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home : features : health and wellness April 28, 2016

1/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
Spend wisely to be healthy
Eunice Mesick
Health Columnist

Have you heard or said to yourself, "It costs too much to eat right"?

I have compiled a list of ways individuals can save money in one area and hopefully use those savings to improve the foods they do consume.

• Cigarettes: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Americans spend $80 billion on cigarettes per year. Also according to the CDC, smoking is the No. 1 most preventable cause of death.

On average, a carton of cigarettes costs $50 to $70. So let's say someone is paying $60 per carton and smoking one pack per day. That equals about $180 per month, and more than $2,100 a year.

• Gourmet coffee: According to, Americans spend about $8.43 each time they visit a coffee shop. Visiting the coffee shop just once a week turns that $8.43 into more than $438 annually.

According to CNN Money, daily coffee drinkers can spend $4 every weekday. That adds to up to nearly $1,000 per year. For those who choose the cheaper gas station coffee for, say, $1.59 a cup, that's still more than $400 a year.

• Eating out: According to, in 2010 consumers on average visited restaurants 82 times per year and on average spent $28.47 at each visit, adding up to $2,341. For those grabbing lunch at the nearest deli during the week (spending just $10 per day), that totals $2,600 in one year's time.

• Alcohol: According to CNN Money, last year people spent more money per transaction on alcohol than they did dining out - $42.27 on average for each visit to the bar. Two nights at the bar each month totals up to more than $1,000 a year.

• Lottery Tickets: Someone once told me that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. How often do we see lightning?

According to CNN Money, last year people spent more then $70 billion on lottery tickets, while the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries said only about $38 billion was awarded in prizes.

Spending $10 a week on lottery tickets over one year adds up to $520 per year.

• Speeding tickets: In Kingman, a speeding ticket can cost $200 to $390, and don't forgot points against your driver's license can range from 2 to 3 points per ticket. We can lose our licenses after 8 points.

Speeding tickets can raise insurance rates. According to Forbes Magazine, the average increase in insurance cost is $900 over a three-year period. Even the defensive driving course option costs $187 to $200.

Most of these may not apply in your life, but please take into consideration your overall health and well-being when considering changing your eating habits.

Also, think about the costs of medications and doctor visits that may be associated with poorer eating habits. Most importantly, you deserve to feel good and feel good about yourself.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: jack a lope

no thank you. I like my wine, my beer, my coffee and my steak.

maybe they need to lower the cost of fuit and vegies. $1.89 for an apple is nuts. and $7.00 for a bag of nuts is for the birds.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Save How?

Where can those of us save who already fall outside all the suggestions listed above?

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