The Cost of Your Health

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning!! :mrgreen:

First things first: BREAKFAST! I started my day with two slices of toasted carrot raisin Manna Bread with Barney Butter spread on top. Melted Barney Butter is pure heaven to me.


On the side, I had a few slices of watermelon. I also plan to drink a glass of iced coffee with soy milk as no morning is complete without one! 😉


Cost of Your Health

So, I had no idea what to blog about this morning. Most mornings, I wake up with a zillion ideas running through my head, but not today. I just stared blankly at my computer screen. I wrote about “splurging” at the grocery store over on Trading Up Downtown this morning, so I thought it’d make for an interesting Question of the Day on CNC.

If you regularly read Trading Up Downtown, you know that I am a total cheapskate. I’m always looking to save money and I don’t easily part with my hard-earned dollars. But, when it comes to my health, I’m more likely to spend. I do, however, make an effort to save where I can. For instance, I’ll shell out extra bucks on a Garmin because I know that I’ll use it A LOT, but I save on workout gear. I buy shorts and pants from Old Navy and Target and cheap tank tops and socks from Walgreens and Kmart. (That stuff just ends up sweaty and gross!) In the food department, I splurge on Greek yogurt and sometimes organic produce, but I save on my grocery bill by meal planningbuying reduced/damaged produce, and cutting coupons. For me, being healthy doesn’t need to be expensive, but sometimes my health is worth the splurge.

Question of the Day

In what ways do you splurge and save on the cost of your health?



  1. I definitely spend a lot of money on groceries – I agree that spending money on my health is an investment.

    I love to shop at the Farmer’s Market and have no trouble spending lots of money there. I don’t belong to a gym but spend money on good running shoes. I also always go to routine doctor and dentist appointments – my co-pays are well spent!

  2. I look at it this way, I “splurge” on better produce/cheese/less processed/soy stuff and cut back on other “not so healthy” areas like alcohol and dining out.

  3. I definitely splurge on groceries. I have almond butter and hemp milk in my fridge and H&M and Forever 21 in my closet:) I’ll shell out $15 for a yoga class but refuse to pay $8 for a movie ticket.

  4. Good post! I also see my health as being worth the splurge. I spend extra on things like organic meats and seafood, Greek yogurt, etc., and less on household items like handsoap and dish detergent. I also try to buy items like nuts and protein bars in bulk–this saves me a pretty fair amount of money.

    Additionally, I have no problem with paying for a gym membership and three-month pass to a yoga studio, because I view these expenses as essential to my physical health and well-being. I do, however, draw the line at super-pricey workout gear (as much as I love you, Stella McCartney, most of your apparel is totally impractical and ridiculously expensive).

  5. I splurge on my gym membership, this is huge for us since the dairy industry has not made money in the last almost 2 years. But health is important! I also go off of the Dirty Dozen list when buying orgainc…..these are usually the only things I buy organic.

  6. Great topic Tina! I am kind of the opposite of you and splurge on a nice gym (I get ready for work in the locker room and want a nice/clean atmoshphere!) and workout clothes (Lululemon is my fave). I save by scouring the store ads for what’s on sale at the grocery store each week looking for coupons and free samples online. I take the train to work every day but don’t take the subway for my walk home to/from the train station. It saves me the cost of a monthly subway pass. I rarely take the subway in the city and prefer to walk everywhere.

  7. Something I’ll splurge on once in a while is a nice meal at a restaurant. I usually don’t go out to eat and when I do I’ll get a salad, but once in a while I like to go to a fancy restaurant that serves amazing food and splurge! I think it’s completely worth my money to spend $50-$70 on a meal that is so good it should be described as an “experience” : )

  8. i splurge on groceries. there is not a justification for it….you just have to for your health. even though i’m so cheap, i do splurge on massages. again, another excuse for health! 😉

  9. My splurging priorities have changed over the years. I used to splurge on fancy gym memberships and dance classes and buy a minimal amount of groceries every week (I totally didn’t eat enough produce back then…mostly bread and peanut butter…oops).

    Now that my eyes have been opened to healthy eating, I tend to splurge on my grocery store trips– mostly on organic produce, grass fed/free range meats and nut butters! I’ve also found ways to work out at home, which I like so much better than going to a gym.

  10. I too get my workout gear from Old Navy and Costco. Like you said it gets all sweaty anyways, plus they look comparable enough. I do spend a pretty penny on produce, but we are making efforts to shop at the No Frills instead of Lawblaws. My gym membership is pretty cheap thanks to a coroprate discount less than a dollar a day over a yaer. But I splurge on going to Hot Yoga 14$ for a 90 minute class Yipes!

  11. Most of the time, I splurge on organic produce. I have read over and over how worth it it really is. But recently I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I don’t know of anyone who died earlier because they didn’t eat organic foods???? So is it really worth all the hype?

  12. I don’t buy organic everything, but I do buy organic produce from the “dirty dozen” (lettuce, peppers, berries, apples, etc.) as well as only organic dairy products (sometimes I’ll settle for hormone-free dairy if it’s not organic.) Also, I’m really conscious about the meat I buy – it needs to be organic.
    I do think organic in these areas is worth the hype. You may not hear about someone dying from not eating organic, but pesticides and hormones lead to many diseases / types of cancers. I’m willing to spend more to avoid that as much as possible!

  13. I splurge on veggies and fresh fish. I tend to get work out clothes on sale at Target or Old Navy. Good running shoes are essential though. 🙂

  14. ooh i agree. i am way more likely to buy organic produce, but i buy my workout clothes from cheap places too! i also get nice running shoes – the ones at discount stores are there for a reason…ive learned this the hard way. i also buy fresh fish…FROZEN. its cheaper and still tastes the same 🙂

  15. I was in the grocery store last night and debated buying that Manna bread that you have. I put it down for 2 reasons.
    Firstly, It was 5 bucks for the loaf…and you know how tiny the loaf is!
    Secondly, the tiny loaf is suppose be 7 servings…at 130 calories a piece…
    I might as well eat a muffin!

  16. I’m the same way- I’d rather save money on clothes and household items and splurge on things that will sustain my health! I love the quote Ani Phyo wrote in her book….she said her body was the best asset she had (as is everyone’). And you should want to take care of your best asset by treating it right. My body is not a bargain body 🙂

  17. I’m not big on buying fitness gadgets–I’ve always worked out and never needed them before so I try to refrain on buying a Garmin when I get the urge b/c I truly don’t need it.

    Although, I do splurge and buy things like ezekial bread, nat pb, about 1/2 of my produce is organic. Things like that!

  18. I spend on fresh fruits and veggies that I know will last. My husband and I cut corners on meats and other things like that by shopping at places like Sam’s of GFS where we can spend $200 on meats and other health items and it ends up lasting use for months. We have saved so much money by doing this.

  19. Yum. I love that picture of the Barney Butter melting on the Manna bread. It looks so creamy and good. 🙂
    I try to buy organic whenever I can.

  20. Hey Tina Bean! Bahaha sorry I had to…

    The way I see it, I typically only spend money on food–I rarely buy clothes and shoes nowadays. I just enjoy buying special/fun products and I figure a few of those equals a shirt. When I was younger I used to never eat at the mall because I wanted to save money to spend on clothes. Oh how things have changed.

    That being said, I penny pinch a great deal using coupons and looking for great deals in grocery stores. It makes it more fun to eat those foods in a way 🙂

  21. Whatever’s left of my paycheck after bills typically goes 95% to food. Most of that is simply because food costs that much and I get paid extremely little.

    But I don’t cut many corners when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. For example, I’m dropping the insurance deductions I haven’t used at all this past year and replacing them with a corporate membership to our YMCA. There’s no way I could afford to pay for both of them, but I figure the YMCA membership will help keep me active and healthy in the long run, so I won’t NEED to visit the doctor very often.

    I also bake my own bread every now and then.

    We don’t have many organic/free range/wild/hormone-free/local things here. This is a really small town that largely doesn’t care. Whatever our local Walmart has is all we’ve got, so I don’t have the option of choosing organic berries and grass-fed beef, but I try to make do with what I have available, which thankfully is increasing with Walmart’s push toward whole foods.

  22. I actually don’t spend much on fitness because… I haven’t been exercising long, and my parents aren’t a big believer that I’ll continue with my plans. They refuse to buy me weights (“Just fill two water bottles and use them!”) but as for food, we don’t splurge much either for organic stuff. It’s just not really worth it, nutrition-wise… I guess we’re not big health-slurgers 😛


  23. I’m a bit of a cheapskate too. I save by refusing to pay a lot for a gym membership. Running is almost free right? And thank goodness I have a fiance who splurged on nice free weights for the house. I also always buy last season’s Aasics instead of buying the latest ones. Almost all of my workout clothes come from Target or the clearance rack at Dicks. My biggest splurge is food. I really believe in putting high quality fuel in my body. This doesn’t mean buying the most expensive nut butter, but it does mean buying mostly organic (where it matters) and Greek yogurt. 🙂

  24. I would much prefer to spend my money on food at the grocery store than going out to eat. I like to eat out just as much as the next person, but I don’t like to spend my money on food that someone else cooks for me when I don’t know where the ingredients are coming from. I would much rather spend that money on organic produce. I meal plan, but I don’t go crazy. I always buy what is on sale. If a recipe calls for broccoli, but spinach is on sale, I will sub. Recipes are not set in stone! I also almost never buy coffee or tea out. I always make it at home. Sure, a 2 dollar coffee might not seem like a lot, but imagine if you bought it everyday?! That’s 700 bucks a year! Sounds like money I could be spending on organic produce…or a new garmin. 🙂

  25. I save on workout clothes too. Wal-Mart has always been my store of choice for cheap workout gear. But I also splurged on my heart rate monitor and MP3 player. Well, to me I splurged because they were more expensive than I’d like, although I bought cheap versions of both.

    I LOVE coupons, but can never find ones for the products I buy. I shop mostly the perimeter, with a few processed foods that have very low ingredient lists that I can read and understand! This doesn’t always lend well to coupon clipping. But I do what I can!

  26. I usually tend to shop around for the best deals, but I don’t mind spending a little extra for better quality. Just a quick question, how long do you work out for each day? About an hour or longer? Thanks!

  27. I splurge on shoes, but I keep the clothing costs down by shopping for them at old navy/target. I splurge too much when it comes to food unfortunately. I need to work on that.

  28. Healthy food is the number one thing I’ll drop big bucks on. Outside of the blogging community, I’m sure it’s weird to people that I’d rather buy groceries than new clothes, but knowing I’m taking care of my health is worth it. Like you, I’m cool with buying inexpensive clothing and the like.

  29. I splurge on food without a doubt – Whole Foods is my go-to grocery store, BUT I also love saving at Trader Joe’s – they have some amazingly priced organic produce 🙂

    That bread looks TO DIE FOR 😀

  30. this is actually a great topic, and i loved reading everyone else’s responses! i definitely splurge a little more on running/walking shoes, but the clothes? yeah, i do the cheap thing there. i also work on meal planning and really try to utilize everything in our pantry before grocery shopping, which helps with creativity and keeps me from buying stuff i don’t need!

  31. I don’t buy organic food and likely never will unless the price- and yes I value my health but until I see scientific PROOF that conventional= disease-ridden body, I’m not buying the hype. Hence I save a crapload more than you bloggers and guess what? I’m healthy, fit and feel good.

    So I guess I “save” in that arena. I am also a saver on workout clothes, clothes in general and shoes. I also try to avoid eating out. Also, my fiance and I have always looked for cheaper apartment rent.

    That being said, on thing I never “save” on and don’t intend to is travel- I can’t imagine something more depressing than spending a bucketload on groceries each week b/c they’re “organic” rather than having that $ go toward Italy, the contiental US, Southeast Asia, etc.

  32. I splurge on organic, local meat and fish. I don’t add salt to anything I cook, so buying the best quality meat I can find is important not only for health but also flavor-wise. It’s interesting to me that the norm at the grocery store is meat from a cow that’s eating corn (which it can’t digest and as a result produces hazardous amounts of methane into the air), getting pumped with anti-biotics and hormones.

    I also buy organic from the dirty dozen. And whenever possible I purchase heirloom veggies.

    I save during the summer time when my parents home garden is in full bloom. They grow cucumbers, parsley, dill, tomatoes (regular as well as heirloom organic), zucchini, radishes, peaches, pears, raspberries, green beans and green peas. It’s really nice to get the free produce and to know where it’s coming from.

    I save on decorating my condo. I get used furniture from craig’s list and bargain by paying with cash. I shop around online, comparison shop, wait for a sale and even post on Facebook to see who’s giving away furniture and I slowly buy what I want and need.

  33. I have always been one to spend money on new running shoes every six months or more often as needed. That keeps me injury-free and running is prob the cheapest sport out there if you think about it.

  34. I save a lot of money on produce by having the luxury of being able to go to the store so often that I buy things that are on the verge of getting too ripe so they are marked down

  35. I agree with you on the idea of sometimes spending more at the grocery store on certain items that are better for you, but I’m not sure I agree with you when it comes to buying exercise clothing.

    I think the concept of “quality versus quantity” has been embedded in me from birth, and because of that, I think it’s super important to be selective and buy exercise apparel that’s not only comfortable but will last forever. I think a good example of a company that typically fits those two categories is Patagonia. I know that I’m paying a lot for their product, but I’ve never had a problem with anything of theirs and everything seems to last a lifetime.

  36. I definitely splurge at the grocery store because I figure, I’m investing in my health and I would rather spend money on good food than health care expenses later on down the line. I’m a coupon clipper too and I shop at multiple stores and check sales ads like it’s my job.

    I also just invested in some better quality workout clothes. I work out most days of the week and some of the stuff I have is ancient. Since it will get used a lot, I figured it was worth it.

    Lastly, it’s not really related to health, but I recently just spent $10 on some really great facial powder because the kind I was using (which was cheaper) was breaking me out. Some things are worth the splurge!

  37. I splurge on health by buying and consuming top quality food products, but I save by forgoing a gym membership and opting to workout at home and/or outside whenever I can. This way I stay healthy and in shape without breaking the bank.

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