Why Does Eating Healthy Cost So Much?

This is a common concern that is often voiced in our groups as we have many members who wrestle with the cost of feeding themselves and their families, let alone the cost of supplements and vitamins.

I am old fashioned. I grew up in a lower working class Italian neighborhood just outside of NYC. My family shared a duplex with my great grandparents and great aunts family and a whole slew of relatives all lived within 2 blocks.

We ate tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, cherries, grapes and peaches that my grandfather grew in our backyard. There was very little protein, usually chicken stretched in a soup or stew with lots of beans and vegetables. There was macaroni with every meal, with sauce made from garden tomatoes and basil.

Very few people were obese back then. The introduction of processed foods and convenience foods did that to our society as a whole.

If you have a tight budget, cook fresh food. Make a pot of $2 bag of beans with a $4 smoked turkey leg for multiple meals and leftovers too, roast $2 a pound whole chicken legs to serve a family of 4, make a pot of chili with 4.99 ground chuck, boil a dozen eggs for deviled eggs and egg salad, poach eggs in spaghetti sauce, make omelets or a frittata. Slow simmer a pound pork butt you find on clearance to make pulled pork for days.

Don't forget your veggies. Fresh choices that don't spoil as fast, like cauliflower, rutabagas and cabbage can help you stay on budget.

Check to see if your town has a Farmer's Market, prices are often lower when farmer's sell directly to their customers.

If you have the space consider a small garden. Tomatoes, zucchini and even peppers grow well in most places, even in pots on a patio. And a pot of fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, cilantro and parsley will enhance any dish. You can buy them grown at the garden center and put them in a pretty pot to brighten up your back porch. You may not only save a few dollars but you may create a new hobby for yourself!

And don't forget that with veggies, fresh is not the only option. Look in the freezer section, frozen veggies are flash frozen at their peak and often are 10 bags for $10. Just skip the ones with sauces and specialty cut styles - and NO cauliflower or "Veggie" tots as they are processed with starch and fried before frozen.

See? Eating right can be done on a budget!

Bariatric Recipes Advice, Rants & Support Podcast: Real Talk