Although, I do love the "whole plant" regime, it has proven to be expensive (all organic produce) and time consuming, contrary to what everyone says.
Well, no one said you have to buy organic stuff. I choose a few things that are organic, but mostly not. A lot of the organic thing is bogus anyway--laws regarding what organic means vary from place to place.
Between my husband and I, we spend at least $2500 a month not including restaurants.
Seriously??!?!?! I'm sorry, but that is ABSURD. No one should be spending that. Just get some veggies and beans and grains or taters and make a meal. I spend $300 a month for myself (not including eating out) and I eat very well. If you're spending that much you are either buying some serious gourmet ingredients, you're buying lots of prepared foods, or your local grocer has your number!
I make some kind of veggie medly with a whole grain for lunch & dinner and have oatmeal at breakfast. We snack on rice cakes and no fat hummus and apples. Without the fat, I compensate with the use of spices, vanilla, balsamic ($$) etc, which are not cheap.
Um . . . HUH? Unless you're getting some kinda fancy balsamic *I* don't know about (and if so, STOP!), it shouldn't cost more than $2 or so. I sure don't spend much on mine and it's fine. Ditto spices. The best quality is at Indian groceries, and they are cheap!
If you don't mind spending this kind of $$, that's up to you. But please don't mislead others here. This IS a pretty inexpensive way to eat as long as you don't view your balsamic the way some view 200 year old whiskey.
Use simple ingredients and make simple food--that's the peasant way to eat and it's always been the CHEAP way to eat!