I’m happy to have BreAnna from Crafty Coin on the blog today! She loves frugal living as well as grocery shopping, so you know we have a few things in common! BreAnna’s goal over on her blog is to teach others how to live frugally without sacrificing quality. I’m excited for her to share her tips for eating healthy on a budget!
When I tell people that I blog about eating healthy on a budget, it’s often followed by a laugh, a smirk, and a “suuuuure”. The concept of eating well for cheap seems to be nearly impossible to believe. But it’s totally doable!
After getting married and moving to Chicago from North Dakota, my husband and I quickly realized we needed to buckle down on our money and get to budgeting. Our new lifestyle was much more expensive than our old one! Then in January 2014, we completed our first Whole30 and continued to live a clean eating lifestyle. For us, this means eating mostly whole, unprocessed food. We focus mainly on vegetables, fruit, meat, and healthy fats, but don’t entirely eliminate any food groups as neither of us have allergies.
The kicker? Even with our new way of eating, we found we were still able to stick to our $70 weekly grocery budget! That comes out to $5 per person per day. That will only get you half a burrito at Chipotle! So how do we do it?
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
- Set your budget. Everyone’s budget is going to be different. We are two adults. Your family of 5 is likely going to have to spend more than $70 per week. To figure out how much you should be spending on groceries, check out this blog post.
- Shop on a schedule. I go grocery shopping once a week, typically on Sundays. Other than that, I don’t step foot inside the supermarket. Those quick trips because you forgot something add up quickly! If you don’t have an ingredient you need for a recipe, get creative! Sub carrots for sweet potatoes in a soup or ground turkey for ground beef in tacos.
- Buy what’s on sale, not what you’re craving. I always check the ads before I go to the grocery store and buy what’s on sale then base recipes off ingredients instead of buying ingredients for my recipes. This saves so much money!
- Write down everything. I have a planning notebook that I use to jot down what I already have in my fridge and pantry and what I need to buy as well as the weekly sales. As I’m shopping, I write down the prices of what I’m buying and quickly add it up before checking out. If I’m over my budget, I put a few things back on the shelves.
- Focus on fresh foods first. Here in Chicago bananas cost $.39/lb. That means I can get a medium banana for about $.10! Larabars, a natural fruit bar, are $1.00 each. Even though both are a healthy choice, the fresh option is so much cheaper (and just as easy to throw in a bag!). If you find you have some extra money leftover after buying your fresh foods for the week, throw in some of the convenience items!
- Meal plan. Once you get home with your hodgepodge of groceries, sit down and figure out what you can make with it. Don’t let your kale go to waste! My biggest tip: keep it simple. Breakfast and lunch rarely change from week to week. And our dinners typically consist of some sort of roasted meat with roasted vegetables. If you’re new to budgeting and clean eating, don’t overwhelm yourself with fancy recipes.
- Meal prep. Here’s the hard truth: eating healthy takes work. If you truly want to eat well for cheap, you will have to put in time. After getting home from grocery shopping, I take time to prep some food for the week. This usually means a dozen hard boiled eggs and Overnight Oats for breakfast and a big batch of chili or soup to bring for lunches, like my Slow Cooker Chicken & Salsa Soup.
Eating healthy on a budget is possible, but it does take time. But don’t worry! After a few weeks, this will all become habit and you’ll be able to get in and out of the grocery store in 20 minutes.
I’m thrilled to share a few of my favorite bloggers with you this week while I’m away on vacation! I hope you’ll enjoy these posts and hopefully find a few new blogs that you love! You can keep up with my WDW vacation fun over on Instagram. 🙂 -Whitney