OMG, the grocery bill.
I was mostly raised by a single mother who worked in non-profit and courageously and uncomplainingly raised two kids.
Honestly, I was pretty sheltered from her money concerns, but I know they were there. I realized early on that I’d never have a lot of the things that my friends at school flaunted and I wanted to have too.
Once a week, the three of us would go to the grocery store and buy the food for the week. When it was check out time and the clerk would ring up the items, my brother and I played a game, “guess the final price.”
We had the typical rules, whoever was closer to the final bill (with tax) without going over won.
Regardless of the winner, when I saw that final number, my eyes would widen. That was a lot of money.
Today, at the checkout, my eyes are doing the same thing.
I’ve always felt eating plant-based foods is a significant way to control the grocery bill, and a recent study out of Oxford University confirms it.
After researching grocery bills in the US, UK, Australia, and across Western Europe (150 countries total), the final results showed adopting a plant-based diet can slash food costs by one-third.
Specifically, the study found that vegan diets were the most economical and could reduce grocery bills by 34 percent compared to the food costs of a typical Western diet.
Here are the overall results: vegan diets (the winner!) were followed by vegetarian diets (31 percent cheaper), flexitarian diets (14 percent cheaper) and vegetable-heavy pescatarian diets (2 percent more expensive).
The results are in! Plant-based foods are the least expensive way to eat well.
Other studies demonstrate downstream savings in the areas of spending less on medication and other healthcare costs.
To be forthright, if you have an empty pantry or one filled with processed foods, one week of buying a lot of plant foods could feel like an investment.
However, if you make the move to consistent plant-heavy shopping, your month after month bill will go down. Per the study, up to 34% down.
Back in those childhood days in meat-centric Oklahoma, our grocery cart wasn’t full of fruit, vegetables, legumes, seeds, whole grains, and nuts – but if it was, I think I could have breathed a little easier on that walk from the grocery store to load up the car.
And my brother – he still would have kicked my butt at that game.