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Eating Healthy For Cheap At Chick-fil-A

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I are very similar, but we definitely have our differences. She doesn’t care for Chick-fil-A, but I love it. I love all of their stuff, and their management is great in my area. Every Chick-Fil-A in the Jacksonville area is very clean, has great service, and the food is very fresh.

She debated with me that it was so unhealthy, and it’s too greasy for her. Then, I was reading an article in Men’s Health a few months ago that rated Chick-fil-A an “A” for fast food choices, because all of the choices on the menu are less than 500 calories. Granted, there are some choices that are worse than others on the menu, but generally Chick-fil-A strives to make their food as healthy as fast food can be by using leaner frying oils, wheat buns on the chargrilled chicken sandwiches, and offer light dressings. They also offer side salads and fruit cups as an alternative to their fatty “but delicious” waffle fries. Not to mention, you can get a lunch or dinner for less than $8.00 on most meals.

One of the biggest fallacies about fast food right now is that the upscale fast food places are more healthy. Restaurants such as Chipotle and Panera Bread portray an image that it is healthier for you rather than greasy burgers and french fries. But in reality, the items on their menus are gut busters. Many of the Panera Bread signature sandwiches are 700 to 900 calories each! Pair that with soup and a drink, and you’re well over 1,000 calories. We all know that humongous Chipotle burritos are a portion’s worst nightmare. It’s tough to eat one of their burritos that isn’t less than 1,000 calories. Plus, they come at a premium price. You will typically pay $9.00 to $10.00 per meal at these half sit-down restaurants. Here are two suggestions for healthy, cheap meals from Chick-fil-A that I recommend.

  1. Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich: 270 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 33 carbs, and 28 grams of protein
  2. Side Salad with Fat Free Honey Mustard/Sunflower Seeds/Croutons: 270 calories, 12.5 grams of fat, 24 carbs and 6.5 grams of protein.
  3. Diet Coke or Diet Lemonade: 25 calories for the Diet Lemonade, 0 for Diet Coke

Total: 540 calories, 16 grams of fat, 52 carbs, and 34.5 grams of protein.
Price: $6.39 plus tax

  1. Southwest Chargrilled Chicken Salad w/ light italian dressing: 255 calories, 8.5 grams of fat, 19 carbs, 25 grams of protein
  2. Fruit Cup: 50 calories and 13 carbs
  3. Medium Sweet Tea: 130 calories, 34 carbs

Total: 435 calories, 8.5 grams of fat, 72 carbs, and 25 grams of protein
Price: $7.19 plus tax

I’m going to start this health and money theme here at Money Crashers, because I believe that it is possible to eat for cheap without sacrificing your health.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.thewisdomjournal.com Ron@TheWisdomJournal

    I love Chick Fil A!
    I usually get the 4 strip dinner with no sauces, a fruit cup, and a water or Diet Coke.

  • http://www.LeslieSansoneWilliams.com/ Leslie Sansone Williams

    Great post. I adore Chick Fil A! In fact, I’m losing weight by eating the 12 piece grilled chicken nuggets and a salad almost every day for lunch. Delicious! Also, the staff really focuses on exemplary customer service and I like that.

  • Joynerz

    I’ve never had a ‘cheap’ meal at chick-fil-a. They are rather pricey for what I get.

  • Laura

    Health isn’t all about carbs, calories and grams of fat. Chick Fil A good is chock full of MSG, HFCS and tons of other chemicals that do NOT promote health, and definitely do not belong inside our bodies.

  • Laura


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