By Jared Graybeal
Long before starting a meal prep company of my own, I had to prep for myself. I’ve been a “healthy eater” since 2011, but I was a poor kid since birth, which means that for 4 years I had to figure out how to eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Unfortunately, the common misconception is that eating healthy is expensive, or at least more expensive than the average American’s regular eating habits. This article will shine a light on how inaccurate that is, and at the same time, give you practical tips on how to eat healthy yourself without breaking your bank.
Studies show that 37% of American’s eat fast food on any given day, and the average American eats fast food 3 times a week for lunch. With the average meal costing $12.50, that’s $37.50 a week, $165 a month, or $1950 a year. (1)
Quick side note: In 2017, obesity-related illnesses costed the US $190.2 billion, being 21% of the entire medical billing, and $14 billion of that being children. (2) Although I’m not going to get into these details any further, it’s important to know the immeasurable impact that healthy eating can have on your medical health and those costs.
Just for kicks, I made a list of random, cool things you can get for $165:
- Group training membership
- Spa day
- New shoes (or a few pairs)
- New outfit
- Levitating moon lamp
- Air pods
- Phillips Sonicare toothbrush (Oprah’s favorite)
- Giant doll house mansion
- Samsung virtual reality device
- DNA Testing kit
- A bunch of healthy food instead
Given the fact that both low-income and high-income families fall under this same 37% of people, there’s no excuse for not eating healthy and making more conscious efforts when visiting the grocery store (instead of fast food).
Also keep in mind that this is only what people are spending on 1 meal a day. Considering the usual recommended dietary intake is 3 meals a day, that could be up to $495 a month for one person to eat. So here ya go:
Make a commitment to shopping for groceries instead of eating fast food
Plan a time, at least once a week, to go grocery shopping
Don’t go shopping hungry
Go shopping with a specific grocery list and don’t deviate (of healthy items)
Since the average person should consume 3 meals per day, that is 21 meals a week. Get enough protein items (preferably from an animal source. If you are plant-based or vegan, please research “complete proteins”), carbohydrates to pair them with, added healthy fats, fruits and veggies to accommodate those 21 meals.
When preparing from home, based on my experience, it costs an average of $4 per meal to make a healthy, non-boring meal. So, if you did that for 21 meals, it would cost you $84 per week.
That’s $336 a month. Compared to the $495 a month fast food, grab whatever is convenient diet, it looks like you’d save $159 a month and add a few years to your life at the same time!