Sometimes we’re tempted to forgo purchasing foods that are better for us by putting less healthier foods in our grocery cart simply based on price. It’s the “What a deal!” syndrome. We’re so used to thinking that a bag of potato chips on sale for $2.99 is a great bargain, yet will squawk at paying full-price, say $1.99, for a bag of fresh-cut baby carrots.
We justify our ‘not-in-our-best-interest’ purchasing choices by telling ourselves things like, “Oh, I’ll make sure I portion it out into single-servings when I get home,”or “Hey, it’s for the kids,” or even, “How could I pass it up, they were practically giving it away.” What we doing is coercing ourselves into compromising true value (worth) over price.
Let me tell you, there is a big difference between price and value, especially if the value is so compromised by the “deal” that paying even a few pennies for the purchase is just not worth it.
For example, would you….
…Purchase a cheap cross-country airline ticked knowing that the airline hadn’t updated its computer system for years, had a history of mechanical problems, overwork their pilots and attendants to sheer exhaustion and was being under investigation for various safety violations?
…Put a child in a car safety seat that you picked up for a few dollars at a flea market even though the seat didn’t meet minimum safety requirements, the plastic was beginning to crack and the straps were dry-rotting?
I think the majority of us would answer a resounding, “NO!” to both of the above questions. There is just too much at risk, no matter how little we’d end up paying. At first, it may seem like a great deal but with just a little thought, we’d realize that the compromise (putting price over true worth) makes absolutely no sense at all.
Don’t get me wrong — we should be looking for the best price on the things we value. It would be foolish of us not to. Value comes first, though. I search out where I can get ripe, locally grown vegetables at a good price every week and look through the circulars for a grocery store that is offering the leanest cuts of fresh meat at a decent price. I also clip coupons and get online deals for the foods I want. But value always comes into play. If I see a coupon for a high-sugar cereal, making the purchase almost a giveaway, I can honestly tell you, no clipping for me. But, even if I don’t have a coupon, I’ll buy a high-fiber, low-sugar healthier box of cereal when I shop that week. I realize that shopping for foods that are healthier, even if they can’t compare price-wise with less nutritious foods, is the best investment in the long-run when it comes to my overall health and weight-management goals. And those are the things that I value for me and my family.
As we’re learning how to eat healthier, we have to convince ourselves that value always trumps price and not visa versa.
There is a cliche: “You only get what you pay for.” When it comes to purchasing nutritious foods, this saying holds particularly true. After all, becoming healthier and feeling great are priceless!