Part of my wife’s morning routine usually involves the Today Show being on in the background, and you can imagine my recent interest one morning when they did a special segment called “Eat This, Not That.” It turns out that the segment was based on a book series written by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding that attempts to help people avoid unhealthy menu items and, instead, select similar, healthier alternatives. Not only were their findings shocking and surprisingly entertaining, but they were exactly what someone like me trying to shed a few pounds needed to hear! Then I had an idea on how to take their work to the next level…
- 1. The Whopper vs. The Big Mac
- The Whopper: 760 calories, 47 grams of fat, $3.52
- The Big Mac: 540 calories, 29 grams of fat, $3.49
- VERDICT: Eat the Big Mac, Save $.03 (Okay, just do this one for your health.)
- 2. Taco Bell’s Steak Burrito Supreme vs. Chipotle’s Steak Burrito
- Taco Bell’s Burrito: 390 calories, 14 grams of fat, $3.02
- Chipotle’s Burrito: 1,033 calories, 40 grams of fat, $7.12
- VERDICT: Yo Quiero Taco Bell, Save $4.10
- 3. Chili’s Chicken Caesar Salad vs. Panera’s Chicken Caesar Salad
- Chili’s Caesar Salad: 1,010 calories, 76 grams of fat, $9.60
- Panera’s Caesar Salad: 560 calories, 34 grams of fat, $7.41
- VERDICT: Panera it is, Save $2.19
- 4. Corona Extra vs. Miller Lite
- Corona: 148 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates, $5.13
- Miller Lite: 96 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrates, $4.12
- VERDICT: It’s Miller time, Save $1.01
- 5. Dairy Queen’s Banana Split vs. Baskin-Robbins' Banana Split
- Dairy Queen Banana Split: 530 calories, 14 grams of fat, $4.23
- Baskin-Robbins Banana Split: 1,030 calories, 39 grams of fat, $6.56
- VERDICT: Split at DQ, Save $2.33
I hope you find these comparisons as interesting as I do, but I recognize these suggestions won’t save you that much dough. I also know from personal experience that dieting can be really expensive “having” to purchase those fancy microwavable meals, “having” to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables for all those salads and snacks, and “having” to pay for a gym membership. Paying an arm and a leg for those little bars of nuts and bran that are supposed to fill you up can really break the bank!
Money cannot buy health, so looking after yourself should take precedence. But, you can successfully save money and diet at the same time! Smaller portions should mean less food to purchase. Fewer sodas should mean more, “free” water. Dieting, by definition, should probably mean buying fewer snacks, splurges, and desserts. You might try a regiment of walking, jogging, push-ups, and sit-ups on your own, without having to pay for a trainer or a gym. You can also successfully diet without the overpriced berries, I promise! Whatever you do though, buy the name-brand healthy soups; the additional savings you would get by choosing the brand your mother did not feed you as a child are simply not worth it! Trust me.
I think I’m going to go have some celery.