healthy food... or money?

United States
October 8, 2009 9:06pm CST
In these tough economic times many of us are being as frugal as possible. I am learning to hold on to every cent I can and not buy any thing that is not totally necessary. I go to the nursing home each day to work with my son. I can eat a free lunch there. However, it is not always the healthiest choice. I could save a little money, but I have to throw away some of my "rules" for what i know my body needs to remain healthy. What do you think?.... make the healthy choice and bring my lunch. Or make the money choice and grab the free meal?
1 person likes this
15 responses
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
9 Oct 09
Hey...not too many things in life are free theses days. Ok, Ok, so the nursing home meal isn't the most "healthyist" choice...so what? It's free isn't it? And aren't you trying to save every penny you've got, as you say you are? The body will adjust and compensate for the "one" meal. You can STILL be frugal in that regard. It's NOT going to throw your system "out of wack". As a matter of fact, it's probably good for you to "splurge" once in a while, even if it is only once a day. You're saving money, and at least, YOU didn't have to prepare it! You can always bring in your own lunch from time to time. But it's only wise to take advantage of the FREE choices, one is offered in these troubled economic times. Don't worry about it... you'll be fine. It's better than going hungry. cdrxo
• United States
10 Oct 09
You are right that it is better than going hungry!! But then there are days like today. I opted for the "free" lunch. Everything was fried! I don't usually eat fried food! I also noticed the chicken strips tasted a lot like steak fingers! It was terrible. I ate 3 "chicken strips" and the potatoe wedges... left the fried squash there just couldn't tolerate all that grease! Thanks for your input!!
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Oct 09
Mmmmm! Sounds yummy. ;-) I agree. Grease is not the way to your heart's hungered desire. I wonder if their fried steak strips taste like chicken? "Fried" squash? Yech! Yams maybe, but not squash. (Just kidding.) Perhaps I was a bit too hasty in my earlier comment. From the dish that you have described here, maybe it WOULD be better if bagged your own? Heh, fried squash indeed. Tsk. My, my, my. Bon apatite! cdrxo
• Canada
10 Oct 09
...sorry... "if YOU bagged your own"... is what I meant to say. cdrxo
@jerimiyah (232)
• Philippines
10 Oct 09
i go for money because i can still buy the healthy food i want. I mean if choose healthy food, i still need money to buy it, right? So, yes i go for money.
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• United States
10 Oct 09
Thanks for your response!! I am shooting for something real middle ground here!! I want to save money but I have to protect my health as well!!
• Philippines
10 Oct 09
Maybe you can get the free meal and bring food which is healthy to supplement the unhealthy ones. Please do not throw away the graces on the table because as we all know, many people need food. If you think the free meal really can't make you healthy, why not give it to those who are in dire need for food. In that sense, you can help other people without wasting anything. Have nice day.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 09
Great idea! I'll usually don't order the meals there because I don't want to waste the food. I don't know what they do with the left overs. I only eat there a couple days a week usually.
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@gmkk1986 (472)
• India
9 Oct 09
You have start thinking that what to not to do just for a meal. Health is very important than any thing. You are in right condition to take decision to have your own food which is health for you body condition as it prescribed for your health. Better You have your own lunch than provided.
• United States
10 Oct 09
I have to agree, especially after today. I got their meal and it was all fried! ugh!! I don't usually do fried stuff and every thing on the plate was totally deep fried! I gotta take care of my health!! I'll figure out how to save the money later!!
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• China
9 Oct 09
Maybe you can choose to go to nursing home every other day instead of everyday. In other days, you can prepare real meals to keep your body healthy.
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• United States
10 Oct 09
I go every day. I am taking care of my son who was in a car accident. SO, I go every day. I have been with him for this year and I can't even think about not taking care of him for a day!!
@cutepenguin (6448)
• Canada
9 Oct 09
We spend more money to buy healthier food. There's a lot of unhealthy food that i could eat for free and cut down on our costs, but I don't. It depends if you can afford it though. If you can, I'd bring my own food.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 09
I can make some pretty inpensive meals! I enjoy soups and that doesn't cost a lot to make at all! I keep some backup lunch there so if I get in a bind with what they are serving I can have something in my belly!
• China
9 Oct 09
hi mac ,in my opinion ,eating unhealthy food is not a bright choice ,maybe you keep to have unhealthy lunch ,one day you will spent much money on you health care.but if the good could not influence your health ,it's ok .
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• United States
9 Oct 09
I just have to be careful since I don't know what is in their food there. I do not go to doctors so I have to really watch my health! thanks
• China
9 Oct 09
hello macdingoliner, I think no matter what, healthy is more important than money, I have a colleague, who is very very thin, but she insist not to have lunch at the afternoon, kind of saving money or so... I hope is is okay in tackling hungry, she is so think that I am afraid she will been blow away when there's larger wind.
• United States
9 Oct 09
I can't skip meals It throws my sugar levels off and then I have a hard time trying to get myself leveled back out. Then I overeat trying t shake that weird feeling I got from the sugar level dropping!..
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
9 Oct 09
Hi maclinglinger, if you are eating healthily the rest of the time then save money where you can. Surely the food can't be that bad in a nursing home nutrition wise? If you don't mind the taste of what they serve then have some of it and take along a bag of sliced carrots or celery to mucnh on while you are there.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Oct 09
Trust me. you'd be shocked at how unhealthy food is at nursing homes and hospitals! It's better here than at one of the hospitals we were in last year. That hospital put grease or butter (too much) in almost everything! They even had bacon in vegetables dishes and still called them "vegetarian." I don't think they knew that the bacon disqualified it as a vegetarian dish! There is way too much salt and preservatives in most of the food to be good for anyone!
@lelin1123 (15635)
• Puerto Rico
9 Oct 09
Healthy meals are better for you in the long run. I truly understand saving the money especially in these times but health is more important. What I use to do when I was working, I would bring my lunch to work. It would usually be leftovers from my dinner the night before.
• United States
9 Oct 09
I don't have a lot of leftovers, but I do like to make soups and they can last me for several lunches any given week. I don't want my health to cost me inthe "long run".... thankx
@snowy22315 (76392)
• United States
9 Oct 09
Why don't you make the healthy choice some days and other days eat lunch for free. I think that you can always alternate your choices that are the most beneficial for you that day. I like to be able to choose what I want to do on the particular day tht I feel like doing it.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Oct 09
Good idea! I can keep an eye on the weekly menu and call it the day before. I kinda have tried that but not too diligently yet! I think that works well though then I can do either as to which is better!thanx
@Rainegurl (2158)
• Philippines
9 Oct 09
Hi, mac I do not think it's good for you to sacrifice a healthy lunch for a little money. I think you can still save by not buying and bringing your lunch instead. As for me, I have learned to save money on clothes and other things, but I strive to make healthy choices with food. Take care!
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• United States
9 Oct 09
I like soups and now that it is cold they are perfect! It is relatively inexpensive to make soups I'll probably take some of those. It's a struggle to make healthy choices on foods around this part of the state!
@bettydeng5 (1709)
• China
9 Oct 09
Money and health are always relative tightly, free meal is good, if it's nutrition, and can save money. so I think you can eat some free meal and bring your lunch sometimes, so you can save your money at the same time you won't lose your heath.
• United States
9 Oct 09
I suppose I can preview the menu and see when they have healthier choices. They hav a little salad but it's mostly just iceburg lettuce which isn't that good for you to begin with. The rest of the "salad bar" is pre-packaged goods loaded with salt!thnx
@manong05 (5029)
• Philippines
9 Oct 09
Choosing the free lunch at the expense of one's health is a poor choice, I guess. It doesn't cost must to bring your own lunch anyway. LOL have fun
• United States
9 Oct 09
You are probably correct. I can be pretty careful with lunch money anyway. I don't spend as much as most on the necessities as it is. I like to make soups a lot and that is pretty inexpensive too. Thanks..
@katsmeow1213 (28910)
• United States
27 Jun 10
I realize this conversation is really old.. and by now you've made your decision.. however.. What exactly is so unhealthy about this free meal? Is it overly processed type junk or is it just not as healthy as you'd make for yourself, such as it's covered in gravy and probably salt added, etc etc? For me it would depend on your current health concerns. Are you currently overweight and attempting to lose weight? Do you have dietary needs such as no salt or are you diabetic? I'm perfectly healthy aside from having just been obese and losing 75 pounds. I'm now to a point where I'm maintaining my weight, so I still need to watch what I eat for the most part.. but that doesn't mean I'm extremely strict with my diet. I love food, always have, always will.. which is why I was obese. I will not deny myself yummy treats anymore.. but I will continue to work towards moderation, small servings, and eating healthier as often as I can. So, in your situation.. I personally would save the money and eat the free meal. Lunch is not really a make or break meal.. you've got all afternoon to burn off the calories you consumed, and you can make up for it by having a healthier breakfast and dinner on those days. If it truly bothers you that much, then bring your lunch a couple times a week, then eat the free lunch on the other days so you're at least saving some money.