’ve heard often enough…

It costs SO much to eat right.

Does it? Really?

From my impromptu info-gathering session at the grocery store the other evening, I’d say it’s VERY expensive to eat poor, nutritionally deficient foods. I watched, for instance, as a heavyset woman and her two heavyset children directly in front of me emptied their cart onto the conveyor…

  • Umpteen 2 litre bottles of pop
  • Two cases of pop in cans (none of it diet)
  • Numerous loves of enriched white bread
  • Hot dog buns and accompanying wieners
  • Hamburger buns and store-brand premade hamburger patties
  • 3 or 4 bags of potato chips
  • Several boxes of highly sugared children’s cereal
  • Various school-box lunch treat type foods — wagon wheels, Twinkies, jelly rolls — that kind of stuff
  • Pizza pockets
  • Pillsbury cookies (you know the ones you just chuck in the oven)

…. and that’s just what I remember. They continued to pile highly processed, crappy and expensive foods onto the conveyor for what seemed an eternity. The only thing our intrepid matriarch pulled out of that cart that fell into the “fruits and vegetables” category was a small bunch of bananas.

Nice work, Mom.

Anyhow, when the clerk asked for well over $120, I got thinking… “wait a minute, what exactly has she just forked her money over for?”

Mostly sugar, flour, and saturated fat. Oh, and don’t forget the flashy packaging and slick marketing campaigns. Because that’s all built into the price.   

But not food. Not really.

Gram for gram, ounce for ounce, real food is cheaper, and you get more of it. For instance, for less than a quarter of what she spent I bought…

  • 3 lbs of bone in chicken breast (sale, 2.99 lb – $9.00)
  • 2 packages of whole wheat tortillas ($2.17 each)
  • Approx 1 pound of bananas ($.75)
  • 2 bunches of green onions (shallots) ($.99)
  • .75 pound of asparagus ($1.07)
  • 1.25 pounds of tomatoes ($1.85)
  • 4 red delicious apples ($1.50)
  • 4 D’anjou pears ($1.50)
  • 1 can re-fried beans ($1.79)
  • 1 pound of radishes ($.99)
  • .75 pound blueberries ($3.49)
  • 1 English cucumber ($.99)
  • 4 red peppers ($2.44)
  • 3 green peppers ($1.32)
  • 2 lbs mini-potatoes ($2.99)

Fact is, despite rising fuel costs and the increasing cost of goods, real food is still pretty darn cheap — especially when you compare it to the processed stuff.

Yes, lean meats can be pricey — but compare the cost per pound to what you’re paying for a pound of pizza pockets, for example, and you’ll realize you’re still better off to go with the lean chicken, turkey or beef.

So it’s final then.  

There’s no excuse for anyone not to eat healthier foods.

Author: Paul

Paul Crane is the founder of UltimateFatBurner.com. His passions include supplements, working out, motorcycles, guitars... and of course, his German Shepherd dogs.


  1. I’ve never been an extremist about nutrition, in fact only in the past two years have I turned to eating real food for at least 90% of my nutritional intake.

    In order to do this though I have to do my own shopping apart from the shopping my wife does for the family in order to get enough to carry me through the week.

    I have to do shopping for my mom now, so I get mine done at the same time. Then I have to prepare it all myself on Sunday night, cooking the meat and washing veggies, packaging etc. so it’s all ready for my meals the rest of the week.

    I notice that eating clean doesn’t leave me feeling as empty and hungry as the manufactured used to and I’m far healthier too.

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  2. I see this all the time at the grocery store: carts loaded up with junk and convenience food products.

    On a per-unit basis, they do seem cheaper, but as the SPAM example shows, it’s a false economy…you get far less nutrition for your money.

    Ultimately, it’s about the convenience: it leaps out when you compare her grocery list with yours. Everything you listed in her cart is something that’s either ready-to-eat or requires minimal preparation.

    This is a big mistake, IMHO. Cooking and preparing food is an intentional act – you have to think and plan. It puts you in touch with what you’re putting into your mouth and you’re in control. In the end, this can only help when it comes to weight loss and getting into shape. Convenience foods, on the other hand, encourage mindless eating. If it tastes good and is filling, that’s all that matters.

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  3. You totally miss the point why people don’t eat healthy: It is too hard to do. Yep. In comparison to getting ground lean turkey, making a patty with your hands (heaven forbid that you actually use them), and then grilling/broiling the turkey, it is much easier to get a hot dog, warm it up, and stick it in a bun. Of course, I am being sarcastic here. I see almost this same thing when I go to the store. I try very hard to eat clean and make good choices. Many people do not. Perhaps I am one of those extremists type and people generally don’t want to be “extremists” because what will the neighbors think. I am not sure why people have this fixation to get junk. I think back to about 5 years ago before I really changed my tune (thanks in part to body for life) and I recall my mentality being wanting something easy to make. I know I didn’t understand nutrition beyond knowing when I am full and when it tasted good. I now think that people have a death wish of sorts because they either choose to be ignorant, or more likely, want to be rebellious and not told what to do. Who wants to be told what to do? Another factor is the lack of good schooling in America when you are young and couple that with the parents who just do not care enough. The other factor is the oversaturation of who to believe when “nutrition” is reported by the mass media. People get fed up when they hear things like milk being good for you one day and then one week later, it is almost child abuse. People seem to have very short memories about such things.

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  4. What gets me too, is when I hear things like “I can’t cook” or “it takes too long to prepare”.

    I’ve cooked from scratch all my life. My mom does. My grandmother did. My aunts do and great aunts did. None of them (or I) spend the entire day in the kitchen preparing 3 full meals (or in my case 5-6).

    I usually spend 1-15 minutes in the kitchen if there is a dish that needs surveying, mostly the actual preparation will take me 5-10 minutes and the oven or steam cookier does the rest.

    Once I gave a friend a hot cocoa recipe. It has to SIT for an hour in order for all the aromas from the spices to infuse into it. The actual prep time is max 10 minutes! All she could see was the hour, and she didn’t have time to make it. Hellooo! That hour, you can spend working out or reading something motivating!

    But back to the price (oops, I got sidetracked) and purchase choices. I find it bad enough to see overweight families with all crappy, sugary, fatty things in their carts. However, it’s infuriating to see those who are just as overweight, unloading all sorts of “light”, “no sugar added – or sugar free”, “fat free” (Jello-O! When did that ever have fat anyway, lol) or “trans fat free” but admttedly containing hydrogenated oils (and the difference is … ??), believeing they are eating healthy! And of course, paying even more than the total-crap-“food” family whic is already paying more than us with our chicken breast, lean beef, water-packed tuna, plain oats, whole wheat pasta and pita, and loads of fresh fruit and veggies, and a big dispenser bottle of water.

    How do we get through to the masses?

    When will it be illegal to lie in commercials?

    There is no need to look for a “cure” or excuse for obesity (gene, virus, whatever else they invent).

    The answer is in the supermarket carts filled by publicity hype!

    (oh, and people COULD also think for themselves rather than acting like herded sheep!)

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