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Diets rich in healthy options like veggies, fish, fruit and nuts are more expensive than diets full of processed foods, meats and refined grains.
In fact, a study found that following the MyPlate Dietary Guidelines would cost a family of four between $1,000-$1,200 a month (up to $14,400 annually) depending on the age of the family members and the percentage of fruits and vegetables that were fresh, frozen and canned. For comparison, an average middle-income family in the U. S. spends roughly $6,224 on groceries annually.
But keep in mind that the cost of eating healthier is small compared to what it costs to treat chronic disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, people diagnosed with diabetes incur average medical costs of $16,752 per year, of which about $9,601 is attributed to diabetes. If at all possible, spend a little bit more at the supermarket to spend a lot less at the doctor’s office and pharmacy.
One way to stretch your dollar is to consider store brands, many of which are just as tasty as their full-priced competitors. Another way is to make sure the fresh produce you buy doesn’t spoil before it’s eaten. On average, food waste costs individuals $390 per year. This equates to $1,562 per year for a family of four. These tips can get you started: