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How to Eat a Healthy Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet on $50 Per Week

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Having a tight grocery budget is something most all of us can relate to at least at some point or another. We all have our ups and downs when it comes to a food budget, and if you’re ever had to watch every penny, you know it can be tough. Sadly, a whole foods, plant-based diet is still seen as an incredibly hard task to manage. “Healthy eating is too expensive!”

How many times have we all heard (or said) that?

Well, the options are now easier than ever and more affordable when it comes to eating a healthy, whole food and completely plant-based diet if you want to give this a shot. If you have $50 per week to designate for groceries, you can easily eat healthy, cheap, and stay full and satisfied at the same time. The USDA reports that of March in 2015, the average food cost for females per week ranged between $47 (low-income) to $57 (moderate income). Mens’ budgets were roughly $20 higher in each group. Many of us buy way more than that each week, and yet find ourselves with food leftover and possibly throwing food out week after week. We’re all human and let cravings, moods, and multiple trips at the store influence our ability to stay on a food budget and eat what we have.

So, let’s take a look at how eating healthy, plant-based, and budget-friendly can be done.

Spend $20 on Fresh Produce

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Always keep $20 of your food budget for fresh produce. This will do several things all at once: First, it keeps you accountable for choosing the best foods possible first, it ensures that you have a good amount of fresh food in your diet each week, and it prevents you from spending all your $50 on boatloads of fruit and vegetables you likely won’t be able to eat in a week. If you can choose organic, please do. It’s much healthier for you due to less pesticide exposure, and is very easy to do these days with more stores offering affordable organic foods.

Here’s a great idea to start with:

1. One bag of chopped organic kale  (or spinach)- $5

2. One head of broccoli (and/or cauliflower!)- $3

3. One bag of organic apples (or bananas, etc.) -$5

4. One bunch of organic celery -$3

5. Two Avocados or Sweet Potatoes, Onions, etc.- $4

If you want to designate $5 more dollars to your budget here, choose lettuces like romaine, or a spinach mix instead. Don’t want apples one week? Choose some oranges and bananas instead. And if you’re one of the few people that doesn’t like avocados, buy a different veggie or more fruit instead. If you need to carry a calculator with you, do it! Or, just use your phone and tally up as you go.

Spend $10-$15 in the Bulk Section

bulk-bin-whole-foods

Now it’s time to head to the bulk bins. Here you’ll want to buy some grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, except … don’t go crazy with amounts. You don’t need a pound of almonds to eat all week long and don’t need a pound of beans either. Or, skip the bulk beans if you don’t like soaking them, and spend a few dollars on some canned options instead. Purchase nuts and seeds in 1 ounce amounts and only choose a few different ones each week.  Remember, you can always try a new kind next week.

Here are some good examples of what you could buy:

1. $3 worth of whole grain oats

2. $3 worth of raw almonds

3. $2 of beans

4. $2 of whole grain quinoa or rice

But…Don’t Neglect Some of the Options on the Aisle

wholefoodscanned

If you prefer, you can also purchase oats and rice in larger bags found in the aisles (or in containers) that are roughly around the same price. Choose this option if you’re fine with eating the same grain all week and save a new grain for next week. Canned beans are also pretty affordable, which makes them a great option if you don’t have time on your hands and don’t want to go through several steps to cook them.

Check out These Ideas:

1. Two cans of chickpeas – $4

2. One bag of lentils- $3

3. One container of oats- $3

4. One bag of organic flax seed- $3

Spend $5-7 on Non-dairy Items

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Pick up a couple of non-dairy milks; you’ll likely need only one, but if you have a child, roommate, sibling, or you just love the stuff, you might need an extra container. Or, buy a container of non-dairy yogurt if you enjoy it. No need to spend too much of your money here, but non-dairy milk is one of those “must-have items” for many of us, even if we eat whole foods otherwise.

Spend the Rest on Frozen Veggies and Fruits

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Don’t neglect frozen foods when you’re trying to eat healthy and on a budget; they’re actually very healthy for you! Plain frozen greens, berries, and veggies like broccoli are must-haves for budget-savvy individuals watching the pennies. A pound of organic frozen spinach costs around $3 per bag, which would easily last you several servings. A pound of frozen fruit is usually around the same amount and you won’t have to worry about it spoiling before you eat it all. You can use frozen veggies in meals when the fresh veggies run out, and you can use the greens in fruits in your morning smoothies!

Here are some ideas:

1. One bag of frozen spinach – $2-$3

2. One bag of frozen berries- $3-4

3. One bag of frozen broccoli or mixed veggies – $4

What About Protein?

The-Truth-About-Hemp-Seeds (2)

If you’re concerned about protein, you have some options. First, don’t neglect the beans, legumes, and oats which are all great sources, along with other foods high in protein too. Or, if you’d prefer, choose some tofu, tempeh, or even hemp seeds instead of bulk beans, legumes, and nuts. Eat plenty of produce, and some sort of bean, legume, grain, nut/seed daily. A bag of hemp seeds (a complete protein source) is around $8, some smaller bags are less, or if you can swing it, hemp protein is also around $12-$14 per pound, and will easily last you a month per container for smoothies.

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For more tips, see How to Navigate the Store as a Newly Plant-Based Eater, 10 Ridiculous Easy Tips to Live on a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet, and remember, where there is a will, there’s a way. Plant-based eating can be healthy, easy, filling, and you can always rotate what you buy so you don’t get tired of the same foods. 

Check out some more budget-friendly meal tips for more ideas and feel free to share your own!

Lead Image Source: Flickr



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471 comments on “How to Eat a Healthy Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet on $50 Per Week”

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Adams Helen
3 Days ago


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Jessica
8 Days ago

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Reply
Jessica
8 Days ago

After being in relationship with Wilson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don\'t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr Zuma zuk and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: [email protected] or call him +2349055637784 you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS\'


Reply
Sarah Marie
25 Days ago

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Reply
mariaalexander
2 Months Ago

Real love spell to get your Ex-boyfriend / Ex-girlfriend back fast after a breakup!
I\'m Maria 21 yr old from England, my boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant.I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again.Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes ,my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time.Generally he is a very nice guy ,he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along.He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change.I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with.I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe.He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy,he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Unity. If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.This is his E-mail: [email protected] or add him up on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,you can also visit his website:http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .


Reply
Yasmin A.
2 Months Ago

Super helpful thanks! I am in the lucky position tbe able to afford a little extra on the side but it is definitely good to know I won\'t be broke as I am about to embark on this whole plant based food journey.


Reply
Dan K
2 Months Ago

Baloney, all that food comes from same distributors, you can get better prices in ralphs for same quality produce


Reply
Shanta K.
22 Sep 2016

"Whole foods" does not mean the store by that name. Whole foods are unprocessed foods in their natural state. If you want to buy them at Ralphs, go ahead. They are still whole foods. I think you and some other people below missed the point of this article entirely. It\'s about buying from the basic whole food rather than processed, as in boxed, canned, with lots of ingredients like sugar, salt and preservatives added.

Angela Zhang
3 Months Ago

Emmaleigh Ford


Reply
Emmaleigh Ford
06 Sep 2016

😍😍

Nathan D Kershaw
3 Months Ago

Yaaaaaaay it's like actually double our current food budget. Even if I wanted to do such a weird thing I literally could not afford it. Way to go.


Reply
Sarah Encinas
3 Months Ago

Alaina Encinas


Reply


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