Eat Cheaper But Not Cheap!
When I first set out to write this blog post I was going to focus on how to eat food as cheap as possible and still thrive in a fast paced, fast food world. However as I got to thinking, I realized I don’t like the word “Cheap” when it comes to what we fuel our bodies with.
We were born to eat and drink to thrive. And the quality of our food creates the quality of the human. So why are we always looking for a cheap fix to our health? Why are we willing to spend thousands of dollars on high end cars and/or entertainment but we want cheap when it comes to the fuel we are putting into our body?
Sure there are many tricks to saving money while still thriving but we still need to remove cheap from our vocabulary. You wouldn’t fuel a high end performance vehicle with unleaded fuel and neither should you fuel the amazing body God gave you with cheap fuel if it can even be called fuel.
Before I dive into ways to save money and places you can go for cheaper quality food. Lets look at a few perspectives on health to see if eating healthy really is expensive like we think it is.
I have met with hundreds of clients over the years that say they cannot afford supplements, high quality snacks, and organic foods because of cost. They say that their family is too big and the grocery bill would be far too expensive. Many of these families already have children who are addicted to sugary snacks, cereals, and drinks. Many of these brands are actually expensive for what they actually are.
Another issue with most families today is going out to eat. We have been lead to think that Mcdonalds and fast food is cheap but is it really? Let's break down a basic sandwich at Mcdonalds. If you were to order a cheeseburger it would cost you about $1.29 and the quarter pounder would be $4.69 just for the sandwich. Let's keep in mind that Mcdonald's is very poor quality using cheap ingredients and heavily processed. Poor food quality leads to premature aging, low energy, increased blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin spikes leading to early death and increased healthcare cost over time. To treat these diseases it can get very expensive later in life. So many of us are so unhealthy that our healthcare cost are through the roof. Can you imagine what we could pay for health care if everyone was eating for health and not pleasure?
Ok now that I got off my soap box let's take a look at a sandwich you could prepare from home with what most people consider outrageously expensive ingredients. To make my healthy sandwich we will take you to Wholefoods which most people call Whole Paycheck. Our first item on our grocery list is a loaf of Ezekiel Bread. The average cost for Ezekiel bread is $4.50 a loaf but let's pretend it's $6.00 just to make a point. After we get the bread let's head over to the eggs and get some real expensive pasture raised eggs for lets say another $6.00 for a dozen. Once we have our eggs and bread our last stop is the cheese section. I am going to purchase a little block of Grass Fed Cheddar for lets say another $6.00.
Before I am tempted to get anything unnecessary I am going to go ahead and check out. I have already spent so much on just three items. For just eggs, bread, and cheese I spent nearly $20.00!
Let's see how the price per sandwich compares to our Mcdonald's counterpart. So we bought three items at $6.00 a piece for a total of $18.00. Our loaf of bread has enough pieces for six sandwiches. If we use 2 eggs for each sandwich we can get six servings out of the pasture raised eggs we purchased. Lastly let's cut up the cheese into 12 pieces and place two slices on each sandwich.
If we get six sandwiches out of the loaf of bread then we paid $1.00 for the bread per sandwich. In addition to the bread, our cost for two eggs is $1.00. Lastly the cheese cost $1.00 for two pieces. Our total cost for the sandwich is $3.00. This price is right in between the cost of the hamburger and the quarter pounder from Mcdonald's.
Not only is our sandwich close in price to a Mcdonald's sandwich but our sandwich is much more nutrient rich and will provide longer lasting energy and greatly reduce some of the risk factors created by eating processed foods.
We could make this sandwich a little cheaper by only using 1 egg and 1 slice of cheese. If we did that our sandwich would cost $2.00. Now keep in mind that is based on each item costing $6.00. What if we could get each item for $4.00? Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel?
Some of you may be thinking well I don’t eat bread. That makes it even cheaper. A bunch of kale is only $2.00-$3.00 dollars for a bunch. You could saute the kale in some lite soy sauce and have your two eggs with it. This would drop the cost to under $2.00 per plate!
You parents out there are thinking ya right. I am busy and my kids hate vegetables. Unfortunately food industry has done a great job at marketing to your children and chemical companies have done a wonderful job at adding the right food additives to make your child addicted to there foods. Food industry also knows that what we eat daily contributes to molding our palet. In order to have your children eat and enjoy real food we must step out of the food predicament we are in and begin practicing healthy habits.
Sure it will be a challenge at first but within a few months it will be much more manageable. Only you can take control of your family's health. Our country is suffering from more health challenges than ever before. Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer are on the rise and most of this could be prevented by eating a fresh, whole food diet.
Trust me your families health is worth it!
Most of my meals average between 1.50-4.50 per plate. This is for high quality meats and organic veggies. Let me ask you when is the last time you went out to dinner and the menu had options for this price point? The answer is never.
If you want to thrive in a our world today you must first come to the realization that being healthy in a unhealthy culture is not easy. Sure it's tiring going to the grocery store after a long day and on the weekends pre cooking meals for the week. I promise you as you continue to make healthy choices it gets easier and easier. With time you will find out how to be efficient in the kitchen. For instance you may cook two or three pounds of chicken breast and freeze some for later in the week instead of just getting out what you need for one meal. When you're chopping veggies cut up more than what you are going to use for that meal and place in resealable bags for later use.
The possibilities are endless once you make the tough decision to thrive for life.