Eating Healthy is Making me Broke

We have spent WAY too much money this month on food.  We’ve always ate fairly healthy, at least I like to think, and we’ve always fed Lucas lots of fruit, which he loves, but this last month we have been buying more of those healthy foods in an effort to eat more, to ultimately reach our health and fitness goals.

Eating healthier + buying more of those healthy items = $$$$ 😦 😦 #!$&!!!!!

I don’t know how I feel about the whole theory that eating healthier cost more money. I think that can be really discouraging to people who are trying to make lifestyle changes and improve their eating habits, yet don’t have the money to do so. However, there is obviously a difference if you’re spending money on ramen noodles and soda or fresh produce and whole, full meals. Right? There is quite a large difference in the price of lunches if I’m feeding Lucas mac n’ cheese out of a box every day over something else, isn’t there? I don’t think there is any denying that. It’s just the truth.

I love Chobani greek yogurt. It taste good and it’s pretty good for you. But the price tag is not. At $1.67 each, or $3/5 if you get them on “sale,” that is a lot for a yogurt, which is probably just a little snack or part of a bigger snack, don’t you think? I mean, $1.67 might not sound too bad, but if you figure I want to eat one every day, there are seven days in a week, lets say I buy them 3/$5… that’s TEN DOLLARS a week just for YOGURT. Oh, help me.

My teacher salary budget cannot afford this. Right next to the Chobani yogurts where Yoplait, which were TEN for $5. What a big difference! But, these yogurts don’t taste as good, and they’re full of sugar. I liked them at one point, but now that I’ve tried something different, I can’t go back to them! I don’t like the taste of them at all.

My milk is also expensive, at $3.29 for half a gallon. And I LOVE milk.

What about all the produce? Apples, oranges, grapes, carrots, bananas, strawberries…..

Do you think it’s frustrating that we’re ( as in you, me, us, the community..) trying to live a healthy life and feed our kids healthy, fresh, organic foods, but it’s costing us so much money to do so? What are we suppose to do? I know food prices vary depending on which part of the state you live in, and I think I happen to live in a more expensive area. We could easily buy a lot more groceries if we wanted to. Easily. But it is just so expensive these days, you really have to decide what types of food are the most important to you!

With the prices of food and gas at over $4 a gallon, I think I’m going to hide in a hole and eat Goldfish crackers with my kids for a couple years.

What do you think? Have you found it harder, or more expensive to feed you and your family healthy things? Is it worth it to you, or would you rather buy other food items and put your money elsewhere?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

21 thoughts on “Eating Healthy is Making me Broke

  1. We have a family of 4 and I also have 8 dayare kids. My weekly budget to feed all 12 of use is only $65.
    It's totally duable! But takes a lot of time to search deals, find coupons to stack, and creativity to plan meals to make to match those deals.
    I am extremely organized in my shopping and meal planning and it helps a lot!
    I make most everything from scratch also. We don't eat boxed mac and chez b/c it's cheaper and healthier to make it from scratch. (Although I did recently purchase Annie's b/c it was on a great sale)
    We also limit our milk and meat consumption b/c those are the top two things that will eat up our grocerty bill!! We consume other things that give us calcium and protein.

  2. It can be frustrating but I've found healthy foods that I enjoy that won't break my bank. Eggs, peanut butter and bananas, English muffins, oatmeal. Those are some of my staple foods. When something goes on sale, I stock up. I get my englis muffins at Costco and buy produce and fresh veggies as I need them. Coupons, sales, etc. are a huge deal for me…hope that helps.

  3. I just had to get on WIC with my daughter because my husband is also a teacher and the pay hadn't been cutting it. It stinks but we get lots of produce from it, it's amazing how much better we eat now. I also find that if you just stop buying the cookies, candies, chips, etc you really have a lot more to spend oin the good stuff! Coupons can save you a lot but I've never really been too good (or had the desire) to spend the time on it. Good luck though!!

  4. I agree that it is hard. My boyfriend and I are trying to save as much as we can before the kiddo arrives this fall, but at the same time, I (obviously) want to eat as healthy as possible. We went to Wal-Mart the other day, and spent $40 on just fresh produce, which basically is only for snacking/sides. I can get a 12-pack of Top Ramen for $2! I wish healthy food could be more affordable, as I think it would encourage people to eat better. Jenna from ThatWife uses different CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) to get fresh produce from; check out I think a main point with them is you don't always get to pick what fruit/veggies you receive, so you have to be willing to try new things!

  5. We don’t but ANY cookies or candy or any sweets at all. The only thing we buy are crackers.. and we eat our cookies at friends house or something like that. I don’t even remember, honestly, the last time I bought something “bad” like cookies or a bag of chips or ice cream…

  6. Maybe try making your own yogurt? That way you could get it to the consistency you want and flavor with real fruit rather than the sugar Yoplait uses. Also could try making your own butter to save money.

  7. I agree that it is very very hard. I am trying to lose weight… be healthy and the greek yogurt hummmm I love it! That's funny because last time I went to get yogurt I was thinking the same thing, I can't go back to Light and Fit or the other ones I love the Greek now LOL
    It is very hard 😦

  8. You are so not alone in this. It is extremely disheartening to really desire eating a healthier, all organic diet, but the fact is, it DOES cost more money. What we try to do is prioritize. We spend the extra money for things like organic milk and free range eggs but for things like cereal (that can often cost $5-$6 per box for organic)we buy whatever is on sale. What's usually really helpful is store brand organic foods. Like Costco, Kroger, or Safeway all have organic options. They're not quite as expensive as the other brands which is awesome. And organic is organic. If it says it's USDA certified organic, that's good enough for me! As for produce, I think you also have to prioritize. Carrots should ALWAYS be organic…things like avocados and bananas aren't as important.

  9. it can be tough. and another hard part is that i don't take the time to look at all the sales. we typically shop at aldi and get fruits, veggies, eggs, a frozen pizza for emergency 😉 and a few other things. then we buy meat at the main grocery chain.

    it's crazy how healthy is more!! find dishes to make that use a lot of ingredients and go a long way (casseroles, pasta dishes, tacos, etc)

  10. It is really hard to eat healthy in such a convince food county. But you can do it!! It gets easier, I promise. I think the scary part it how much food these little ones eat. once my 3rd was on regular food I really had to adjust how I shop for food. Safeway had Chobani on sale for .69 last week and I thought I hit the jack pot. 🙂 It really is the little things

  11. I find cooking from scratch is one of the most efficient ways to make the meal budget stretch farther. Or, figure out what things you can buy in bulk instead of convenience size. For example, I'll buy the large, unflavored healthier yogurt options instead of the individual, flavored snack cups of it. It's far cheaper per volume and you can dress it up however you like with fresh fruit and it's STILL cheaper than the individual serving cups.

    Also, when I add something healthy to the family menu I try to remove something that is less healthy. Ditch pre-bagged, pre-seasoned, processed rice packets for whole grain bulk brown rice: healthier, more filling (so you can eat less of it), and cheaper per plate. Also, plan ahead what you are going to use to bulk out each meal to make it more filling.

  12. Oh, the other thing is that I don't buy all organic because… I can't afford it. However, I totally get that with some foods it really does make a huge difference! So I try to do the best I can and I compromise on “all natural” products after I've researched that particular brand (since “all natural” isn't actually FDA regulated, there are processed additives that can still show up in “all natural” products).

    Milk was one where I compromised because I was fortunate enough to find a local brand that wasn't certified organic, but was rBST free. If I wasn't able to find that, I know I'd be spending TWICE as much on milk.

  13. Coupons, flyer searching and planting a square foot garden.

    I've kept our food budget the same but ramped up the coupon usage so it frees up more money to spend on quality produce.

    I know gardening in the north is hard but green onions, carrots, cilantro and zucchini grow well.

  14. I try and buy from flyers on occasion, but usually I buy at the bulk store, so it's cheaper anyway. No one here 'allows' double coupons or stacking or ANY of that. We buy at farmers market from time to time–and in summer get peaches/apples in fall from a local grower to eat and put in freezer. Otherwise, we buy the cheapest stuff we can– and try and invest in produce to eat quickly shortly after shopping–and use canned stuff after that runs out. We can't 'do' organic. The money just isn't there, and it seems pointless to spend $4 on a half a gallon of milk when I can get 2 gallon and have it last 2 weeks for the family instead. We do try and cut down on the 'junk' that we buy– although this pregnancy has me eating SO much–every couple of hours– that some snacks do sneak in–that wouldn't if I wasn't pregnant. I think the point is that we all do the best that WE can.

  15. I use coupons (YES FOR HEALTHY FOOD TOO)
    I just printed a $.50 Newman's Own coupon which doubles to $1 at Kroger. So CHEAP products.

    Anyway, I found Organic Soy Milk at Costco for $11 for a 6pk. That's just over $1.80 a piece!! That's here in MI though, so maybe it's a bit more by you, but it was a FANTASTIC deal as Soy Milk here is close to $3 a 1/2 gallon.

    There are some deals, I know you go to costco I'm sure you could find cheaper things there.
    But check out coupons. There are some for good things. Printables will be your best bet. Check out and many more. They are really great for finding deals even on healthy food.

    This week CVS has Kellogg's Raisin Bran for $.96 after a coupon. Not the healthiest, but healthier than cocoa puffs or whatnot…
    There are some deals, just do some searching!!

    Sorry to preach!! I just like saving money and I know what one can do with just a few coupons.

  16. I try telling my husband this all the time!! He wonders why I spend so much on groceries. I think there are much worse things I could be spending money on though, no?

    I saw another comment about the hormone free milk–that's what we get instead of organic. I don't know how you feel about that, but that was the main reason I bought organic milk so when I found the other milk for half the price that also didn't have hormones, I jumped!

  17. I have been frustrated with this very thing! Eating healthy has been a priority for my family this year and it definitely shows in our budget! (But also in my waistline! I'm down 20lbs since January!)

    We decided to make it a priority in our budget as the health benefits of fueling your body with good foods is important. That being said, We make every dollar we spend on food count. I often buy produce at Costco and the rule is none of it gets thrown out. That way, we use up every bit of what we purchase and by buying produce in larger quantities, it's usually a better deal.

    I also LOVE the Chobani yogurt but here in Utah, they sell a 12 pack at Costco for $11.50 So they are about a dollar a piece, which is still a lot for yogurt, but not AS bad.

    It's hard, but worth it! I've definitely had to pick and choose what stays in the grocery budget and like you, snack foods (besides crackers) are out.

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