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A Smart Healthy Diet Can Save Petersburg Residents Major Cash


What if I told you that changing your eating habits could help you retire early or allow you to pay for the down payment on a house? You would probably say I was crazy. But it is true.

The cost of the average single meal from a restaurant is $13. The cost of an average meal prepared at home is $4. If you were to eat one meal a day at a restaurant as opposed to preparing every meal at home, over the course of just one year, you would spend $3,285 more on food. If you were to prepare that meal at home instead, you would save $3,285 over one year. Over the course of ten years, you would save $32,580, which is enough money to pay for a down payment on a house sold for $150,000. Over the course of twenty years, if you eat just one meal a day at a restaurant, you will spend $65,700 more on food. If you have a family of three, if you take your family for one meal a day from the time your child is two to eighteen, you will spend $157,680 extra on food. This is enough money that you could pay for your child’s college education, buy a house, or retire early.

And it is not just eating at home vs. eating at a restaurant that can save you big bucks. It is what you eat as well. People often say that eating healthily costs more and that it is impossible to eat healthily on a tight budget. It is true that some healthy foods cost more at first. But unhealthy foods cost a whole lot more in the long run. How much more? $1,800 a year more. According to a Time Magazine article, “Why Paying for Nutrition Saves Money on Health Care,” that is how much money an individual on an unhealthy diet will spend annually in healthcare costs due to poor nutrition.

So, let’s say you eat unhealthy food for ten years eating out at restaurants and fast food once a day and because of it you develop obesity and diabetes. You continue your poor health habits over the next ten years, and because of the health problems you’ve developed, you’re also spending $1,800 in medical costs each year. Over that twenty year period, your poor nutrition will cost you $83,700. If you would have prepared a healthy meal every day at home, you would have saved $83,700 over that twenty year period.

Eating healthy saves you money. Knowing how to prepare your own meals saves you money. It saves you enough money to retire earlier. It saves you enough money to make a down payment on a house or send your child to college debt free. It can provide you savings that you can turn into wealth to pass down to your children. Knowing how to prepare your own healthy meal is a vital tool to living a healthy and enjoyable life. This is why Pathways has been working with Aetna Better Health of Virginia and the American Heart Association to host cooking classes over the course of the last few weeks. Classes are every Wednesday in April at 11:00 am at 1200 W. Washington St. in Petersburg. Call 804-965-6521 to register for the class.

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