The Price of Healthy Living
The Price of Healthy Living
The Price of Healthy Living

The Price of Healthy Living


Regarding my food budget, my motto has become, ‘Pay now or pay later.’ I can pay for expensive medical bills or pay for healthier foods.

While several reports state that healthier foods cost twice as much as unhealthier foods, since I’ve been on this healthy food journey, I don’t see a huge difference in the price I’m spending on healthier foods compared to some of the unhealthy food choices that I purchased previously. The key is to make healthy food affordable with smart shopping.

There are several ways to shop economically, but my top three include buying items in bulk, shopping at local farmers’ markets, and growing what I can in my backyard.

Buy in bulk. Buying several items in bulk may have a higher price tag initially, but once you stock your pantry, you will save later. I like to stock up on items that don’t have an immediate expiration date, such as nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains such as quinoa and wild rice.

You can also buy frozen produce in bulk if the list of ingredients states fruit, vegetable, and water only. You don’t want to purchase items with hidden sugars and preservatives, as this defeats the purpose of eating healthily.

Shop at local farmers’ markets. I enjoy picking up items at the farmers’ market because the food is organic and a great way to support the local farmers. You can also have the opportunity to converse about the growth processes in place.

Fruits and vegetables are less expensive because they only sell what is in season and don’t worry about transportation costs. In contrast, larger supermarkets pay hefty prices to import produce in and out of season.

If you cannot travel to a local farmer’s market, you can ask if anyone around town sells produce or shop for it at the local grocery store. When shopping at the grocery store, it is crucial to remain on the “outskirts of the store and avoid the inner aisles that contain expensive packaged items that may derail your healthy eating plan.

Grow your food.

Growing my food was a laughable option two years ago. Now that I know I can do it without a green thumb, I embrace the idea wholeheartedly— especially since I’ve partnered with family members to share responsibilities.

Each of us will be responsible for growing at least one vegetable, and we will share what we reap collectively. Herbs are another item you can quickly grow to save money. You can grow herbs inside your kitchen window; there’s nothing like eating a meal cooked with fresh seasoning.

For more money- saving tips on healthy food purchasing, email

Ronni Walker is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communication. She is committed to helping people transition to and maintain healthy lifestyles through the P.RE.T.T.Y. Girl Fitness project. You may contact her by sending an email to