The Spaghetti-String Budget Isn’t What it Used To Be!


The question of whether it costs more to eat healthy isn’t really a question: it does.

But one thing I’ve noticed while sticking to the Low-FODMAP diet this past year (aside from the raising of already-high grocery bills), is that convenience is a loosing battle. It’s one thing to have one or two food allergies or intolerances to avoid–you can usually find a few options, especially as food marketers are jumping on the allergy trends. But when you’re avoiding a multitude of different, very common ingredients, even the easy stuff can get a little complex.

Take a stand-by meal like the spaghetti dinner. Simple, filling, and great for those nights you don’t want to resort to cereal for breakfast but also don’t have a lot of time.


Obviously, the pasta poses a problem if you’re wheat free. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of wheat-free options, from corn to quinoa to brown rice. Unfortunately, those options are going to set you back at least twice if not three times as much as the wheat version would.

As for the sauce, in the interest of time you’re going to pick up a jar of pre-made, right? A store brand might be a little over a dollar and a name brand closer to $2 or $3, depending on the style. I’ve found that there’s a single brand of pre-made sauce out there, sold in perhaps two stores in the entire city, that does not include onion or garlic as part of its make-up. And that singular option for a quick supper?  Costs $8 a jar (Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marinara Sauce).

Sure, I could make my own, but that defeats the point of this little exercise, right? The price of convenience when you’re on a restricted diet goes from an average of $0.80 per serving to a cool $2.50. And that’s before you even add meat to the sauce (which, in my kitchen, is de rigueur) and tack on the increased price of buying lean ground beef over chuck, and even more if you prefer grass-fed, etc.

So while I’m grateful that I at least have those options to fall back on every now and again, it’s certainly not what we think of when a cheap and easy meal is desired.

A little food for thought never hurt, right?

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