Personal Finance 

Healthy Habits that Aren’t So Healthy for Your Wallet

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Healthy RunningWe’re all much more health conscious thanks to the educational efforts of the medical community as well as the manufacturers of all of those must have health products. Because of this campaign, many Americans are making an effort to live a healthy lifestyle.

Outside of our finances, nobody can argue that a more health conscious lifestyle is a  great choice but those decisions can add up when we start looking at our bank account. Did you ever think that these healthy decisions could add up to some big bucks? Here are a few examples.

Bottled Water

Bottled WaterRemember when bottled water rose to popularity? We heard about the contaminants in normal tap water and as soon as the clever marketing firms made us feel invigorated by drinking “natural spring water”, many of us were hooked. The truth is that bottled water can cost as much as 10,000 times more than tap water and since its bottled in manmade plastic, not only is it not environmentally friendly, it may hold its own contaminants. If you don’t want to drink tap water, purchase a filtration system for a fraction of the cost.

Gym Membership

GymWhen is a gym membership a waste of money? When you don’t use it and that is the case for a lot of people. If you went to the gym five times a week and paid $40 per month, $1.60 per visit is a great deal but if you only manage to get to the gym a few times per year, that’s a lot of money for a workout. Be realistic. If you have a gym membership that you rarely use, pay the guest fee. At $10 per visit at some gyms, that might be a much better deal. Remember that getting outside and walking is free.

Diet Soda

diet coke cherryIt says “diet” so it must be good for you, right? If the idea of putting a black substance in to your body doesn’t scream “bad idea”, maybe the fact that it has been proven to keep  your waist line bulging will be enough. Cutting out soft drinks may save you $300 per year and it makes that water purifier you purchased pay for itself even faster.

Orange Juice

OrangesOrange juice? Nutritionists will tell you that there are more calories in orange juice than a can of diet soda so why spend the money? One bottle of orange juice costs as much as 12 oranges and the real orange has a lot more nutritional value including half the calories of a glass of juice. We’re all conditioned to sing the nutritional praises of the orange but like anything else, moderation is key.


Yogurt & FiberApparently they’re all the craze but if the idea of having a colonic doesn’t turn you away, maybe the $80 price tag will. Not only do they flush out the bad bacteria, but the good bacteria goes with it. Probiotic yogurt is half the price and a more healthy lifestyle full of water, fruits, and vegetables is a better and cheaper option according to experts. Aren’t you glad I used a yogurt picture instead? 🙂

Just because somebody calls it healthy doesn’t mean that it’s better for you. Anything marketed as healthy often comes with a higher price tag so ask yourself if it’s worth the cost. Taking care of yourself is definitely worth a little bit of extra money but like anything else, a little frugality goes a long way.

(Photos: stevendpolo, whyisjake, neeta_lind, perledivetro, geishabot, mikebaird)

{ 13 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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13 Responses to “Healthy Habits that Aren’t So Healthy for Your Wallet”

  1. PFM says:

    I agree with the list except the OJ. We don’t keep soda in the house, the kids mostly drink water (tap) or milk, we drink about 1/2 gallon of OJ a week, it’s about $4/gallon so it’s not cheap but have you seen the prices of oranges??

  2. yourPFpro says:

    What about buying organic?! I went to the farmer’s market yesterday and I forgot how absurdly expensive it is to eat organically.

    I would like to eat more organic foods but when the cost is 3-4 times as much, I don’t see how it is worth it.

    • Jim says:

      I think that with organic products it’s hard to say whether or not it’s worth it. I find it interesting that some people can be allergic to the pesticides used on some of those products (I know plenty of people who sya their lips tingle when they eat apples, stuff like that). I do think that a lot of it is marketing but there is a little truth in there.

    • Wilma says:

      I prefer organic and will try to get it when possible. Money constraints are real though. Just be fastidious about washing and peeling your produce thoroughly if pesticides and wax coverings are a worry for you and you can’t afford the organic. I can’t stand the waxy coating on cucumbers. I use a vegie wash and peel but I have allergies too. Of corse growing your own is the best way to know for sure.

      • Shirley says:

        I agree with Wilma! I actually use a pan full of dish soap and warm water to wash all our fruits, melons and veggies. Just be sure to rinse well and pat dry.

  3. I agree that it ads up. I’m actually about to cancel my gym membership.

    Its getting warm enough that I can start running outside again. I go month to month at a gym during the winter then cancel when summer starts.

    For fruit I go with what’s on sale during that week. I’ve read that veggies are actually more nutritious when their flash frozen so that can save a bit on that side.

    My attitude towards all of it is to be healthy now to avoid doctor bills and medication costs later.

  4. Wilma says:

    A recent article on line claimed that OJ sits in vats for months and then just before putting it in containers they add flavorings and vitamins. Fresh squeezed is the way to go. I bought a juicer and love carrot, red beet apple juice.

    The water in my town is hard. It destroys coffee pots and puts a white film on my pots. I cook and make coffee with bottled water. Just haven’t gotten around to putting a system in. Carrying 40lb bags of salt down the cellar steps doesn’t appeal to me and I’m not familiar with other systems.

    • Jeff P says:


      Try an under-sink water filter system. Our kitchen sink had an extra hole cutout for a soap dispenser, so we switched out the soap bottle for the filtered water faucet. Super easy to install. We have well water, which has a ton of minerals in it, and the filters take it all out of our drinking water. We fill regular pitchers with the filtered water, and store in the refrigerator. Also, we use the filtered water for cooking and for coffee. Ours has a light on the faucet part to indicate when it is time to screw on new filters.

    • Shirley says:

      We also have extremely mineral laden water that cuts coffeepot life to one year max… usually 6-8 months. We refill gallon jugs with water from the kiosk outside the grocery store at .25 per gallon. That’s about one quarter of the cost of a gallon of drinking (or spring) water inside. Our coffeepot now is going on its fourth year. 😉

    • Scott says:

      I forget how spoiled we are to live in a city that consistently ranks in the top five in the country in water quality year after year (Norfolk, VA). Tap water here tastes better than bottled water almost everywhere else. Only downfall is we have now become water snobs and pretty much refuse to drink water out of the tap at our family members’ houses in other cities/states 😉

  5. This is all very true. I do buy bottled water but mainly for guests or for “omg I forgot to fill my water bottle and I’m already late” moments but normally, I’ll just use the filter on my fridge for water.

  6. Mike says:

    I buy $1 meals. Looks pretty healthy for frozen meals plus it saves cash.

  7. skylog says:

    i agree with a lot of what you put forth here, but it will be hard for me to give up my orange juice! i eat lots of oranges too!

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