(via Reddit) According to the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), when you calculate the price of foods more complexly, it tends to be less expensive to eat healthy than it is to maintain a poor diet. This finding goes against the popular conception that healthy eating is a luxury, only available to people who can spare the budget to buy healthier foods.
Cost is often cited as a barrier to eating well. But USDA's Andrea Carlson and her colleagues analyzed the cost of more than 4,000 foods using three different measures: Price per calorie (or food energy), price by weight, and price per average amount consumed.
By using this last measure — which is a good proxy of what actually makes it onto our plate — the news is good.
"We find that fruits and vegetables — especially vegetables — come out much less expensive than the less-healthy food such as potato chips, ready-to-eat cereals [which are] often high in sugar, [and] anything with a lot of fat like cookies and pies." That's because you get more bang — like vitamins and minerals — for the buck.