Is healthy food expensive?

I got a huge bag of fresh fruit and veggies (and a bottle of sweet chilli sauce) from Sainsbury’s today and I was amazed when it only came to £14.39. Here’s what I got:

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Afterwards I ducked into Holland & Barrett for some vegan junk food and it was surprisingly expensive at £25.93.

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It’s not expensive to eat healthily. In fact, I would say it’s cheaper and my two bags of shopping, one cheap and one dear, confirm that. You can get 1kg of red lentils from Tesco for a paltry £1.80. Or a 400g can of red kidney beans for just 30 pence. What is expensive is the time it takes to prepare and cook these foods. There’s also some mental effort required, especially when you’ve never cooked something like lentils before. Junk food doesn’t require any preparation or effort to cook but that’s because we essentially pay someone else to do it.

I grew up in a house where the evening meal every night was defrosted meat of some description with frozen peas or sweetcorn on the side. The meat, usually sausages, steak, or mince, was the star of the show while vegetables were an extra. I’m sure I’m not the only one who had this experience and so I understand that when you haven’t been exposed to things like lentils, chick peas, and kidney beans it’s hard to know what to do with them. It’s also hard to form new habits but that’s exactly what I did, about 15 years ago now, when I gave up animal products. If I can do it, anyone can. It’s definitely a good way to save pennies and will likely benefit your health in the long run.