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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The "Cost" of Healthy Eating

We've all heard it said: "Eating healthy is so EXPENSIVE."

Disclosure: I rarely look at prices of things I buy at the grocery store. Perhaps, for comparison's sake, between brands of, say, popcorn, pasta ... that kind of thing. But I'm blessed not to have to choose between a carrot and a Coke.

Also: there have undoubtedly been cost comparisons done between shopping organic and not, shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and not ... And more poignant would be studies done on the TRUE cost, in terms of our health, of eating garbage because it's cheaper. [insert one of 9,999 food-based documentaries here]

That said, I had fun shopping yesterday, and I made a list of all the good stuff I bought ... I thought I'd share it with you.

1. I did not "shop around," look for sale prices, use coupons, or choose the cheapest store in town. In fact, I chose arguably the most pricey location for groceries.

2. I don't know "how long this will last us" before we shop again. That will depend on the vacuum factor (ie: how much of the fruit the kiddos realize we have before I get a chance to eat some of it - my son eats a quart of strawberries in one sitting) and the longevity and/or freezability of the produce (assuming some of it is not gotten to right away and therefore needs to be "put on hold." I'm GUESSING it will be at least three weeks till we hit the store again.

3. We have milk delivered.

4. Some items I would not normally purchase. As I said, I had a fun day in the produce aisle! and some items are specifically for the program I mentioned in Wednesday's post).

5. some items are organic, others are not; I try to stick to organic for the "dirty dozen."

Now, on to the list:

3 lb Macintosh apples 4.49
2 lb bag lemons 3.99
bag of limes 2.99
radicchio                                    .83
1 mango 1.00
5 kiwi 2.95
3 pears 2.23
bundle asparagus 2.87
bananas 1.37
3-pack seedless cucumber 3.99
3 lb bag yellow onions 2.49
avocado 1.79
head of cauliflower 3.99
celery 2.39
broccoli         2.00
leeks (soup?) 2.54
kohlrabi (saute?) 4.46
green pepper 1.09
red pepper 2.51
blueberries 3.99
blackberries (2) 6.98
raspberries (2) 9.98
baby tomatoes 3.99
strawberries 1.99
4 oz mushrooms 1.69
Produce Total 78.59

"Other" (I'm putting things I consider condiments in parenthesis ... something you'd put ON something else and wouldn't be filling stomach space)

rice crisp streusel snacks 3.39
bag of brown rice 4.49
wheat pocket pitas 1.99
tortillas         2.79
whole wheat penne 2.19
no-boil lasagna noodles 2.39
minute rice, brown 2.19
rice cakes         1.39
cheerios (buy 2 get 1 free) - (3)  7.78
vegetable stock cups          (3.99)
spray sesame oil (5.99)
can of hearts of palm 5.39
natural peanut butter 3.39
almond butter 10.99
white vinegar (2.99)
mayonnaise (3.99)
whole wheat couscous 10.79
cranberry juice 3.00
bag of pre-cut salmon steaks 11.98
tofu           1.99
Colby jack cheese sticks   3.34
block of feta cheese   7.99
"Other" total 104.42

Note: I consider quite a few items in this second list exotic: SPRAY sesame oil, hearts of palm, almond butter ($11!!!), salmon, even. And the streusel snacks, a total impulse buy. And a few of the items I could have purchased in cheaper sizes (a block of cheese, instead of the convenient, pre-packaged cheese sticks. a carton of veggie stock instead of smaller servings.) Still, my total for everything listed was $183.01. How long could/would a 2 lb bag of rice and a 3 lb bag of apples last you? If that's ALL I had to eat, how long could I make 8.98 last?


  1. sounds like a fun shopping trip! for the record, I love kohlrabi -- it gives an excellent crunch & 'bite' (raw) to salads and I love to add it (chopped/diced) to my tuna salad along with pickles, cucumbers, and radishes! :-)

    1. Ugh ... you had me till radishes! :) I'm looking forward to playing with my food! :)