While there is no doubt that a box of pasta can be purchased for less than a pound of ground meat. If you look more closely there may be more to the cost than meets the eye. My line of thinking has always been off the beaten path so bear with me, because my thoughts do make sense.
If you eat a portion of pasta or a 16 oz. box of pasta ($.88-1.00 sale of the week), it might seem to cost less than a package of chicken thighs but the cost difference may not be a big as you think.
How might pasta end up costing almost the same amount as meat?
For one reason, few of us eat pasta plain, so you must factor in the cost of additional foods such as oil or tomato sauce and maybe even factor in veggies. By the way, I am not a big fan of eating pasta and oil or butter because as I mention in my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix, combining high amounts of carbohydrates with high amounts of fat is one of the most important contributors to the obesity epidemic. You must walk a fine line (tightrope) when you start combining fats and starches/carbohydrates.
Another reason is that pasta alone is not filling. Trust me when I tell you after eating a big bowl of cheap and fat free pasta that contains nothing but sugar/carbs it is highly likely you will crave more and eat more. The cost of the what you eat as your “crave” meal should be accounted for in the pasta cost analysis. Bottom line: you are going to get hungry after that pasta and end up eating at least twice as much, maybe more.
Why? Any carb load ( pasta, rice etc..) produces a huge glucose load which your pancreas will try to balance with insulin resulting in a dive in blood sugar dive.
On the other hand, eating protein seasoned with pepper, oregano, curry or any herb/spice, that will satisfy and sustain your belly and stave off any craving will only cost as much as you eat for that meal. See the chart below.
Are you a smart shopper? You might be surprised that the cost of weight loss, maintaining your weight or even your health when eating low carb foods is not as expensive as you think.
Start by speaking with the store manager about which days the store reduce prices on any meat. Look for meat marked “sale” or “managers’ specials”. I found Cornish hen on sale for a dollar in New London, Ct., http://www.shoprite.com/pd/Perdue/Cornish-Game-Hens/1-each/270900000008/, just the same price as a box of pasta! Many times if the date on the package of food is expiring within a day, it will have a great price. Buy it and cook it the same day or freeze it.
Here is a list of protein foods that will help keep expenses down while still doing the right thing for yourself.
10 Low Cost Low Carb Protein Sources
- Canned tuna
- Canned salmon
- Ground meat
- Hot dogs
- Peanut butter
- Cottage cheese
Any meat on sale will do.
|Perdue Cornish Game Hen||1.5 LB||$2.98|
|Perdue Chicken Thighs – 5 ct||2 LB||$3.98|
|Nature’s Promise Chicken Thighs Antibiotic Free Natural||1.7 LB||$3.83|
|Nature’s Promise Beef Ground 85% Lean Natural||1 LB||$3.99|
|Nature’s Promise Beef Ground 75% Lean Natural||1 LB||$2.99|
|Nature’s Promise Beef Ground 85% Lean Natural|
* Please note a pound is 16 oz. Therefore these costs can easily be divided into 2-4 servings based on your appetite.
If anyone has any low carb eating ideas to share, please help us out. I would love to add more helpful hints to this list.