Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Four Meals v. One

Some say it's too expensive to eat healthy. Now, I'll admit it's easier to eat healthy if you have money at your disposal but with just a little effort, it really isn't that difficult and it certainly isn't that expensive.

Case in point: My last week. I spent less money on four, healthy, easy to make lunches than I did on the one lunch I had when I dined out. And, they were also healthier!

MONDAY- Total Cost: $6.17

I enjoyed a scrumptious meal of whole wheat noodles and tomato sauce with sardines in red basil sauce.- $4.59
1/4 cup of whole wheat noodles: $.62
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce (no salt added): $.50
1 3.75 ounce tin of sardines in basil sauce: $1.89

For dessert (or a side, however you want to define it) I enjoyed a cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with 1 banana sliced up in it and dusted with cinnamon.-$1.58
                                              1 cup of yogurt: $1.25
                                              1 banana: $.33

Filtered water was my beverage. (We have a Britta filter so no extra cost there!)

TUESDAY- Total Cost: $4.78
I also put a little hot sauce on it- I'm from the South- Whaddya expect?! :)
 I had breakfast for lunch (brunch) and could barely finish it all!

 My omelet was made up of three egg whites, 1/2 tomato, two small heads of broccoli, and a slice of red pepper (chopped, of course). I sprinkled garlic powder and black pepper on it.- $2.08
3 egg whites: $1.25
1/2 tomato: $.25
2 small heads of broccoli: $.33
1 slice of red pepper: $.25

In addition, I had one cup of steel oats with 1/2 cup of rice milk, topped with a squirt of agave syrup and more cinnamon.- $2.13
1 cup of steel oats: $1.46
1/2 cup of rice milk: $.34
1 banana: $.33

To drink, I had filtered water and made a 6 cup pot of coffee (I drink it all day... working on my addiction s-l-o-w-l-y) and used a bit of creamer and two packets of a sugar substitute.- $
Coffee grounds: $.38
Sugar substitute: $.13
Creamer: $.06

WEDNESDAY- Total Cost: $3.86

A quick and easy one for Wednesday!

Brown rice: $1.09
1/2 cup of mixed veggies, sauteed: $1.72
1/2 cup of tofu, cooked with the veggies: $.72
1 apple:$.33
Water: Free!

(Entree sprinkled with soy sauce and apples drizzled with honey and powdered with cinnamon):

THURSDAY- Total Cost: $4.31

Asian-influenced meal on the cheap? Mk.

1 serving-size of Thai Coconut Ginger Rice: $1.37
1 package of Japanese Red Miso Soup: $1.39
1/2 cup of tofu, cut up and cooked in the soup: $.72
1/3 mango to top my rice: $.83
Water: Free!

On Friday, I was out and about working and parked it at one of my very favorite neighborhood Cuban dining spots. I was famished and ordered a Cuban sandwich and side order of plaintains (with a water to drink). Now, don't get me wrong, it was indeed scrumptious but... $23.00 later (including tip), I couldn't help but think, "Wow, glad I didn't eat out every day this week!"

That really adds up by the end of the week (not to mention the month!) And, it just defeats the purpose of those miles I put in on the treadmill!
I mean, let's just put it out there: Cuban sandwiches aren't exactly healthy. At the end of the day, I was glad I had balanced out that meal with my four better choices earlier in the week.

So, what do you think? Could you substitute at least one or two of your pricier midday meals for the health and economic benefits of a homemade, cheaper version? I bet you can! 


  1. Saw my PT and she was appalled at my diet so this could be handy. Gotta attack both ends - food and fitness!

  2. Yes! Diet is incredibly important- Perhaps even more important than physical fitness- and can't be forgotten. I'll be sure to post some more healthy recipes for you soon so you'll be prepared as the trays of (unhealthy) holiday food start appearing and tempting all of us! ;)