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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

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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

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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?

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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. 

Recommendation: Download the Food Monster Apppb

 

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The Food Monster app has over 8000+ recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8000+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

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

Lead Image Source: RossHelen/Shutterstock

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

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roseline
5 Days ago

At last my happiness and joy has been restored as my husband who left me for another girl has finally come back good and still lovely to me , i want to use this time to give thanks to Dr Blessing who has use his love spell and prayers to bring back my ex lover and also share little about my rough story between me and my husband and the other girls , i got married to the man i loved Sanchez June 23 2013 and we have been together ever since and we have leaved happily we both have a daughter , but this year 2017 when has traveled to new York on a business things changed even when he was away he never called to say hi to me and my daughter and this was unlikely of him because he loves our daughter to sky , so i began to suspect something wasn\'t right, but i waited for he to return to me in Canada so i know what the problems was, only for Sanchez to come back asking for divorce at first i thought he was joking , but with time i saw he was so serious on this , i tried to plead with he but nothing changed , i called my mom telling her about the situation and she said to pray about it , i was depressed and devastated on this issues and was praying and looking for help to stop the divorce and save my marriage, i seek help with many persons non could help , i continue with the search of help because i knew and have the feelings my man was not on his right senses because i know the man i married can never ask me for a divorce, so i kept on looking for solutions i spent almost all my savings seeking solution , until the Juliana a working told me about Dr blessing of [email protected], i never wanted to email him because many has taken money from me without giving any good result, but when he gave her words about Dr Blessing i decided to give it a trial , contacted him and told him about myself , he told me that he will have me to make my husband stop the divorce and reunite us again , that he gave me three days after which everything will be back to it normal place for good , i did some few things he said i should do as instructed , and let he do his work i was at work on the 15th of July about 10 AM when i received letter from my husband that my husband has cancelled the divorce case and same day at about 12 noon my husband wrote me a sweet text , and this was how me and my husband came back and today we are better as one family , so i want to use this means to tell to you all here contact Dr Blessing to for any kind of relationship or married problems and i let he solve it for you just as he has done for me , his contacts
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aodh noah
5 Days ago

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aodh noah
5 Days ago

Hello, is good I inform all the men and guys out there, that sometimes we all make mistakes in our relationship and made our relationship to be broken and is also our responsibility to make it work by seeking for solution to it, I’m very happy today to tell you little of my relationship problem, i cheated once on my wife and she caught me and she was ready to end our marriage because i truly love her i quickly seek for solution to stop her that is when i came across Dr.Goodnews temple who has helped so many people restore their broken marriage and relationship i also contact him today my marriage is restored, I’m going to drop his contract so that does having the same issues can contact him for solution on ( [email protected] or +2348151661046


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rose
5 Days ago

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carimes
6 Days ago

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21 Days ago


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Leon Adrian
1 Months Ago

My world was falling apart. My mind, for some reason, wont let go of the memory of My Wife. I had a very big problem with my wife few months ago, that lead to her leaving me. All efforts to get her back proved abortive. one day while going through the internet i saw so many testimony of this great man called Dr.Goodluck and how he helped people with all kinds of problem, his advert was everywhere,. Although I never believed in spell casting, but I had no choice than to give him a try so i contacted Him, I was so desperate to have my wife back with me once again. So I did all he told me to do. He told me that my wife will come back to me in the next 17hours after the spell is completed. I was skeptical. He casted the spell for me and i was so anxious waiting to see or hear from her, it was just 14hours after the spell was done my wife called and said she was coming HOME and she was asking for forgiveness for her ever hurting me before…..It was a dream come through for me!!! that was how my family and relationship was save and our relationship is now stronger than ever.my advice to you out there facing same problem or even worst then mine cry no more and contact this great man called Dr Goodluck He is capable of handling any kind of problem.
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Jane Jeff
1 Months Ago

I want to use this great opportunity to thank Dr. Akereco for helping me to get my boyfriend back after 1 year of breakup. My boyfriend breakup with me because he see another girl at his working place and told me he is no longer interested in me and live me pain and heart break.I seek for help on the internet and i saw so many good talk about this great spell caster Dr. Akereco of [email protected] and i contacted him also and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get back my boyfriend within the period of 3 days and i am so grateful to him for the good work he did for me,that is why i also want to let everyone who is in need of help out there to also seek help from him so he can help.His email
[email protected] Whats-app number+2349064026626 or for USA call +1 (650) 334-3969 you can contact for any kind of help and he will help you. Jane from Switzerland


Reply
Jane Jeff
1 Months Ago

I want to use this great opportunity to thank Dr. Akereco for helping me to get my boyfriend back after 1 year of breakup. My boyfriend breakup with me because he see another girl at his working place and told me he is no longer interested in me and live me pain and heart break.I seek for help on the internet and i saw so many good talk about this great spell caster Dr. Akereco of [email protected] and i contacted him also and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get back my boyfriend within the period of 3 days and i am so grateful to him for the good work he did for me,that is why i also want to let everyone who is in need of help out there to also seek help from him so he can help.His email
[email protected] Whats-app number+2349064026626 or for USA call +1 (650) 334-3969 you can contact for any kind of help and he will help you. Jane from Switzerland


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