If you’re looking to eat well to lose weight, being in charge of your own diet could mean buying fresh and healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and maybe some snacks, which can often be more expensive than healthy, pre-made foods.
Pre-made price: Three meals and a snack from Nutrisystem costs about $10 a day based on about $300 a month.
Cost on your own: In addition to the extensive fat and calorie calculations you might need to make with a self-directed diet for weight loss, preparing the same variety of food including egg dishes, cereal, oatmeal, pasta dishes, stews, cookies and chocolate could cost significantly more than that, especially if you dine out frequently instead of eating at home. The Nutrisystem Web site even has a tool to help you calculate how much you might save on groceries by signing up.
Ethnic foods can be tricky to make if you are following an authentic recipe, especially when certain ingredients aren’t readily available at your local supermarket. And fresh ingredients like lemongrass, thai basil and ginger-like galangal are vital ingredients that can come at a premium.
Pre-made price: A packaged, heat-and-eat Indian meal from Tasty Bite generally costs about $3.
Cost to make it at home: It could cost you a small fortune to get just the right ingredients, that may not be available in your area, and if they are, they probably come at a premium for being fairly rare there. For instance, fresh galangal, a root similar to ginger, can cost you about $10 a pound.