Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Food On a Budget: An Experiment

When we stop eating crap, we stop feeling like crap. A while back, I wrote a blog article called “Eating Healthy on a Budget: Cut Your Grocery Costs and Feel Amazing.” I priced out healthy food for a family of three for a week for $95.

Well today, I kicked it up a notch and this time I purchased a week’s worth of all certified ORGANIC food for two people from a health food store (in a state where the cost of living is quite high), which is not the most cost effective way to go. I approached it this way on purpose to experiment.

You see, I’m trying to settle the score that “healthy food (and vegan food) is too expensive,” when in fact it can be less expensive than standard American diet food or a meat and dairy based diet. So I purchased these items in the most expensive way possible, and also accounted for vegan Shakeology for two people (two superfood smoothies per day) as well as some convenience foods like organic Amy’s frozen veggie burgers. I also added in $5 to factor in other kitchen staples such as seasonings and condiments used for the week. With that said, my total came out to about $160 (or $80 per person).

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Now, a better way to do this to make this more affordable and practical, is you could easily grow many of your own organic fruits and veggies, pick your own from local organic farms, can and freeze foods, join a CSA or co-op, purchase dry goods in bulk, batch cook, purchase seasonal foods, go to farmer’s markets, shop sales, and do this for MUCH CHEAPER! There are blogs about eating plant-based on as little as $4 a day. And remember, this experiment was done in a pricey manner purchasing organic foods.

You can instead purchase organic when possible or personally necessary; because unfortunately, conventionally grown produce is cheaper. One method is to follow the guidelines of “The Clean Fifteen” and “The Dirty Dozen.” This will help save money as well, if you are flexible.

Trust me. I’m of modest means, and I’m not out of touch with reality. I understand that some families can only afford $50-$75 a week for food and sometimes that’s to feed more people. All we can do is our best. This is not about self-judgement or judgement of others. This is about making health a priority as much as we can within our means.

According to a USA Today report, “The latest numbers for a four-member family: a thrifty food plan, $146 a week; a low-cost food plan, $191 a week; a moderate-cost plan, $239; a liberal plan, $289 a week. Some food waste is built into these costs.”

Expensive foods are usually convenience foods. And with a little time and meal planning, you can reap the health and financial benefits of eating real food you prepare yourself where you know exactly what is going into it.

I would love for you to join my upcoming 30-day health and fitness challenge, “The Glow So Healthy Pre-Summer Challenge” where we will be using PiYo workouts and a plant-based meal plan to reach our health goals (starts May 3, 2015). The kit is $140, and I will be your coach and offer my holistic health coaching services for free. To learn more, please comment or email me for details. I will work with you to help improve your lifestyle habits so you can become the healthiest version of yourself. I hope to hear from you.
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