Hey all of my beautiful friends 🙂 I hope you’re all having fabulous days! Today I wanted to talk about shopping and eating healthy on a budget. Time and time again I’ve heard others complain they “can’t eat healthy because it’s too expensive”. I’m here to totally get rid of that myth.. You can TOTALLY eat healthy on a budget!
Especially after starting school, our household has been on a major budget, but that doesn’t stop us from eating great and feeling better! It just takes a little planning and following some rules! I managed to get all of these Items (plus some not featured) for 80$ and will get at least a week or 2’s worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinners!
First lets start with what NOT to do. Don’t grocery shop when hungry!! I went to the gym & immediately after went shopping .. all before breakfast. It is so much more difficult to stick with a list when you’re dreaming about every quick & tasty (and super unhealthy) meal you see.
So here are my tips!
Start With Non-Negotiables.
If you know you NEED something, get it in your cart first. Nothing is worse than finding out that the dog food, toilet paper, and laundry detergent that you really need means you’ll have to put back half of your grocery cart. My family always keeps a revolving grocery list of things we need come grocery day so we know not to forget anything. Thankfully this week all I needed was toilet paper, butter, and paper plates, utensils, and cups for our school potluck.
Pick Your Protein.
Protein is a staple to a healthy diet because it keeps you full! It’s also one of the more expensive items you’ll find on your receipt so it’s important to stock up first. I always look for BOGO or % off deals on items that are at least 85% lean. Today I picked up 2 items of turkey, nice cuts of boneless chicken & pork, breakfast sausage, and 36 eggs! A big bonus is if you can find items that are already skinless & boneless as it makes cooking healthy quick and easy.
Check Out The Seafood Aisle
I never leave the grocery store without hitting the seafood section first. It’s great because you get a variety of food (to prevent boredom of course) and nutrients. For example salmon is a great source of Omega-3, which helps skin & nails “glow” and fight inflammation internally. Another bonus is they usually have some great deals! Today I took advantage of a “buy one get two free” special on pollack. These bags are great because they come with 4 individually packaged pieces of fish, which is two meals for me and elliott each.. that means 6 nights of lunch or dinner!
Don’t Fear The Frozen
Frozen fruits and vegetables are a blessing! Usually picked at their peak and flash frozen the freezer version of your favorite veggie can actually have more beneficial nutrients than those found in the produce area. Not only that but they make a great easy side for nights when you just don’t feel like cooking. Simply throw them in the microwave for up to 5 minutes and you’re good to go. Plus in many cases the sale items are way cheaper than the fresh variety & are already pre-chopped. I usually avoid carb bombs here (like potatoes and rice) but stock up on fun varieties like cauliflower “rice” or cauliflower “mash”, green beans, fire roasted corn, broccoli (and cheese), ect. I also get frozen diced onions & peppers which can easily be thrown into a sauce pan or your breakfast omelet! Berries are great for last minute smoothies! The best part: they stay fresh until you use them so you don’t waste anything!
Get “Splurge” Snacks.
Filling your cart with tons of fruits and veggies is great and all… until you get a craving and end up at Wendy’s. I always stock up on items that I know will keep me satisfied like seltzer, creamer (I need it for my coffee), cheese (always), and healthy fats like guacamole, cottage cheese, ect. I have a sweet tooth but if you like salty things you could get like rice cakes, hummus or tzatziki dips, pickles…
Know what’s going to be on sale, like I know chicken drumsticks and grilling options are always on sale during the summer, where as more hearty cuts of meat and roasts are on sale in the winter. This effects your product too! Buying strawberries in the winter can set you back 5$ a container but in the summer you can score 2/3$, and they’ll taste better too you you end up satisfied with your purchase. I also read recently that eating produce out of season can cause inflammation and other health problems since they’re not meant to be eaten year round… and are more likely to be frozen, thawed, frozen again, and pumped with chemicals!
Plan Your Meals Accordingly.
Make sure you’re getting versatile ingredients that can be eaten fro breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I got sausage, eggs, cheese, spinach, peppers, and onions, all of which can be eaten for any meal. We also make big dinners so we can have enough for lunch the next day and always switch it up!
Get Produce You’ll Actually Eat
Once again, nothing is worse than buying produce and not using it. Don’t like bananas? Get apples. I always eat spinach salads, and toss some in my eggs, so I know a container of spinach is a good buy. I also love apples and peanut butter, and grapefruit for breakfast, so they will definitely be put to good use! Just buy what you know you like and you know you’ll eat. Simple as that.
That’s all my loves,