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What’s That Saying Again?

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I seem to remember a saying about kids eating you out of house and home. I think it could be the saying that I am looking for. My son’s appetite has been growing, and growing and growing. I am having a hard time adjusting to it when it comes to meal preparation.

On a related note, I’m sure the extra cost will start to surface in our grocery spending. We’ve also started buying some name brand items due to the nutritional content. We also buy some organic items since sometimes they are less processed or they have less sugar or salt (two of the things we have to control in our household). I know we are eating a lot healthier. I couldn’t tell you the last time we had Hamburger Helper…which we used to have all the time when we could get it for $1/box. *shiver* That stuff is sodium central!

I have heard people say that eating healthier is cheaper and some say that it is more expensive. I am leaning towards the more expensive side. One of these days I would like to break it down – just to see. We do make more things from scratch, but for the things we can’t the “healthier” version is more expensive. Olive oil is a perfect example. We used to always cook with vegetable oil (which is cheaper) until we started reading about the benefits of olive oil. So we cook with that now.

Now that I think about it, we have made a lot of changes the past few years. Our financial health is improving and we are eating healthier. It has taken us a while, but we are finally getting our act together 🙂


12 Comments

  • Reply Susan |

    Way to go Trish. Cut out the white flour as much as you can. Your son can eat peanut butter sandwiches to fill up in between meals. In the long run you will be healthier.

  • Reply the weakonomist |

    Doing what you’re doing is one of those steps you feel you can afford to take as your financial life gets in order. Saving money is of course important, but no more important than managing the proper health of your vacuum cleaner children (considering I was definitely one of them to my mom).

  • Reply SabbyAnn |

    I’m with you; I think healthier foods tend to be more expensive, but there are many ways to save money while eating healthy. I rarely buy produce at the grocery store; I try to buy exclusively from a local produce market (it’s a little out of the way, but I save at least 50% over the grocery prices). For olive oil, see if you have any Italian markets/grocery stores nearby. There are a few around here, and they sell larger quantities of extra-virgin olive oil for very reasonable prices. If not, you could make it a point to buy some when you travel to more urban areas…

  • Reply Emmi |

    SabbyAnn has it right. Find a little Italian or Mediterranean, or Middle Eastern market. They sell huge cans of olive oil that on a per quart basis are far far cheaper than a grocery store. Also cheap olive oil soap too.

    In general to the question of healthier==expensive… is it varies. We buy unbleached stone ground flour in a 25 lb bag for $22. Comes from a local mill. I use 1 lb per huge loaf of bread. We use the NYTimes no knead recipe, so there is only a tiny bit of yeast, which I buy in bulk and freeze, and water and salt, so those massive loaves are less than a dollar (not counting energy costs, which in the winter are heat, so they again don’t count for part of the year).

    On the other hand, organic meats will break the bank, vs. the large scale industrial farmed stuff. Whoa.

    It helps a lot, I find, to not have a rigid menu. Go with what is in season and cheaper and that makes healthy eating easier on the wallet. Also buy from as close to the source (farmer’s market, orchard, etc) as possible to cut out the middleman.

  • Reply Jessica |

    Worth considering that investing in healthier food (and exercise, not smoking, etc.) will save you money long-term through better health and hopefully a happier, longer life.

    By staying healthy, you’ll earn more over time because you likely won’t miss time from work for sickness. And you’ll save money over time by not needing to spend more on your healthcare.

  • Reply Emmi |

    Sorry for the double post, but I forgot something. In case you don’t realize it, there are two main kinds of olive oil: extra virgin and ordinary. Extra virgin should only be used cold, like on salads, or bread, not for cooking, because no heat was used in the production. The other one, which is the same olives sent through with heat to get out more oil, is much cheaper. If you go to a real Mediterranean store, tell them you want the olive oil for cooking, they will direct you to the appropriate one.

  • Reply Jen |

    Have you considered using canola oil? It’s cheaper than olive oil, and if I remember correctly, it holds up under high heat better. It might not be as healthy as olive oil, but it’s healthier than regular cooking oil. I think safflower oil is another healthy but cheaper substitute, too.

  • Reply Margot |

    Olive oil is mainly healthier than other oils when it’s eaten FRESH and UNHEATED, like on salads. Once it’s heated, you ruin a lot of the things that make it healthier. In terms of the type of fat (monosaturated), vegetable oil is the same. So, you can do hot cooking (like stir frying) with vegetable oil and use olive oil for things like salads.

    Also, just based on reading your blog from start to finish, I’m guessing that as you do more self-education, you’ll learn that eating healthfully can actaully be much cheaper. I remember when many, many months after trying to eat healthfully you “discovered” how cheap a bag of raw potatoes were compared to boxed, masshed potatoes (which are a nutritional disaster and a waste of money). There are a million ingredients that we don’t need to get from boxes or cans and that we can save money on and be healthier by cooking them from scratch. Also, you may want to consider a crock pot – great for making soups, legumes, etc without a big time investment.

  • Reply Alicia |

    Is this month’s Cooking Light magazine they have a section on what produce is worth buying and what is not based on pesticide use. Intersting reading. To fill up your growing son add lots of fiber, we make turkey chili all the time with double red and black beans. Good luck!

  • Reply rosie |

    to save money and eat healthy, beans and lentils are awesome…you buy them dry at bulk barn for really cheap and soak them overnight to use the next day. We use chick peas, kidney beans, black eyed peas, etc in rice dishes, and this makes a full and cheap protein serving. Another thing we started doing that is really healthy is making crock pot soups. We make a yellow split pea soup using dried split peas, and use turnip and carrots, cheap, as filler in the soup. Whenever we make soups or sauces, we almost always add turnip and cabbage. Totally healthy, very very cheap, full of antioxidants, and tasteless when cooked in something else and chopped fine or pureed. Spaghetti sauce, soups, chili, etc. Just a suggestion. Its really helped cut down our grocery bill.

  • Reply Mar |

    Tricia, one of the ways that I help my 13 year old daughter to fill up is with an appetizer of cut up fruit or fresh veggies with a little dip. There’s something about an apple or orange already in slices that makes it easier to eat, it seems. When eaten about 10-20 minutes before a meal, you know they’ve gotten some healthy food in them witout it being a meal-ruining snack.

So, what do you think ?