Eating Healthy on a Budget
I am by no means an expert on eating on a budget. In fact, this is one major area in our lives that we are trying to improve. So, that is why I am going to be sharing what I learn along the way in case it helps anyone else out as well. Whenever I walk into the grocery store I always vow that I will only spend X amount of money. Then, before I know it all of these enticing things jump out at me and I throw them in the cart. Most of the time they are healthy food items. But, that doesn't justify over spending. Well, last shopping trip I was determined to not let it get the best of me. So, this is what I did:
1. Plan enough meals and snacks for the week
2. Make a list based on those meals. Before you make the list look through your kitchen to make sure you don't already have some of the stuff (I am famous for buying stuff that I already had tucked away that I forgot I had!)
3. Look through your coupon organizer to see if you have any coupons that you can use. Just use coupons on things that you actually need. I mean-do you really need poptarts just because they are $1.00 off?
4. Set a limit (goal) and take out just that amount of cash.
5. Go to the cheapest grocery stores first. If you have an ALDI's or a comparable store go there first. Take your list in with you and as you find the items on the list cross them off. Whatever items (if there are any left) that you couldn't find then go to the next cheapest store and purchase the rest of the items there.
6. Once you run out of food for the week-DO NOT go back and buy more until the designated time to go again unless it is for something you HAVE to have such as baby formula. You would be amazed at how much stuff you can come up with around your cupboards even if it means eating cereal for two days in a row.
What we got for under $100:
Last time I went grocery shopping I took my husband and daughter with me. We turned the entire shopping trip into a fun challenge. We were so excited when we met our challenge. We got the following items (a weeks worth of groceries for three) for under $100.00. We are using these groceries to follow the 21 day fix diet plan we are on so all of the items we bought were very healthy!
ALDI: Bag of Sweet Potatoes, Container of mixed nuts, Agave Nectar, Sea Salt Grinder, 2 cans of olives, 2% shredded cheddar cheese, 2 containers of organic baby spinach, Raw head of broccoli, 2 Mangos, bag of navel oranges, Graham crackers, pack of kiwi fruit, six cartons of almond milk, bunch of grapes, Strawberries, Ricotta cheese, mushrooms, 2 jars of organic pasta sauce, two containers of lowfat cottage cheese, blueberries, raspberries, 2 bunches of bananas=$77.36
Store 2Buehlers: Organic Eggs, 2 boxes organic mac & cheese, sugar in the raw, 1 whole roasted chicken, four avocados, bunch of kale=$12.64
Grand Total= $90.00
A couple last reminders! It is okay to buy generic. Some factories make the same food and just slap different labels on them. You don't need to buy everything organic and you also don't need to buy everything name brand. Focus on buying clean, unprocessed food and buy local anytime it is possible!