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www.goodeatsfanpage.com • View topic - to eat healthy, eat cheap

to eat healthy, eat cheap

General Chat for fans of Good Eats. Nothing is considered off topic (OT) here (but keep it clean, folks).

to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby carla » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:31 pm

Duh. the people on this board don't live in food ghettos. You may complain, but you have access to a store.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... f02c47af66

"A new study finds that shoppers think a food is healthy only when it costs them more." I know, I agree. Ugh, A Study Says. but I see this all the time.

"The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research, is the latest evidence that your brain may work against you when it comes to choosing healthy foods. Researchers say our subconscious association of cost with health — what they call the "healthy = expensive intuition"— can prompt shoppers to not only spend more money but also to make uninformed health decisions without realizing it."

I'll also reiterate that vitamin supplements can feed cancer. A brutish statement, but do some research on antioxidant supplementation.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby tj » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:55 am

By necessity, I shop for lower prices. Tracking seasonal items helps to keep prices down in the produce department. It is very easy to overspend on out of season vegetables. Del Monte and Libby are good brands, but the quality is really not that different from the store brands that I buy on sale at half the price or less.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby Catherine » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:04 pm

Not necessarily. Otherwise the poorer someone is, the healthier they would be. Veggies are expensive and so is fruit. Whole grains are more expensive. Yes, beans are cheap. But you have to soak them... healthy, if you want to avoid sugar, fat, fillers... can be pricy.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby okbye » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:19 pm

When I started having to eat low sodium my grocery bill tripled. Cheap food just isn't healthy, and you never get coupons for anything healthy. Look at the coupons in the ads, all for large brand mass produced stuff like Campbells soup and Tyson frozen appetizers. Never for fruit, or fresh vegetables. Generic canned foods? Never come in low sodium. You have to buy the name brand no salt added and they are priced higher than the other varieties and rarely included in sales. There is a reason people perceive healthy food as more expensive - it is. Organic isn't necessarily more healthy but because they often don't have preservatives they can be lower in sodium so I buy some things organic. They simply do cost more. You can find bread with no sodium, but it's $8 a loaf. And it tastes like......not bread......
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby tj » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:29 am

Actually, I do buy store brand no salt added canned green beans, peas, corn, and tomatoes at my local Food Lion. Have gotten them on sale as low as 50 cents per can. They taste better to me than the salted version. Food Lion has recently been absorbed by a conglomerte so we shall see if this continues.

The study to which Carla refers shows that, given a choice, people tend to think that higher price indicates quality. I imagine that most of us here are wise to that merchandising trick amd may be apt to be more careful shoppers than average.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby tj » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:04 pm

It occurs to me that the syndrome of equating higher quality with higher price does snare me in one particular instance: the liquor store. I simply will not buy the cheapest end of the range. I have no problem with many mid-range items, but the very least expensive bottles have always proven themselves objectionable. Your experience? :?:
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby carla » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:22 pm

Mea culpa. And thanks for the defense and clarification, tj.

I think most of you know me well enough to know or have a good idea about my thoughts on food politics and the expense of good food.

I have bought bottom-to-low-shelf rum and vodka, it's okay for mixing. Bourbon? commercial but not cheap. I buy booze at Trader Joe's for value, or at stores if on sale. BevMo is certainly no deal.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby okbye » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:18 pm

tj wrote:Actually, I do buy store brand no salt added canned green beans, peas, corn, and tomatoes at my local Food Lion. Have gotten them on sale as low as 50 cents per can. They taste better to me than the salted version. Food Lion has recently been absorbed by a conglomerte so we shall see if this continues.


I can find tomatoes, which I use a lot. I have to wait until somone puts Libby's on sale to get vegetables though. I think they're horrid but I fix them up with garlic and herbs and fake salt.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby tj » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:10 am

That is rough, OKBYE. It is hard to believe someone does not have the right stuff at a decent price. Is there a warehouse store that sells frozen veggies at a reasonable price? Have you considered asking the grocery to order you salt-free items by the case? Amazon online? If ever I clear my freezer, I will be combing for buys at Costco. As for fresh stuff, I am trying to get better at seasonal shopping and thinking about joining a co-op.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby okbye » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:14 pm

Costco has nothing low sodium (except fresh vegetables). I'm living at my brother's house and they are really weird about stuff, there is no clutter allowed here. They would combust if I bought a case of anything. Clutter up my s-i-l's pantry? We get these produce boxes occasionally that are about 60 pounds for produce for $10 and we got one last week. I had a bag of tomatoes in the garage by the fridge for one day, planning on making soup as soon as I had time, and my brother had to come in and ask why there were tomatoes in his garage. I said I can't put them in the kitchen, your wife would freak out. He turns to his wife "would you freak out if these were on your counter?". Wife - "Well I wouldn't be happy". So that's how buying bulk goes. All my stuff is confined to my room and I have no space left.
Veggies aren't the biggest problem, it's real food. I recetly found some unsalted popcorn and it's actually good but $3.59/4 oz. Nearly all pork and chicken is "enhanced" with salt water to increase the weight and moisture. It's either beef (which they haven't started 'enhancing'. yet.) or specified no salt added meat which costs more.
Canned goods marked lower sodium are rarely at an acceptable level, especially soup. Campbell's does make a line of a few actually low sodium soups but they aren't in the grocery stores, I think they are directed to mainly an institutional market. Amazon has the chicken noodle available by the case. I did buy one once, I had it for like a year. It's horrible, you have to fix it up yourself with no salt spices. I assume that's why they don't sell it in stores, you can't just eat it out of the can unless your tastebuds have given up and left. It would be so nice to just be able to grab something to eat without having to create it. Who feels lik cooking every meal? So if I'm tired or hurting or lazy I have a fried egg sandwich or hope there are a couple burgers stashed in the fridge. Tuna. Speaking of tuna, I found some excellent very low sodium tuna which isn't that awful albacore, it's wild caught skipjack tuna with no salt added and it's awesome. $3.49/4 oz can is the cheapest I can find though, mail order. It's just not something poor people can sustain. Almost alll my discretionary income goes to groceries.
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David Mitchell: "Worry about death."
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby Butterbean » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:20 pm

okbye wrote:Almost alll my discretionary income goes to groceries.


I don't know the percentage of my income spent on food, but I'm sure it's above the average, and I'm not trying to be healthy. I am trying to be more sodium-conscious, though, and that is not easy.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby tj » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:30 pm

I make no-salt popcorn using AB's brown paper bag method in the microwave. I do not use the staple he likes beause staples near food gives me the willies. I just fold over the top of the bag tightly. This yields 2 MG of sodium per ounce of popcorn. Then I head for the spice shelf and use garlic powder or herbs for flavoring. Even buying Orville Rickety Rack's expensive bulk corn, it is a pretty cheap snack.

OKBYE, I do sympathize with your living at your fastidious relative's house, but you might be able to gain favor for the popcorn by letting them smell it. Yum. It always worked for me in the office.

Butterbean, you may have Food Lion stores in your area. The canned veggies I am referring to are simply what used to be called water-packed, meaning no brine or other seasoning in the packing liquid. Because I am not really on a restricted diet I can get away with broiling a pork chop with some salt and pepper and dribbling a bit of the juice over the veggies before serving. The roomie has his own salt shaker, which he does not use very much, and seems not to notice the difference. Now he is a great lover of carrots, but I would not even bother to look for canned ones. I just scrub them with a stiff brush so that I can forget the peeling and steam them in the microwave. There are no leftovers at all.

I think the "eat healthy/eat cheap" thing makes sense when you compare, say, the cost of a pound of raw carrots to the cost of the same canned or frozen. Same goes for using heads of lettuce, a cuke, some tomatoes and onions as opposed to calad mix in bags. Nothing is really cheap but the trick is to try to spend less for processing, packaging and merchandising and more of your dollar, proportionally, on the food itself.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby Butterbean » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:39 pm

Thanks, tj. We do have Food Lion in DE. It's the only grocery that sells Duke's mayonnaise.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby tj » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:17 pm

Think I will go back to Duke's. Have tried a jar of Hellman's and am disillusioned. Too little use to make my own. Used to make mayo in a restaurant kitchen. We started by putting a ten gallon bowl on the mixer. FUN!
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby godboko71 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:21 pm

Wow, so glad our Aldi has no salt added and low sodium veggies, while I don't do cans often I am glad I have somewhere inexpensive to get them. Our local grocer Reasors and Walmart Neighborhood Market have store brand no sodium but they are almost the same price as the national brands so I avoid pantry items from there.

We used to have two store chains that did no injection chicken and pork but now we just have one Sprouts, but they have regular sales and I have a deep freeze so it works out okay.

okbye sorry healthy foods are hard for you to access, that would suck.

Over all I don't look at price for health though yes healthier options for grains and fresh foods can be high, proper planning can help mitigate cost. That said for people who have limited access to full grocery stores I can see how the study could have come to its conclusion.
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Re: to eat healthy, eat cheap

Postby okbye » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:23 am

Tyson makes no salt added chicken but it's not easy to find and of course being a branded name it is rarely on sale. I don't really eat chicken anymore but I will occasionally put it in something.
We do have Sprouts but their meat is usually really expensive so I haven't looked at it much.
I don't mean to sound cold, cruel or vicious but I am so that's the way it comes out - Bill Hicks

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