Frugal Foodie: Sugary foods cost more than money.

Counting every dollar, I don’t spend money on foods that my family doesn’t need. My “unnecessary foods” list includes a wide range of readily available, high-sugar products such as candy, cookies and other commercially made baked goods. Fancy coffee beverages, soda, energy drinks and alcohol are also lumped into this group.

The low cost of candy bars and Pepsi may appeal to our pocketbooks; however, the long-term cost of these cheap, preserved, sugary industrial products is evident through our country’s culture of chronic disease and obesity. Further, a couple of dollars spent on sugary foods every time you shop is costly over time.

If your family loves sweets, best to save those dollars to purchase ingredients to make your own cookies, brownies and chocolate bars. Baking at home gives you freedom to choose higher-quality ingredients when they’re on sale, and control the amount of sugar added to the recipe. In my house, I typically cut the sugar by one third to one half, satisfying our sweet tooth while offsetting cravings for more.

Since baking at home takes time, it becomes an infrequent and special event that my children enjoy, and which limits dessert foods available in our house.

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