Monday, July 16, 2012

The Cost of Eating Healthy vs. a Weight Watchers Frozen Meal

So I've been on a "healthy eating kick".  And by healthy eating, I mean, eating more natural crap vs. processed crap.  I'm not going all organic or any crap like that - we're too poor for that.  Maybe we can explore that option when either the husband goes back to work or we win the lotto.  Since we don't play the lotto and I hate Whole Foods, our chances are slim of that ever happening.  Whatever.

As I was preparing dinner tonight, I thought, "This isn't THAT expensive".  Mostly due in part to Roxie's.  I'm comparing my recipe to Weight Watchers pre-packaged "Chicken Fettuccine".  Mine is just Chicken with Vegetables.

This bad boy can be yours for about $2 on sale.  It's about 9 ounces of food.  Here's the nutrition content of it:

I opt these days not to eat this crap (or try my hardest not to).  I like making crap myself even though it requires me to wash dishes.  So I just cooked up some chicken and random vegetables with olive oil.  It made 4 servings:

Here is the nutritional info on my simple recipe (that makes 4 11-ounce servings):

Now if you compare the 2, the calories and fat are about the same (mine does have 10 extra calories).  Both have 6 grams of fat.  Also note:  The pre-packaged WW meal is about 9 ounces and each serving of my recipe is 11 ounces.  So you get 2 more ounces of food.  The WW meal has more 7 more carbs than mine, but only has 3 grams of fiber.  Mine has 5 grams of fiber.  My recipe packs 9 more grams of protein than the WW meal does.  The real kicker is the sodium.  The Weight Watchers meal packs 750 mg. of sodium per serving.  Mine packs 92 mg.  That is a significant difference.  I flavored mine with pepper - and honestly, it tastes pretty good as is.  Sodium is a problem with me.  I like it.  A lot, so I'm trying to watch it more and not consume as much.

So what about cost?  Thanks to Roxie's in Quincy, I was able to get the stuff pretty cheap:

1 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breast - $1.79
1 green pepper - .50 cents (4 pack was $2.02)
1 zucchini - Actually from my garden, but had I bought it at Roxie's, would have been about .60 cents
1 onion - .20 cents (package of 5 was .99 cents)
1.33 lbs of red potatoes - .80 cents (5 lbs bag was $2.99)
1 tbsp olive oil - .18 cents (bottle cost $5.99 and there are 33 tbsps in it)

Total cost to prepare recipe:  $4.07 (including zucchini cost)
Total cost per serving:  $1.02

More food, less sodium, half the cost.  Even if you're a snob and refuse to shop Roxie's - there is no way this stuff costs twice as much at Stop & Shop.    

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