High cost, little reward

In our ever-adapting world, focused on adopting and adjusting to the newest technological advances, multiple platforms have been invented with the intention to promote efficient organizational skills. Creative calendars, notepads, reminders, to-do lists, and planners are being devised and developed as our society shifts into an ever more systematized people.

One niche of these inventive platforms is the market for healthy living. Associated with healthy living are topics such as dietary habits, exercise routines, sleeping patterns and disease prevention. Companies are able to direct their capacities to the niche of healthy living through the creation of apps and websites that help consumers track, log, and journal about topics that coincide with healthy living. With these platforms, consumers are able to track their personal, intellectual and physical development made whilst in pursuit of a healthier life.

One way that individuals who strive for a healthier life, set goals and track progress, is through utilizing apps created for meal planning. Meal planning, proven to be an effective technique to adopting a healthier lifestyle, involves forming what an individual will be consuming within a set period of time. This helps decrease the likelihood of over-consumption, weight gain, and aids the individual’s budget planning process.

Meal planning becomes increasingly important once an individual decides to raise a family. Expenses between housing, healthcare, transportation, insurance and taxes can pile up as the individuals in one household rises, which consequently requires impeccable organizational skills. For example, the typical American family, “according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, spent $4,000 per year on groceries in 2013, or about $330 each month” (The Motley Fool, 2015).

In the process of meal planning, consumers will truly begin to realize the amount that they are spending on each particular item, ultimately regulating how frequently they purchase that item. One subcategory of foodstuffs that reigns in heavy on the wallet is meat and its by-products. While analyzing the spending of an omnivorous lifestyle, it is noticeable that meat prices are significantly higher than meat-substitutes such as tofu or beans. For example, “boneless chicken breasts cost an average of $3.27 per pound nationwide, while tofu sits around $2 to $2.50 per pound, and dried beans clock in around $1.39 per pound” (US News, 2014). Tofu and beans pack more magnesium, iron, calcium, healthy fats, and folate, than chicken alone. While traditional meat and poultry products typically have more protein compared to tofu and beans, tofu and beans have a wider and more balanced array of nutrients available.

For more information on the breakdown of meat versus meat-substitute pricing, see:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/06/05/4-ways-vegetarian-living-can-help-your-wallet

Additionally, meal planning aids consumers’ understanding of food preservation. Meat and its by-products have a much quicker expiration date compared to tofu, beans, and their veggie counterparts. Through meal-planning as a vegetarian, the consumer is able to get more “bang for their buck” as their food is able to last longer than an omnivore’s.

Food products like tofu and beans are incredibly versatile, and can be easily swapped out for meat and its by-products. Transitioning into a vegetarian is incredibly cost-effective, and does not resort to consumers limiting their favorite meals. For example, one can indulge in one’s love for burgers and fries at a cheaper price. By simply purchasing tofu, that can be seasoned and prepared in a manner similar to ground beef, and roasting potatoes instead of frying them in oil, the consumer has created a healthier, tastier and more cost-effective meal.

For a quick video on how to prepare a tofu burger, see:

Transitioning to a vegetarian will reduce the amount of groceries an individual spends on themselves, or on their family. Moving towards a diet focused on greens and meat-substitutes will prove to be more rewarding and more cost-effective than a traditional omnivore’s diet.

Glover, L. (2015, June 5). 4 Ways Vegetarian Can Help Your Wallet. Retrieved May 2, 2017, from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/06/05/4-ways-vegetarian-living-can-help-your-wallet

Blackmore, W. (2015, October 12). Forget Saving the Planet: Being a Vegetarian is Cheaper than Eating Meat. Retrieved May 2, 2017, from http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/10/12/vegetarian-diet-savings

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