Eating Healthy without Breaking the Bank
By Amy Campbell MS, RD, CDE and Reviewed by Robert Ehrman, MD
Having diabetes can be expensive. Paying for test strips and medicine, shelling out co- payments for all of your healthcare appointments, buying exercise equipment or joining a gym – all of these things can quickly add up. On top of all this, high-quality food to help manage your diabetes and lower your risk of heart disease may seem unaﬀordable. Many people believe that eating healthy food is simply too expensive.
But is it really?
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health recently looked at the cost difference between the healthiest and unhealthiest diets. They concluded that healthy diets – those rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish – cost about $1.50 more per day, or $550 more per year, than unhealthy diets that included processed meats, refined grains and processed foods.
Don’t despair. It IS possible to eat healthy foods that don’t break the bank. Here are some suggestions that can help you stay within your budget.
Review your eating habits. Do you hit the nearest drive- thru or coffee shop on the way to work every morning? Do you eat out often for lunch or dinner? There’s usually a hefty price to pay for convenience. Think about where your food dollars go and how you can keep more of them in your wallet.
Be a saver, not a spender. You don’t have to stop eating out altogether, but it would save money to start eating breakfast at home or taking your lunch to work. Instead of running out for a pricey latte, think about bringing coffee to work. Or, you could try switching to tea, which is cheaper. Save the lattes for an occasional treat. If the hungry horrors strike mid-day, keep fruit, granola bars, cheese sticks or crackers at work instead of making a beeline for the vending machine.
Pinch pennies. Take the time to clip coupons (only for foods that you typically eat, and that are healthy) and peruse the Sunday supermarket ﬂyers. Find out what’s on sale. Compare prices.