Overheard in a supermarket: Can't afford to diet, it's too expensive.

As I popped in the local supermarket yesterday I overheard two ladies complaining how they couldn't diet as they couldn't afford it.

Having been on a journey the last 6 months I've found that eating less and healthy has cut our grocery bill dramatically!

We are spending way less on convenience food, snacks, take away etc.

I've gone fully into real meal planning an prepping.

I only order from Tesco what I need for the meals and some snacks for our teenage boys.

I wouldn't know how much WW cost as I didn't see the use of going to places like that.

Anyway, I think living healthy is cheaper.

Anyone else with opinions? 👋

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42 Replies

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  • Excuse the typos as I'm on my phone and clumsy 😎

  • phones are so hard, keys to small, fingers too big lol :)

  • Hi Anna_8888,

    I am not sure that I find it cheaper, but I certainly don't find it more expensive. I think I buy better quality than I used to. I have heard people say how expensive fruit and veg are and I can never really understand that, I don't think it is that expensive in most supermarkets and a little can go a long way. I think a lot of people are wasteful, the veg and fruit starts to go over and they don't make the best use of it. My bill for fruit and veg has always been high, despite being overweight, I do consider that I have always feed us healthy meals, always having cooked from scratch and buying fresh meat and veg.

    Of course, those people that think 'diet' instead of life change are probably still thinking that they need to buy 'diet' products, that probably do cost more and don't go as far. There are a lot of people that still don't understand that that is not necessary.

  • Interesting Lucigret.

    We always used to buy the expensive prepacked and precut items. Or the more expensive pieces of meat.

    I've learned to use the cheaper cuts and prepare them accordingly with slow cooking, use of spices etc.

    I'm seldom buying precut veggies now as they won't last as long.

    For me the meal planning has made a difference as I don't just buy whatever anymore.

  • I rarely ever buy pre prepared veg as I also don't thing they last as long. I guess, when I think about it, I still buy mostly the same in the way of meat, but buy lamb more often, Children have left home now, they don't really enjoy lamb and I do buy fish a lot more than I ever did, which can be expensive. I have to admit I don't very often buy cheaper cuts, although you are right, done in the slower cooker there is no reason not to. I buy lots more vegetables than I did and I tend to buy ready made packets of Quinoa and the like.

    Maybe I need to look more closely at what I am buying. I tend to shop and then batch cook and freeze so I do have some months when it is cheaper as I live off the freezer for a while, so maybe overall it is a bit cheaper.

    Now you have made me think, which is good. I shall keep an eye on what I am spending over the next couple of months 👁

  • I just bought whatever looked good and lots of chocolate, biscuits, wine, cheese and the like.

    When dinner time came round I looked in fridge, larder and made a meal...

    Also we have gone down in snacks in alcohol consumption... That helped.

  • yep, crisps, chocolate,Pizza, pasta, potato, biscuits, bread, peanuts, cakes, homemade not bought, have all left my house along with fizzy drinks. I am not much of a drinker so alcohol has never been much of an issue for me thankfully. We do still buy the occasional bag of doritos and I do eat bread and pasta and potato sometimes but not to the same extent.

  • Yes, I agree totally Anna_8888 itbwas especially noticeable at Christmas, we ate well and even had a party but still our festive food spending was lower than last year 😊

  • Same here!

  • Ditching the take aways certainly lessens the overall cost in my view.

    Though it’s a shame there are not truly healthy take aways as it’s a nice treat.... :) xx

  • I used to go to SW and WW at one time and is about £4-5 per week....so yes is expensive and as you say eating healthy needn't be. For me it's just getting motivated and in the right mind set....hence coming on here for support.

  • I've found it cheaper too, Anna_8888 . For me, it's because of the planning, so I don't find I'm making extra trips to the shop and buying unnecessary stuff. Also, less waste (unfortunately no less waist yet ;) )

  • That will follow suit, trust me 😉

  • But 7lbs gone marymanc!

  • I think eating less does mean I would have saved some money, if the cost of many things hadn't gone up! :P I've always had to stick to a budget for groceries though so healthy eating hasn't really saved me much, but it doesn't cost me more either. And with vegetables, you don't always have to buy fresh. Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh, often cheaper, and keep almost indefinitely in the freezer.

    I think these ladies probably do think they have to buy pre-packaged diet foods (as lucigret says) , which are bound to be more expensive. I don't think I could afford to "diet" that way either. Good thing I'm not dieting! :)

  • Good thinking Vicky!

    Yes indeed frozen food is often just as good and easy.

  • Frozen protein saves a lot of money as well Tend to have small amounts of eat now protein in the fridge but do like like my fresh veg / salad Frozen fish for steamer, frozen diced chicken for casseroles, Chow Mein, curries. Fresh skinless chicken breast for mini roast Emergency fish fingers Does seem to involve more cooking but I enjoy it when I have the energy.

    Its not more expensive if you are able to buy in bulk, take advantage of offers and have a freezer.

  • Yes I also stick to a budget VickyDLM, it has been the same budget for the past 6 or 7 years, so taking that into account maybe I am spending less. I do have some frozen veg in but there are certain things like carrots, asparagus and leeks that I just prefer to buy fresh and I buy things like celeriac, buttternut squash and sweet potato as well. I also buy quite a lot of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and grapes, which can be a bit expensive.

  • I agree with you on carrots, it's the one frozen vegetable that I think tastes funny after being frozen/canned. I haven't seen frozen asparagus or leeks, but I do tend to buy fresh with the root vegetables. But they do keep really well (as long as not pre-cut up!). With berries I buy frozen unless they're in season and I'm using them that day. They go bad too quickly otherwise.

  • Apparently frozen asparagus is very good, have to say I’ve never seen it though.

    I buy fresh berries advice I don’t like them squishy and I use every day for breakfast . Hubby takes blueberries to work every day.

  • I suppose the ideal would be to have a year round supply of fresh berries like with herbs. Not terribly likely though. :)

  • How interesting .There are so many variables when shopping for food it is hard to assess their viewpoint without enquiring. If you can cook and understand calories then it need not be expensive at all. If you are on your own and want a 'Jane plan' 😱 Style diet then the frozen ready-meal market can help no end . Eating mostly veggie with a family and adding in meat according to desired calorie intake could help -but cooking separately is hard and expensive.

    Actually, thinking about it -it is the effort required that is the problem for me. The effort of planning,cooking and trying to think up new meal ideas .

    For me it works like this :

    Effort+time+ideas=healthy eating+weightloss+savings .

  • I guess I have started putting in the effort and yes it has paid off! I'm not a great cook or so but I bought a few diet cookbooks and followed their instructions.

    Cooking from scratch has become easier nowadays. Slowly but surely though 😉

  • Oh and I don't cook separately. Making healthy family meals, adding carbs for the rest of the family if needed.

  • You seem to have got it cracked-well done you .For all my pontificating -I'm just lazy Anna. If I can't be bothered to cook, often I just head for one meal a day plus a sachet of instant porridge and fruit .Not healthy at all.

  • Doesn't sound too unhealthy. Porridge and fruit are much better than descending to the realms of frequent take outs . :)

  • What ever you are doing Is working for you Cymrawes wgat a great badge you are wearing😃

  • Hmmmm -shhh-trying to get back there after Christmas . Still a couple of lbs to go............ hiding from Admin! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • Haha Admin will find you somewhere, I’m sure that couple of pounds will come off quickly 😃

  • Yep -they have ! Haha ! Caught!

  • Hello there Cymrawes ...

  • We heard that Cymrawes! - but the badge does suit you, you have done amazingly well and I am sure you will ditch the extra couple of lbs!

  • Hi anna888

    I don’t find it more expensive and I buy better quality than I used to.?

  • I think that healthy food can be expensive. Six doughnuts for 60p while 6 apples are £2.

    5lb of potatoes are more expensive than 5lb of frozen chips.

  • But don't you need less of the healthy food to fill full and therefore the healthy food lasts longer?

  • I do agree with you and I always buy the apples and never the doughnuts. But I do feel sorry for mums with no money and children pestering for a sweet treat.

  • True that!

  • A bag of 6 apples is £1-£1.50

    A bag of crisps is on average about £1

    Or you can get a big bag of 6 for £1-£2

    It isn't cheaper to eat crap, you can't eat healthy with the same amount of money

    My grocery bill has was been high because I prefer to get certain things organic but they don't have to be. Eating less also cuts the cost. One some people find as one meal, make lunch and dinner for me.

    Frozen vegetables are cheap and healthy

  • That sounds very positive!

    Keep going I'd say.

  • I feel better making every meal from scratch, rather than buying pre-prepared/frozen food. Luckily my family are the same, they rather enjoy the anticipation of a healthy, home-cooked meal. Yes, it takes me an hour and a half to cook dinner if we're having our staple Indian meal, but I plan ahead and refrigerate the leftovers for a healthy lunch/dinner. We do have roast or grilled chicken with either chipped potatoes or roast potatoes on weekends, and my guilty pleasure is a couple of Bourbon biscuits on Saturday nights!

    My Waterloo is portion sizes and I'm eating in smaller plates and having fruits and salad vegetables as snacks....

    I've got a long way to go for my ideal BMI (it's currently 26) and I am hoping to achieve it in a couple of months.... during a recent trip to see my Dad back home in mid-November, I feel emotionally stable and happy so far...

    In the last 1.5 months I've been pleasantly surprised to have lost seven Kilograms but the challenge is keeping it going now! I haven't missed giving up crisps and chocolate early last year, and but I'll have a few if I miss it too much 😜

  • Sounds very good indeed! Good luck on your journey 😉

  • I used to eat a lot of ready meals and junk food, now that I'm eating healthier, I haven't really noticed a change in my food budget despite a big change in what I buy. If anything, there are weeks when I struggle to spend enough for the free online delivery.

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