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22> Is the TNT Diet an Expensive Eating Plan?


In the past 20 months that I have been on the TNT Forum and participating in the 52DC, several individuals have given up eating the TNT Low Carb way, claiming that it is just too expensive.  I was surprised at the statement, but kind of sloughed it off as being an “excuse” or acknowledging that there are those who worry about their food budget and that I was lucky that I no longer had that problem. 

This last time that some made that statement, my curiosity was peaked.  First I discussed it with my wife.  She is the one that does 90% of the shopping and cooking and has a depth of information that I just don’t have.   Her immediate response – carbs are cheaper than fresh meat and veggies and processed carbs and are the cheapest of all – especially convenience foods.

In order to get an even more in depth insight I put this question out to the Forum members.  I really did not know what to expect.  I got more responses than I imagined I would get and some of them were down right surprising. This is the link to the Thread. What follows is some of the comments that were posted.

JMC1077 stated: I don’t think it’s anymore expensive that anything else. I went from a more traditional food plan (think 40/30/30) into Plan A and I actually was spending less money for the same amount of calories taken in.

6oz of chicken thighs and 1.5 pounds of broccoli (a common meal for me) costs me less that 2 dollars a meal. 2 salmon burgers and 1.5 pounds of broccoli (another common meal) cost me less than 2 dollars. Eggs are dirt cheap. I can get packs of beef sausage 10 for 10. I find this eating style to be comparable if not a bit cheaper than other options.

Vter27stated: I have found that the plan discourages me from eating at restaurants…in a good way. While replacing some dry carbs with fresh veg adds some cash to the weekly bill, I can honestly say that I am saving bank by eating at home.

Oldgerdyb gave a perspective from North of the Border. Up here in Canada its not too bad. In the summer there are farmers markets where you can get great, fresh veggies very cheap. But winter is really harsh as veggies found in grocery stores gets expensive fast.

I do feel like I spend more on meats and veggies but I also don’t go out to eat as much. ( I at one point would spend hundreds / month on going out). So it evens out.

I find I eat a lot more to get satisfied, so my food supply runs out faster than usual as well.

Thankfully, eggs and ground beef are cheap !

Adr1enne gave a very insightful analysis. I think this depends on where you are starting from. IMHO, processed foods are much cheaper than healthy. So if someone is starting any diet from a previous diet of Mac N cheese, Ramon noodles, Pop tarts, and pasta I think this will be a little more expensive.

I’ve been going to SAM’s bi weekly to buy the spinach, mixed greens, and Broccoli and I think it’s about $10-12 for all. I also look for the sales during the week and buy the meat that is on sale. I do notice the fresh veggies can range in price and if you go to the wrong place you could be paying more though.

If you juggle around what type of meat and veggies you buy during sales, I don’t think it’s expensive. And as mentioned – eggs, chicken and ground beef are staples and inexpensive. In comparison to a LF diet though, the leaner cuts of meats are always more expensive! I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that anymore

crmsn2010 cut to the chase. Olive oil and butter. They make up the majority of my calories, and there are few things cheaper. Seriously, if I was dead-set on it, I could do olive oil ($5), 7lb bulk chicken thighs ($7), a 4lb bag of broccoli ($4) and gallon of milk ($3) and be set for $20 a week, perfectly plan-B.

tschneiderprovided a relative newbie’s perspective. I have not been following TNT for too long here but my initial observation is that it is the cheapest way I have ever eaten. As crmsn mentions, once you get the more expensive items out of the way (i.e. Olive Oil) everything else comes cheaper. Chicken, pork tenderloins, veggies etc.

Compared to ABS, I find this to be much cheaper (maybe just the way I’m shopping). When I compare it to the days of processed crap, I find it to be even more manageable. Those days consisted of the cheap mac and cheese type meals, but those also left me hungry…forcing me to eat more on a regular basis. Let alone the daily $6-7 lunches at Arbys.

neshoba6, whose switch to ABS triggered my question responded:

I think that question may have been directed at me, so here’s my 2 cents.

For me, due to my wife’s diet, it is more expensive. If we did the same diet, it wouldn’t really be. As it stands now, we have to buy 2 of everything. 2 salad dressings, 2 mayonnaise, eggs and egg beaters, etc.

That is an added expense. It also costs more to substitute asparagas for a baked potato at a steak house, or upgrade to sauteed mushrooms, etc.

Ribeye’s cost more than sirloin….etc.

If there was only one strict diet in the house, TNT wouldn’t really be an increase, its tough with 2.

Boom8727, who switched to TNT from a calorie controlled program only a couple of weeks ago stated: I have found that since I stopped eating all the processed junk food I actually save money. If you can buy your meat in bulk once a month, all you have to do at the beginning of the week is buy veggies, which are incredibly affordable.

I went from spending over $500 a month at the grocery store, to about $65 to $70 a week. That includes meat and veggies, and carb stuff for my bf. Plus hygiene products and such. I believe TNT is saving me money, but I could just be way outta wack on how much I was spending…

Perhaps the most interesting comment came from Kongholiday: Like anything else it CAN be expensive or it CAN be cheap. I like to eat, and I like to eat good food. That means when I want steak, I want ribeye (unless it’s fajitas and then cheap steak works fine). Sometimes the local IGA has ribeye for 5.99 a pound and I buy about 100 bucks worth when it is and freeze it. If money is tight, there are other things I can find to eat that are much cheaper than ribeye.

One thing I can guarantee is that it is cheaper than eating out. I used to eat fast food 3 meals a day 7 days a week. Fast food is NOT cheap by any means. I would easily spend 7-8 a meal 3 meals a day. That’s over 700 a month. I had charged up around 7000-8000 on my credit card and I’d bet 75% of it was food. In just over one year on TNT, I’ve paid off that credit card completely with the savings I’ve had while eating at home and I’m eating healthier, better tasting food than I ever got at a fast food joint.

mcgeggygave the perspective of the family man I find it to be a little more expensive. I like to buy things on sale, and there just seems to be a wider range of food items on sale when eating a “normal” range of foods. I eat three times as many eggs now as I’ve ever done, more cheese, heavy cream is pricey, was never a big steak eater but now have it at least twice a week, salmon at least once a week, I use more olive oil than ever before (and started using grape seed oil, too). Add to that the cold cuts, pepperoni, stevia sweeteners, three times as many fresh veggies, and I’m sure several other things I’m forgetting, and it all adds up.

Plus, my wife and three year old daughter are not on this or any other plan. Although, if I cook, my wife will eat the same meal as I generally. As far as eating out, I guess I am no longer getting my money’s worth, because I used to eat my dinner, plus I would also finish whatever my wife did not eat! I guess I should factor in the pizza savings, as we have not had it since I began the diet!

As far as your quote above, one thing for me is that I think this diet is working because I am not. Lost my job in March, but I think I would find it very hard to do breakfast properly if I was still working. I used to start at 6:00 am and would eat a cup of low sugar oatmeal and a banana most mornings at work, sometimes a ham/egg/cheese on a roll. (I know- hard boiled eggs, but I really do not like them. Getting kinda of sick of eggs as it is…).

Bottom line is, even if I do find it slightly more expensive, the trade-off is I am eating healthier and losing weight. Over twenty pounds in less than two months!

IsoJealous gave the bachelor’s point of view. I have been doing the TNT for two weeks and my typical grocery bill moved from $80 to $120 per week. However, I have been taking a different stance on the diet where I am cooking 4 times a week. Previously I was only cooking twice a week (bachelor lifestyle). The diet has forced me to add more variety to my diet, seafood, poultry, beef, pork, etc. I will happily increase my grocery costs by 25-50% if i can eat with more variety, more flavor, and lose weight. Plus I have time to cook now that I’m not working out hardcore 6x a week. Not eating out and spending $100 tabs at the bar helps too.

In the end, I believe that if you compare eating TNT with any other Clean Eating program such as ABS, you will find no real significant cost difference.  If you compare it to eating as most people do – or as we did before we started on our health an fitness journey – it definitely costs more.

It costs a bit more to be healthy – interesting position the food industry has put us in.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tommylandbboe
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 18:09:56

    CostCo:
    Case of 90 Eggs – $8.00 (lasts a month)
    40 pieces of Perdue chicken breast: $20 (3 weeks)
    Vegetables: $12.00 p/week

    Other: $30 a month

    Reply

  2. tommylandbboe
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 18:11:14

    Oh but I’m a psycho and can eat the same thing, day in, day out. I left out 120 Kraft Singles, $8.00.

    20 sticks of butter- $7.00

    Reply

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