in Budget Meal Plans, Health-related Finance, Uncategorized

1 Week of Fresh, Clean-Eating for $30! (Shopping List & Meal Plan Included)

at
$30 – 100% Clean, (Almost) 100% Fresh Eating for 1 Week! Try the challenge with me!

I love clean-eating. Since I’ve changed my overall diet to cleaner foods, I’ve benefited in many noticeable ways. My skin is clearer, I’ve lost about 22 pounds, I have more energy and stamina and my mood has improved. I feel better than ever before and I no longer want to nap after every meal.

1-Week, Clean-Eating, Fresh Food Meal Plan & Grocery List for $30.

When people ask me what the trick is, I tell them to just “eat clean.” I often hear this in turn:  “it’s too expensive.”

This will be said by the same people that will order pizza for lunch or buy two boxes of Chips Ahoy! cookies for home.

“I can’t afford it” is not a viable excuse for most people anymore. Yes, it’s better to eat organic and grass-fed, but if you can’t afford that then non-organic vegetables and non-grass fed meat is better than highly-processed, packaged foods. Two packages of Chips Ahoy! cookies will set you back about the same as a pound of non-steroid, non-antibiotic chicken. The same price could get you 3 pounds or more of lesser-quality chicken.

My point is – you don’t need to have a lot of money to make a lifestyle change. Still need the snacks in the home? I stopped craving all of that junk over time, and you may too.

I’m going to do this challenge with you and will update this post at the bottom throughout the week.

The Goal: To eat clean for one week for $30!

Let’s break it down. We need 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners all for $30. I’m not including things like spices, olive oil or butter in the prices because one week you may need them and the next you may not. I’m not including drinks either.

Shopping list:

1 dozen eggs: $2.50
32 oz. Store Brand Brown Rice: $2.69
1.7 lb Store Brand Boneless Skinless Breasts: $6.11
2 lbs Broccoli Crowns: $3.20
2 lbs Zucchini: $4.00
20.8 oz. Ground Turkey: $3.99
1 Onion: $1.00
1 Green Bell Pepper: $.89
1 Red Bell Pepper: $1.50
1 Cauliflower: $3.99

Total Cost: $29.87

*These prices are based on my nearest, mid-range grocery store (a Stop N Shop) on 1/15/2017.

None of these items are on sale. All of these items are “fresh” except for the brown rice.

So, now that you have your items, let’s talk about how we prep and cook them.

If done the way I envision, you could:
– Only cook a total of 3-4 times in the entire week.
– Eat almost everything you bought (efficient!)
– Only have to clean 2 pots (rice & hard-boiled eggs), 1 pan (turkey & peppers), and 2 baking sheets (but just use tin-foil!).
– Eat completely fresh (except the rice), clean food for one entire week.

Breakfasts:

Eggs (obviously). Hard-boiled, pan-fried, scrambled – however you want them. Hard-boiled would be the cleanest way to go as it requires no other ingredients. It also cuts down on your cooking time to 1-2 time per week.

Lunch & Dinner:

There are two main meals behind this shopping list. Cook whichever meat will go bad first, of course. Or you can cook both at the same time and prep for the whole week! I wouldn’t entirely recommend this because you’ll be pushing the limits of the cooked meat in the fridge by the end of the week, but it’s your choice.

You can find tons of recipes on Pinterest involving all of these ingredients. Get creative if you’d like! I’m just showing you the basic way, cleanest way to eat this food.

Ground turkey with peppers, onions, zucchini and brown rice.

Follow the instructions regarding the rice, and while that’s cooking  sautee the onions and peppers at the same time. You can choose to roast the zucchini, but you could cook it in the pan as well. You add the turkey and cook through, and voila!

Here’s a recipe I found on Pinterest that will go into better detail, because I’m not a food blogger or a wonderful cook yet!

The turkey should be stretched across 4 days, according to the USDA’s protein requirement recommendation (which would be about 8 meals).  The recommended amount of protein you should get daily is 5.5 ounces, which may be much less than you have now. So for 1.5 pounds, you get about 4 day’s (not meal’s) worth of protein. I personally eat more than that, but you know your body, and you also don’t want to be starved and miserable. I think it might be best to take one thing at a time.

Chicken with broccoli, zucchini and a side of rice.

This is my favorite chicken recipe ever! Seriously – ever. Just make all of your chicken at once, and I promise it will be delicious even after the microwave. This is the only way we will cook chicken now, and trust me – brining is a worthwhile step!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can have one pan of chicken in your oven, and one pan of your veggies in at the same time if you’re roasting at 400f, and they will finish at about the same time. I always roast my veggies at 400f with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until they get a little crispy. You have almost no cleanup if you line your two pans with tinfoil.

You should be able to manage about 5 – 10 meals with just the chicken and veggies alone, which will give you about 2-4 days of lunches and dinners. According to the USDA, the recommended amount of protein you should get daily is 5.5 ounces. So for 1.7 pounds, you get about 5 day’s (not meal’s) worth of protein.

Tips:

  • Obviously, if you can get something on sale, go for it! It will give you a little extra cushion.
  • There are no snacks listed, yes I know. When I eat enough clean food, I lose the desire to snack. You may also?
  • You can obviously swap some of these items out that you don’t like, and may not always have to pay more. Not big on broccoli? Go for cauliflower.
  • Cook them the way you’d like! What I have tried to do is maximize efficiency, but you can do it however you’d like.

My Experience:

I will be doing this 1 week long eating challenge, hoping to keep my budget down to $30 as well. The prices above are according to PeaPod, my grocery store’s delivery service, but I may get a better deal in the store. I will keep you updated via this post on how many meals I am able to make out of the grocery list, and hopefully I can follow through with my plan as well as I hope that you can.

What am I doing differently? I am still going to be drinking coffee with cream everyday. I put no sugar in my coffee, and I also drink Michelob Ultra – which is a low carb beer.

Day 1 (1/15/2017):

We just got back from the grocery store and have bought all of our food! I would put pictures of the receipts up, but my boyfriend got extra stuff and we divvied up various items, so it would be more confusing than it’s worth. But let me do the math for you, per person:

The $30 plan I listed above:
1 dozen eggs: $2.50
32 oz. Store Brand Brown Rice: $2.69
1.7 lb Store Brand Boneless Skinless Breasts: $6.11
2 lbs Broccoli Crowns: $3.20
2 lbs Zucchini: $4.00
20.8 oz. Ground Turkey: $3.99
1 Onion: $1.00
1 Green Bell Pepper: $.89
1 Red Bell Pepper: $1.50
1 Cauliflower: $3.99

What I actually spent: 

1 dozen eggs: $2.19
32 oz. Store Brand Brown Rice: $2.00 (on sale – but was not on sale on Peapod interestingly enough)
1.7 lb Store Brand Boneless Skinless Breasts: $5.99 (on sale – we actually bought the Purdue Sweet & Spicy Pre-Marinated, 1.5 pounds)
2 lbs Broccoli Crowns: $3.26
2 lbs Zucchini: $4.00
20.8 oz. Ground Turkey: (We actually have kielbasa that we have to cook, so I did not buy. I did check the price and it was $3.99)
1 Onion: $1.00
1 Green Bell Pepper: $.100
1 Red Bell Pepper: $1.00 (on-sale)
1 Cauliflower: $2.50 (on-sale)

My total spent: $26.93 (if you include the turkey which I actually did not buy because I have kielbasa in the fridge that I have to cook). This means I’m actually looking at feeding myself about $100 per month! This is more than doable!

*Note: We actually doubled this (except for rice & eggs) as there are two people in this home.

How it Worked for me

I’m going on day 7 of this meal plan at the time of writing. I still have some chicken, cauliflower, brown rice and eggs left. I made the mistake of skipping my breakfasts, a lunch and a dinner. We also did not buy exactly the same amount of meat as in the meal-plan (we bought a little less).

I think this meal plan is just barely enough to get you by if you are like me and sometimes like to have seconds. It also doesn’t provide you with snacks. But that wasn’t the point of the meal plan – it was to provide you with a very basic meal plan and shopping list for groceries that are fresh and clean.

I will absolutely be doing this again, and cannot believe how much money I saved with how much food I got.

 


So here you have it. Are you going to try the $30 One-Week of Clean Eating Challenge with me? Let me know in the comments! I will be updating this post throughout the week!

Sparkly

6 Comments

  1. Brenna @ crunchymountainlife.com

    I love how you break it down. I am a real food blogger and I hear all the time of healthy food being expensive. I am currently working on a post that busts that myth. So nice to see others doing the same!! I hope your challenge goes well for you!

    30 . Jan . 2017
    • Chava Mazal Stark

      Brenna,

      That sounds like a wonderful post! I always tell people that the initial investment to your health via diet will pay off in the long term if you consider medical treatment. However, that overlooks the fact that eating healthy doesn’t actually need to be expensive!

      -Eve

      30 . Jan . 2017
    • Sparkly

      Hi Brenna!

      Your site is right up my alley and you are living my dream life! I’m looking forward to your post! The challenge went well over here but I’ll be honest and say that I cheated a few times (due to people wanting to go out to dinner and whatnot). Thank you for reading!

      31 . Jan . 2017
  2. Ewa

    Healthy eating does not have to be expensive.

    30 . Jan . 2017
  3. Chava Mazal Stark

    Huge kudos to you for breaking this down so thoroughly yet concisely! I feel overwhelmed when I think of meal plans–apparently my brain can’t fill in the blanks for me–so this is immensely helpful for me to read the plan and read how it worked out in practice.

    30 . Jan . 2017
    • Sparkly

      Hi Chava,

      Thank you! Ugh, meal planning can be so overwhelming and unnecessarily so! We like to stick with very simple, basic meals. I think this is the biggest trick to everything. They only take about 1/2 hour each and will last two or three days. I’m glad this post was helpful for you!

      31 . Jan . 2017

Leave A Comment