There is a common misconception that eating healthy is more expensive that choosing convenience or fast foods. If this is you, I have one question: Can you eat on $50 per week from fast food restaurants? It’s difficult to stay within this budget with just one lunch or dinner each day!
While $50 a week doesn’t seem possible, Heather McClees with One Green Planet successfully put it to the test (see How to Eat a Healthy Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet on $50 Per Week). One disclaimer I need to note is that the selections she recommended are 100% plants foods (which means no meat), but I am impressed just the same. If you were to follow her plan and add a small amount of high quality animal protein (wild caught fish, organic poultry, grass-fed beef) if desired, you would still save a lot of money while boosting your health significantly.
Eating a plant-based diet will do so much more than help your waistline. Plant foods contain health-promoting phytonutrients that will help lower inflammation and protect your cells to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more! Even for those of you who know this, you probably aren’t eating enough servings every day to enjoy these powerful benefits.
How many servings is enough? I recommend about 8-10 servings (a serving = 1/2 cup except for 1 cup for raw, leafy greens) of fruits and vegetables per day minimum. This means that fruits and vegetables will be the majority of your food by volume and should fill half your plate at each meal, plus more for snacks. Choose from a variety of colors (green, red, orange, blue/purple, yellow, tan, and white) for the most health benefits. Start where you are at and begin adding one more serving each day until you reach your target.
It’s the perfect savings plan! So why not protect your bank balance and your health at the same time?