Eating organic for under $15/day
Hey Hey there Diva friends! I'm SUPER excited to bring this blog post to you today. As someone who used to eat the S.A.D. (The aptly named Standard American diet), I too once though that healthy food must be more expensive.
Stated simply, eating whole food, natural, organic, unprocessed foods is NOT more expensive and doesn't have to be. When we originally began our pantry transformation our first step was to take all the wheat filled gluten foods we normally ate and replace them with gluten free processed foods that mimicked the familiar treats. In that instance YES we would spend more money if we continued to purchase gluten free oreos instead of regular oreos. The bills would also remain high as long as I continued to buy a lot of junky snacks, chips, ice cream in ADDITION to the healthier foods on the list....
What I noticed as we progressed in our thinking and continued to tweak our diets however, was that if you really focus on eliminating processed foods (gluten free and all) it is highly probable that you with either break even or SAVE when changing your diets. The KEY is to focus on real foods. The bulk of my grocery cart is almost always from the produce section (fruits, veggies, herbs...) with a little meat (grass-fed organic) and a few canned/boxed/bagged items here and there like flax seed, non-dairy milk, and canned tomatoes or beans.
As I became more aware, it's become a habit for me to listen for the persons total in front of me at the check out in curiosity. What I have discovered is that people who use coupons, shop the sales, and stock up on chips, canned goods, frozen goods, cheap bread, snack items and soda, almost always pay over $200 for their cart. When I check out my total ranges somewhere from $130-200 for the week depending on how thorough my list was ( aka if I have to go back later in the week), if I included any splurge/treat items, and if we needed any household items that week (those always add up).
It's very frustrating to me when people say they cannot afford to be healthy and eat clean foods. Fruit and vegetables are some of the most inexpensive things at the grocery store! Even if you do something "expensive" like juicing or blending your veggies which uses quite a few at a time, it's still way more affordable than going to out to eat for most of your meals or grabbing that daily coffee habit. Not to mention you are substituting incredible nutrition for harmful toxicity that can shorten your lifespan at worst and at best make the life you have less enjoyable.
To illustrate this point, I created an example meal plan, went to Krogers new Click List feature, input the items needed, calculated the serving size portion you would need per meal, and added up the total for one person in a day. I made sure the ingredients I chose were the ones I would personally use - organic, grass-fed when applicable etc...
With my ONE example ( which included a few more "expensive" items like juicing, Shakeology, and grass-fed beef) I found you could eat high quality, nutrient dense foods that will reverse disease and nourish your body for under $15 a day!
Here's the menu:
- 2 pasture raised eggs = .81c
- Homemade green juice ( 1/2 bunch organic kale + 1 honey crisp organic apple + 1 organic lemon ) = $1.87
- Chia Seed Pudding ( 1 can full fat coconut milk from a can + 1/4 cup grand chia seeds + 2TBS honey) = .95...estimated over 6 servings
Breakfast TOTAL: $3.63
Many people balk at the concept of a $4.00 superfoods shake when I talk about incorporating Shakeology into their day. But when it includes superfoods from around the world, high quality adaptogens to help the body deal with stress, probiotics and digestive enzymes to help your gut health, not to mention the help it provides in curbing your cravings, I'd say it's worth it. Just replace the sodas or Starbucks with this instead.
*Replace this with some veggies, fruit, or a salad and while you won't get the nutritional variety, you will still spend the same or less and be getting quality foods in your day.
- Microwaveable Sweet Potato = $1.29
- Applegate organic, grass-fed hotdog = .75
- Whole bag of frozen veggies like peas ($10/10) ... may add some spices and/or grass-fed butter
Lunch Total: $3.04
Organic honeycrip apple = .62c
1TBS peanut butter = .13c
Snack Total: $.75
Betty Crocker Crockpot Chili = $3.47 when having 4 servings
Dinner Total: $3.47
Total for the day $14.89
Of course your days will fluctuate, but this is approximately 1625 calories for $15.
Conversely you could always choose to have a day like this:
- Breakfast: McDonald's bacon egg an cheese biscuit (450 cal)
- Lunch: Subway 6 inch tuna sandwich ( 480 cal)
- Dinner: Chipotle burrito bowl with chicken, white rice, black beans ,mild salsa, cheese, guac and lettuce (890 cal)
For a grand total of: $13.94 and 1820 calories. This is all assuming of course that no beverages, chips, snacks, or extras were consumed.
You only have one body to live in.
Studies have shown that your gut health is directly correlated to your brain health. This means if you suffer from depression, anxiety, moodiness, or if you are prone to demential, Alzheimer's and brain fog in your family...these are things that can be prevented, and even reversed by the health of your gut. Processed foods not only provide lackluster nutritional value at best, but can cause inflammation to the gut as well as hindering the absorption of any nutrients you are actually consuming.
You won't be perfect over night. There is a learning curve. But the extra time and effort is ALWAYS worth it. Spending a few extra minutes looking at labels, making a meal plan, and cooking up some fresh veggies may give you an extra 15 YEARS in health, longevity, and LIFE.
I don't know about you, but I want the last 20 years of my life to be living not dying.
Change the mind, change the body.
Change the body, change the mind.
What are YOUR cost saving tips? I know there are many of you who are more budget conscious, and better at looking for cost saving tips that I am! I'd love to hear your tips below!!
To your health,