I am one of those people that loves to cook. I know there are people that don’t like to, or don’t think they have the time but cooking and eating healthy doesn’t have to be a huge production. So, I want to discuss with you the cost of fast food. I’m not just talking about how much it costs, but the true cost!
How Much is the Cost of Fast Food?
First, let’s discuss the monetary portion of your fast food addiction. For those of you that tell me that eating healthy is too expensive I’m going to break it down. One of the major reasons I meal prep and cook at home is to actually save money. If it were up to my wonderful adoring boyfriend, we would eat tacos, donuts, and junk food all the time! For a time, we were eating out quite often and it adds ups! $20 here, $70 there, then it’s $100’s a week!
Consider this… That $5 Starbucks coffee you get plus your $6 breakfast sandwich is one meal. If you do that every week day, that is $55. Okay, so it’s your morning routine… what’s the big deal? I am not going to say I don’t enjoy my Dutch Bros. every so often, but my $11 bag of espresso lasts me over a month.
Now it’s lunch time, your starving, and you only have 30 minutes. You stop at Chipotle, cuz it’s healthy. You decide to get a chicken salad. That’s not so bad, right? It’s only $6.50 plus a $2 drink. So now we are at $19.50. Big deal, it’s only $20! BUT…. What will you have for dinner? Probably another $10-20. Let’s say you stop at Wendy’s because you want something quick and cheap. You order off the dollar menu (which is so NOT a dollar menu anymore, now it’s a value menu! I know, I checked). Okay, a junior bacon cheeseburger, fries, a small chili, and a small soda. You have just spent another $7. Your total for the day is $26.50. If you do that Monday to Friday that is a total of 132.50. Not so cheap, is it? That is 5 days a week, now multiply that by 4 weeks, you are spending a minimum of $530 a month!!!!! HOLY COW! Check out some of the places I researched.
I am going to share my grocery bills with you. My first trip was $167.55. I am buying groceries for people. This trip lasted me 2 weeks and I made 20 meals out of it! 20! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. My next visit was $122.05. Again, lasting me 2 weeks and about 20 meals. That is a total, for 2 people not 1, a total of $289.60. We do go out to dinner once or twice per week but it still does not even come close to $530 per person. So, the cost of fast food is clearly more! I added this average over months and the results were the same. I averaged $3.62 per meal and about 350-550 calories per meal.
So, let’s set the monetary value aside. What is the impact of this diet on your health. Obviously, we know it isn’t great, but do you have any idea how not great it is? Adding all the calories from your 3 meals for the day, it only adds up to 1525. That is considering you only had those three meals and only had chicken, lettuce, and salsa on your salad for lunch. That doesn’t seem so bad. These are of course your somewhat healthier choices. What you must be careful about is what you are adding on to these items, and none of that is including a drink other than your morning coffee. Consider this the bare minimum.
When you go to Chipotle do you really order a salad with chicken, lettuce and salsa? If you do… bravo! I do not. Let’s consider this, you had a chipotle burrito and lemonade. 480 calories for your chicken and tortilla, then you add cheese and sour cream, then salsa and guacamole. We are now over 1200 calories and haven’t even added the 105-calorie lemonade. But you didn’t have a Grande latte for breakfast, you had a venti and that is 240 calories. You are now at 2580+ calories. You can see where I am going with this.
You Are Never a Waste of Time
I am so passionate about this subject because I know how easy it is to make excuses. I make them myself and I get discouraged too. But taking the time to take care of yourself is NEVER a waste of time. You can tell me that running to get food is faster, but I almost never make a meal that takes over 20 minutes unless it goes into the oven, which doesn’t take up my time. You can tell me you save money, but I have extensively gone over my budget (mostly because I would rather spend my money on vacations and shopping than crappy food!) and there is no comparison.
If you are having a hard time planning, cooking, prepping, I can help!!!! It doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming, or expensive! I promise.