5 Surefire Ways To Avoid Spending Too Much Money On Junk Food

“Cravings are powerful. (It) can make a person value a food more since it not only may fulfill a hunger need, but also a psychological need for satisfaction.”
– Ms. Jackie Arnett Elnahar, a Registered dietitian and CEO of TelaDietitian

When fast food chains offer their tasty meals, they go beyond advertising on television and social media. They employ different marketing strategies to entice the consumers into spending their hard-earned cash on the spot. These attractive offerings can increase a person’s craving for junk food.

You need to realize that your cravings for junk food burns both your wallet and your health. A 2018 study from New York University showed that people were willing to pay more for foods they crave. It did not matter whether they were hungry or not. Moreover, the amount they were willing to pay multiplied when they were offered bigger portions.

The lead author of the study explained that the “results indicate that even if people strive to eat healthier, cravings could overshadow the importance of health”. Participants craved for larger portions of junk food but did not crave larger portions of healthy food.

It is up to you to fight these cravings and to choose a healthier path. Read the following tips to start your journey.


The first step to curb your junk food spending is to be honest with yourself. If you aim to gradually remove unhealthy snacks from your diet, include it to your grocery budget. Set a realistic amount and stick to it. Limiting your budget for snacks will prevent you from dropping by the store to spend more money on it.


Whether you are cooking for yourself or your family, planning meals is a good place to begin improving your food choices. Taking the time to plan a healthy meal can help you avoid the costly takeaway or delivery food.

Start by grabbing a pen and a paper. List down your favorite meals. It may help to talk to your spouse or your family regarding their meal preferences. Some meals are healthier than others, but write them all for now. After gathering your options, it is up to you to strategically spread these meals out. Planning the weekly menu will help you save money and give you more time to prepare healthier food.


Let us face it! Sometimes, you may feel too tired or unmotivated to prepare a meal. Give yourself a break. Reduce your junk food spending by giving yourself a cheat day. With all the factors that hinder you from preparing a meal (e.g., time), you can purchase pre-packaged meals such as salad or frozen pizza. You can only eat these types of meals during your cheat day.


As you practice healthy habits and reduce your junk food consumption, you can increase your motivation by rewarding yourself. Whether you want to purchase a new top or an air fryer, include this purchase on the leisure expense category of your budget. This way, you will not feel guilty about spending too much money outside of your budget.


It is no secret that Singaporeans love to eat! People in Singapore are blessed with a variety of cuisines that one cannot resist the temptation of dining out. As with everything that is good, too much can be bad too.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

You may feel that eating out during lunch daily does not make a difference. But, all your costs add up. The cost of one restaurant meal may be equivalent up to three home-cooked meals. Try packing lunch from home as it is generally cheaper. Packing your meals will also enable you to follow your dietary restrictions.

Sources: 1, 2, & 3


4 Times That Fast Food Chains Stole Your Money

When fast food chains offer their tasty meals, they go beyond advertising on television and social media. They employ different marketing strategies to entice the consumers into spending their hard-earned cash on the spot. Just take a look at their slogans!

Burger King once used the slogan: “IT JUST TASTES BETTER”. They provide no further explanations as to why their burgers and products tastes good. They simply implant this idea because they are business-oriented people. On that note, here are the 4 Times That Fast Food Chains “Stole” Your Money:


It is no secret that smell can induce cravings. These cravings can later lead to spending money.

Some companies (like ScentAir) are in the business of copying the natural scents of different food such as grilled burger, cinnamon bun, and popcorn. They sell these scents to companies that want to enhance the overall aroma of their stores. It works because smell can actually make your food taste better.

Dr. Brian Wansink once said: “it [odor] definitely makes the dining experience much more attractive to people, but unfortunately it also makes you want to get the fries instead of the salad.”


Seeing me sip a cup of soda is a rare sight but, I always fall for the “bundle price” marketing trick regardless of that! Bundle pricing occurs when the company sells 2 or more products as a package with an intent of saving the customers’ money. Fast food chains habitually engage in this strategy which they refer to as “value meals”.

Currently, Burger King is offering value meals that come with burgers, cheesy fries, and sodas for only S$4.95 each. How can you not fall for a price that is significantly less than the amount of each item separately?

Image Credits: burgerking.com.sg/Menu

Image Credits: burgerking.com.sg

One drawback is that the portions are lesser than the usual.


From the logos to the interior, two colors seem to stay at almost every fast food chains. These two colors are red and yellow. Red and yellow stimulate appetite, which probably explains why your stomach starts to make noises as soon as you see the yellow arches or the red logo. You cannot resist spending more inside!

Interestingly, you can combat how colors affect the way you eat by controlling your own plate. Researchers at Cornell University found that when they reduced the contrast in their plates and tables or in their plates and the food itself, people tend to serve themselves less food. To eat less, pair your white plate with your white table-cloth or a blue plate with a blue table-cloth.


With the continued advocacy against obesity, consumers have been warned about the health risks of various fast food joints. Some companies heard this plea and incorporated healthy options to their menu. These companies came up with low-calorie ice creams, fruit bowls, veggie wraps, and salads.

Included in these said companies are McDonald’s and Burger King. Let us take Mac’s “Chicken McNuggets® 6pc Delight 500 Meal with Dasani Drinking Water” as an example. I was impressed with the website as it showed the nutrition facts, allergen information, and food sensitivity. In fact, the amount of cholesterol is this meal is only 59 mg!

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Image Credits: pixabay.com

My friends at the fitness studio who are always on the go will enjoy this seemingly healthier option. Well, you know how popular healthy detox and other healthy alternatives are in the Singaporean social media.

Sources:  1 & 2