At a Glance
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to choose between your bank account and your health. That’s unfortunately not the reality. A new Credello survey of 1000 people ages 18 through 54-years-old revealed that 29.7% of people feel that healthy food and fitness are important – but they just can’t afford to spend on those things.
The average cost for food consumed at home climbed 11.3% in January 2023 compared to the previous year, according to Labor Department data. And that’s just for food in general – healthy, organic foods tend to put a bigger dent in your wallet.
To break it down with research from The Barbecue Lab, eating a healthy diet costs about $1.50 more per day than eating an unhealthy diet. This adds up to $550 for the year to eat a healthy diet. For a family of four that comes out to about $2,000. And these cost barriers for people are causing a lot of health problems. According to the CDC, 42.4% of American adults are obese, an increase from 30.5% in 2000. And nearly 20% of children are obese! Plus, the Health and Human Services division of the U.S. Government estimates that half of all American adults will be overweight by the year 2030.
Credello’s survey revealed that 32.3% of respondents find the price of healthy food very expensive and 46.4% of them find it somewhat expensive. Thankfully, many people are finding workarounds to eat healthy despite those budgeting challenges.
Key takeaways on the price of healthy choices:
- 29.7% of people say that spending on healthy food and fitness is important but they just can’t afford it.
- 32.3% of respondents find the price of healthy food very expensive and 46.4% of them find it somewhat expensive.
- 61.5% call healthy food a luxury
- Those who find eating healthy to be expensive deem organic foods to be the most expensive health-related purchase, with 69.7% of them agreeing that organic foods are costly.
- To accommodate health and fitness expenses, 39.7% of people who find healthy food expensive have gotten stricter with budgeting and nearly 28% of them have cut back on other lifestyle spending.
- Over half of people who find healthy food expensive look for discounts to slash costs and 44.2% of them try to eat less meals but more protein-heavy and nutrient-dense ones.
Check out our video below with more stats on our Price of Health Food survey.
The price of eating healthy
Let’s face it: Junk food tends to be easier to access than whole, nutrient-dense foods. A review of 27 studies found that unhealthy food is about $1.50 cheaper per day than healthy food. This amounts to more than $2,000 more per year for the average family of four.
Combine that with the fact that you now go to the grocery store and get way less than you used to get for your money—thanks inflation!— and it’s safe to say that eating healthy comes at a cost. Credello’s survey revealed that 29.7% of people say that spending on healthy food and fitness is important but they just can’t afford it.
Additionally, 32.3% of respondents find the price of healthy food very expensive and 46.4% of them find it somewhat expensive. And if you are worried about things like hormones, pesticides and GMOs, buying organic foods is an expense that will put an even bigger dent in your wallet. A majority of people find organic foods to be the most expensive health-related purchase, with 69.7% of people agreeing that organic foods are costly.
Is it the end of the Erewhon hype?
You’ve probably seen Erewhon, an upscale health supermarket, all over your TikTok feed (as well as the many skits making fun of its prices.) Yes, it has a cult-like following (for those who can afford a $20 smoothie) but if Credello’s survey results are any indication, people may be going back to the basics to continue eating healthy without spending their life savings on specialty items.
To accommodate health and fitness expenses, 39.7% of people have gotten stricter with budgeting and nearly 28% of them have cut back on other lifestyle spending such as travel, fashion and entertainment. Over half of people shop around for bargains and discounts to slash costs and 44.2% of respondents try to eat less meals but more protein-heavy and nutrient-dense ones. Furthermore, 39.2% of people are ditching name brands in favor of store brands and 17.6% of respondents are buying in bulk to keep eating healthy.
Just like you want to get your health food plan in shape, you also want to get your finances in good shape. Hit your financial goals and get organized with one simple step. Activate MyCredello now.
How to stay healthy without going broke?
Trying to eat healthy without breaking the bank? First, take a cue from the strategies above – hunting for discounts and purchasing in bulk can save you hundreds of dollars each month. You can also eat vegetarian meals more often. If you prefer eating organic produce but can’t afford to buy everything organic, splurge to avoid the “dirty dozen,” which are the fruits and veggies with the most pesticides, but buy non-organic for the rest.
Don’t forget to check the freezer section for frozen produce too, which is as nutritious and sometimes more cost-effective. Finally, smart meal planning can also help you stretch your budget, as you’ll avoid food waste and be more likely to pack a lunch instead of dining out.
If you’re health-conscious but are finding healthy foods increasingly expensive, you’re not alone. That said, there are ways to avoid choosing between your health and your bank account if you are willing to shop around, cut back on other spending and ditch the name brand items.
This survey was conducted by a third-party survey platform – Pollfish, on behalf of Credello. The sample of 1000 Americans (ages 18+ through 54) in the United States was surveyed on April 12th, 2023. The results have been weighted to balance responses to census statistics on the dimensions of age and gender. For complete survey methodology, please contact [email protected].