Unexpected benefits

Monday, January 9, 2012 Permalink
Christine Vancouver Pajama Set in O Magazine

Not THIS ‘O’

A blogger I follow raised an interesting point in a post before Christmas – something we don’t often talk about. And she wondered why. After pondering on it for oh, at least a few seconds, I realised that I never talk about it or write about it either. And I talk and write about almost ANYTHING. I have no secrets as regular readers will know.

Michele who blogs at ‘Within Reach’ raised the issue of Os dirty little secret. The O, she was quick to add, was not Oprah (for those hoping for some salacious gossip), but stood for Overeaters and Overspenders.

And in her blog post she wondered why we never seem to talk about the ‘economics’ of over-eating. And I agree. Even scarier, I suspect would be the economics of binge-eaters.

bloated2

Side effects from over-eating / binge-eating can be more than caloric

Michele commented that we always talk about the caloric expense of over-eating (and kilograms gained) but we rarely talk about the monetary cost of the food itself.

Now I know that occasionally people will suggest that junk food is – in fact – cheaper than good quality and nutritious food… and undoubtedly this is sometimes true.

However, if you are buying significant amounts of food which disappears much faster than planned, you are constantly restocking a never-ending supply of goodies. In my case it was mostly about junk food; but for many others it can be takeaway, or just excessively big meals diminishing their larders more quickly than expected.

I (for one) cannot tell you how much money I save when I am ‘dieting’. And I most certainly do not skimp on quality. I only eat fillet steak, chicken breasts, washed potatoes… well, you get my drift. I don’t live on inexpensive fruit and vegetables. I eat well. And yet, I save money. I save on the $10-20 bottles of wine I normally wantonly buy without a second thought. I save on the blocks of chocolate (several usually consumed in one sitting at $3-4/each) and on the corn chips. I save on the MASSES of potato or frozen hot chips I previously bought, when I ate a 1kg bag of chips each night with dinner. I save on the takeaway I once bought – thinking I was being sensible buying two Chinese meals each time I got takeaway so I had leftovers for lunches, but would almost always consume both meals in one sitting!

Supplies I bought one day before going out for more.

When I did the 12 week body transformation challenge in the middle of last year I rarely went grocery shopping. I’d go and stock up on steak, chicken and fish every so often and then just buy my eggs, bread, veges etc as I passed by the local corner store. It meant I wasn’t tempted by goodies on offer and – very importantly – it meant I saved money.

The ‘(old) old me’ had to do mini grocery-shops half a dozen times a week because I constantly ate the same junk food and consumed anything I had on hand. And, I’ve talked before about the panic I used to feel about not having ‘enough’; so rather than one 250 block of chocolate, I’d buy four. And instead of one bag of corn chips, I’d buy at least two. Spending $20/day on junk food alone wasn’t unusual, let alone adding a bottle of wine to that expense.

I’m hoping to buy myself a new car soon; and I’ll spend more than I should even though I’m looking at changing my work arrangements and still uncertain whether to buy a second property. Etcetera. And, if I lose enough weight I’m thinking I might do something about my much-deferred Italian holiday.

But… although I obviously don’t save THAT much money by eating healthier, I certainly save some. And, for me, that’s an unexpected benefit of a healthier way of life.

16 Comments
  • Marion
    January 9, 2012

    Hi Deb! My oldest daughter told me that if we wanted to easily save grocery money, that it would be cheaper to eat half to 3/4 portion of what we want, than it would be to use coupons. Actually, I thought about this, and it is true. Further, as you point out, healthy foods including potatoes, beans, eggs, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, fruits and veggies are cheap where I live. I hate coupon shopping a lot, anyhow. However, I am extremely fortunate to have the Hispanic fruit and veggie store close by that is about 5 times as cheap as the other close grocery store. It would be fun to calculate our savings and then buy things like great shoes with our savings. 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • rockafellaskank
      January 9, 2012

      Very true. I think I didn’t even realise I was saving money at the time… I just started having money left in my account at the end of each pay period and later realised it was adding up. (An accidental savings plan!)

      Deb

  • Kek (@kerrynwoods)
    January 9, 2012

    Some years ago, when I began eating well, I actually put aside the money I wasn’t spending on muffins, chocolate bars and numerous weekly bottles of wine. It added up over a few weeks and I was able to splurge on much-needed smaller clothes.

    There definitely are financial benefits to a healthy lifestyle. 🙂

    • rockafellaskank
      January 9, 2012

      I should ‘try’ to add up what I would otherwise be spending… perhaps it would help give me extra incentive.

      Thanks for dropping by Kerryn.

      Deb

  • Michele @ Within Reach
    January 9, 2012

    It was the very next day after I did a major cost-analysis of what I was spending each month at Panera and Starbucks that I went out and purchased a new car. It was almost enough for a car payment. Scary stuff!!

    And thanks so much for the mention here! I appreciate it.

    • rockafellaskank
      January 9, 2012

      No worries Michele. I just said to someone else, I should ‘try’ to work out the cost, but I’m not sure I want to know…. Argh!

      Deb

  • Sandra
    January 9, 2012

    Brilliant point, and you’re right – we don’t often talk about this “benefit”

    • rockafellaskank
      January 9, 2012

      I think it’s a bit like a dirty little secret. It’s one thing for me to say I eat: x, y and z. But another for me to say I binged on $30 of food yesterday afternoon. *Gulp* (PS. I didn’t by the way! Had nice low calorie day yesterday!)

  • Miz
    January 9, 2012

    xoxoxoxo
    and longing to join you on that italian holiday.

    • rockafellaskank
      January 9, 2012

      A gal needs a dream….. 🙂

  • Satu
    January 9, 2012

    Interesting point, Deb! I think this is also true long-term. In the long run, you save on health care costs (medication, operations) and gain in the quality of life.

    It really bugs me that my retired parents – mostly my dad – “save” by buying cheap overprocessed junk instead of proper food. Is it free to get an angioplasty to get rid of that accumulated gunk that covers your arteries?

    I can get a little heated up here…:-)

    • rockafellaskank
      January 9, 2012

      I completely understand… and it’s very true that there are many other savings from being fitter and healthier. Health care costs can be a biggie!

      I was scouring my wardrobe for something to wear this morning (it’s very hot here in Oz at the moment) and was reminded of the fact that I also have to pay more for clothes because I’m bigger. Brands which make smaller and larger-sized items generally charge more for the larger item (and it isn’t usually commensurate with the extra material added!).

      Deb

  • Julia @ Boyfriends Make You Fat
    January 10, 2012

    I agree! This is an important post – so many people think eating healthy is expensive, which is NOT TRUE. And re: your comment above – the best shopping is shopping your wardrobe for clothes that didn’t fit but do now! Free and exciting.

    • rockafellaskank
      January 10, 2012

      Very much so Julia. Lots of hidden perks!

  • beanfruit
    January 10, 2012

    For me, eating healthier has proven to be more expensive at the grocery store. It costs me $6.00 for a package of chicken breasts for a main course, when before my main course would more typically be pasta (more like $2.00 for a box). However, part of the reason my grocery bill is so much higher is because we’re eating at home more than we used to. So when I factor in the money we used to spend on restaurant and fast food (i.e., we’d spend $25 on a main course for all of us, compared to the $6 chicken breasts), then I can definitely see the savings!

    • rockafellaskank
      January 11, 2012

      I often look at the price of the meat I’m putting into my shopping basket and grimace, but try to work out how much per serve and – particularly for lunches etc – compare it to what I’d pay if I was having to buy my lunch. I used to have takeaway more often when I wasn’t dieting – AND too much of it… (of course!) or just more of anything I was eating. Alas…

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