The second most common question I get asked from friends and readers, after being asked if I’ve lost any weight, is if I’ve noticed a difference in our grocery bills since switching to a clean eating diet. The shortsighted answer is absolutely, yes! But then other days, when I see a lower grocery bill because I’m not purchasing red meat, or buying less pre-packaged meals, I can see that the costs are negligible. So I’ve decided for the next few weeks, I am going to do a better job tracking my grocery bills and breaking down costs for meals, to see if eating a more healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meat, and less processed foods really is costing me as much as I think it is.
I’m starting by analyzing the costs for 10 of my favorite meals I’ve recently made. The average home-cooked meal in America ranges widely, from as low as $5/meal to $20/meal for a family of 4. I try to stay in the $10/meal price range because that usually allows for a balanced meal of a healthy protein and some fresh veggies, that is full of flavor. While the costs associated with some meals, like roasting a fresh red snapper, are far outside of the scope of our normal grocery budget, others, like a 1-pot quinoa dish, fed our family for 3+ days and cost just a few bucks to make. Gwyneth may eat only organic, free-range, grass-fed, heritage poultry and meats, and suggests we only buy fish that have swam in local waters, but the reality is, that way of eating is not feasible for the average American. Not only is it expensive, it’s also unachievable in some states. For our family, I’m finding the best approach is one of balance; a mix of organic meats and really fresh fish on occasion, and a lot of simple, wholesome, non-extravagant dishes during the week. Read on to see the breakdown of what it really costs to eat like Gwyneth all week long.
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