Saturday, May 19, 2012

So, Does “Clean Eating” Cost More?

So… this turned out to be a long post.  There are several sections here.  Feel free to read it all or scroll down to what interests you:

1.  Whole30 Update

2.  Discussion on Clean Eating and Cost

3.  A Meal Idea

Ahhhh… Saturday.  It’s a rare kind of Saturday here at the Confessions house.  First of all… we really don’t have anywhere specific to be today!  (Well, the hubby has a quick work activity that he has to do this morning… but I don’t have anywhere specific to be!)  It feels great to be IN TOWN and to have a Saturday morning to enjoy my coffee and breakfast while blogging!

Whole30 Update:


It is hard to believe that I am on Day 21!  Only 9 days to go until my Whole30 is technically over.  I imagined that this would be the hardest thing I have ever done, as far as eating goes, but it has actually been so much easier than I thought!  One cool thing that has happened is something in my 2 crisper drawers.  (Side note: way back when, I used to keep BEER in the crisper!  Ha!)  Anyway, each week, when I make my regular grocery runs, I always buy lots of veggies with the intentions of eating all of them all week.  However, I always would end up throwing out so much each week because I would forget about it or decide not to eat it.  What a waste!  But since starting the Whole30, I have been cleaning out the veggie drawers every week!

I have now been off of my joint supplement for 3 weeks and my knees feel great!  I have drastically cut back on the Motrin!  I am also sleeping better than I can remember in years.  Seriously, my head hits the pillow and I am DEEP sleeping until the alarm or a 4-year old climbs over me in the morning.  (This  morning, it was the latter.)  I used to wake up throughout the night and many mornings I would not feel rested.  But I feel rested every single morning!

I am not having any severe cravings anymore.  Occasionally, I will crave something for a minute if I see it on TV or if it is in my face.  Like last night, I made mac n cheese for my husband and kiddo when I made dinner, and as I was stirring it, I kind of wanted to put a spoonful in my mouth.  But I resisted.  And as soon as it was out of my sight, it was forgotten.

I’d like to change the focus now to a topic that I wondered about before starting Whole30:

Does Clean Eating Cost More?

(gratuitous Sadie picture)

I think the answer is yes and no.  There are several factors that come into play, like whether you are buying organic foods and meats, where you are shopping, and how you are shopping.

Organic: Sometimes organic food costs a good bit more than the regular counterparts.  However, I am going to show you a meal idea that was VERY affordable for me, and almost the whole meal was completely organic.  You can use this list to help you decide what you really need to purchase organically.

Where you are shopping: This week I did most of our shopping at Earth Fare, which I don’t normally do.  Now, keep in mind that we had some meats in the fridge, so I didn’t have to buy as much protein.  But I was able to get a cart full of groceries, plus 3 proteins (chicken thighs, ground chicken, and grass-fed beef) for about $50.  My cart included lots of veggies, almond butter, and some water and Kombucha.  I consider a $50 grocery trip pretty great!  I also love going to Trader Joe’s.  They offer a lot of organic items for way less than a traditional grocery store would.  Most of my shopping is done at Harris Teeter, which I would say is a more high-end grocery store featuring really great deals.  I also like hitting our local farmer’s market when I can.  I can get a whole grocery cart of locally-grown produce for less than $20.  (I have joined a CSA for June and July, so I am really looking forward to getting my produce that way very soon!)

Earth Fare Find:  This week I discovered “tubes” of organic ground chicken and pork in the freezer section at Earth Fare for about $5 each!  I never knew these were there, but I love using ground chicken (especially organic) for breakfast or for chilis and soups!

How you shop: When I say “how you shop,” I mean whether or not you gravitate towards the deals.  I tend to form my meals around what is on sale or special.  That is how I put together the meal you’ll see below.  When frozen veggies are on sale, I stock up.  Even though these aren’t usually organic, they’re usually free of preservatives.

A Note About Coupons: Unfortunately, if you are a “coupon-er,” it is going to be difficult to eat this way.  There just aren’t a lot of coupons for meats and produce.  Sad, but true.  As a former coupon-er, it is sometimes hard for me to pass up a great deal.  But I have had to remind myself—just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean I have to eat it.  Many of the items that regularly feature coupons are, unfortunately, full of preservatives and chemicals.  It’s sad but true.  Read your labels.  It was eye-opening to me, too.  Want a shocker?  Read the ingredients on your coffee creamer.  Or your mayo.

I was lucky this week and a friend at work who raises chickens brought me 2 dozen farm-fresh eggs for $1 a dozen.  That’s cheaper than any grocery store and way fresher!  Win!

So, how about a meal idea?



Chicken and Bok Choy Skillet Meal

This meal comes together quickly!  The key is to chop your ingredients while the chicken is browning.  I also think some coconut aminos would be a good addition to this dish, but I was out.   Total cooking time is only about 10-15 minutes, and that includes prep time! I paired mine with sauteed mushrooms on the side.



-one pound of organic ground chicken (found in the freezer section at Earth Fare for $5)

-one whole head of organic Bok Choy, chopped (about $3)

-one quare of frozen ginger (maybe $0.10-0.20?)

-organic green onions (clipped from my kitchen windowsill—free!)

-about 15 organic baby carrots (maybe about $0.50?)

-one to two TBSP of EVOO  (probably about $0.20 or less)


Brown the chicken in a saute pan in EVOO.  When chicken is fully cooked, add bok choy, ginger, onions, and carrots.  Cook on medium heat until Bok Choy is wilted and carrots are tender.  Serve hot.  (Serves about 3 people—2 if you want seconds.  He he.)

Total cost for the meal: $9.00 

I ate half for dinner on Thursday and took the rest for lunch on Thursday.  Now, in my opinion, that is pretty affordable—especially for an organic meal!

Question for YOU: Do you think “clean eating” costs more?  What tips do you have on how to save money on groceries on either a Paleo or “Clean” diet?

1 comment:

  1. I cannot answer your question, but I did laugh out loud (literally) at the 'beer in the crisper' image....because I'm pretty sure that is what is in mine right now!!  Have you ever done CSA before?  I would like to...but scared that I might not know what something is when it comes!


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