Save your Money, Save your Health

What does it look like to eat $2.75 worth of whole, plant based food?

  • Breakfast – 1/2 cup steel cut oats cooked in 1 cup of water topped with 1 sliced banana, 1 T peanut butter and a dash of cinnamon = $0.42
  • Lunch – 1 large baked sweet potato topped with 1/2 cup black beans and 2 T salsa with a side of an apple = $0.85
  • Dinner – 1 cup cooked brown rice topped with 1/2 cup cooked lentils, 2 cups steamed broccoli and 1 T low sodium soy sauce = $0.89
  • Snack – 2 large carrots and 3 celery stalks dipped in 2 T peanut butter – $0.59

                TOTAL: $2.75

While you can eat plant based for even cheaper, this example is only whole foods, includes flavorings and has plenty of fresh veggies and fruit. A bonus – it’s surprisingly filling!

“It’s so expensive to eat healthy!” Though said often, this statement couldn’t be further from the truth! In our experience, eating whole plant based foods has led to significantly lower grocery bills. If you want to have some extra cash, fill your cart with these budget friendly plant based foods.

  • Beans (all) – Dry beans take a little more work but are the cheapest. Canned beans are still very affordable.
  • Lentils – Dry lentils are one of the cheapest foods out there – green, brown, red – all are a great choice.
  • Whole grains – The most affordable options are steel cut and rolled oats, brown rice, 100% whole grain pasta and bread and un-popped popcorn kernels.
  • Fruit – Bananas and apples will often be the cheapest as well as grapes, pears and oranges. The best sales are on fruit that’s in season.
  • Vegetables – The cheapest are potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, canned tomatoes, winter squash and broccoli. Whatever is in season will usually be on sale.
  • Nuts and seeds – Plain peanuts (though technically not a nut) are the cheapest. Raw almonds and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are also very affordable. At our local grocery, generic no sugar added peanut butter is just $1.79 per container.
  • Frozen – Check the freezer isle for deals on frozen fruits and veggies. These are just as nutritious as fresh produce. Or – if you find a great deal on in-season produce – you can freeze it on your own.

Wondering what to do with all of your savings? Consider choosing organic foods when buying any of the dirty dozen.

These prices are all from an Indianapolis-based Kroger. To compare, I took note of some non-whole food, plant based items at the same store. Check out the difference and then ask yourself – What will I do with all of this extra cash!?

Bacon – $4.18/lb ($1.04 per 4 slice serving)
Sliced deli ham – $5.26/lb ($1.32 per 4 oz serving)
Frozen shrimp – $6.99/10 oz package ($2.80 per 4 oz serving)
Sliced deli turkey – $6.99/lb ($1.75 per 4 oz serving)
Beef round – $5.10/lb ($1.27 per 4 oz serving)
Salmon – $8.99/lb ($2.25 per 4 oz serving)
Raisin Bran – $3.99/box (36 cents per cup)
Wheat Thins – $3.71/9 oz box (46 cents per 16 pieces)

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