How many of all you can relate to this “I can’t afford eating healthy, because it is to expensive.”
I know some of you are saying yes to this statement. Sometimes we have those days that we are counting our pennies and especially after the holidays is now over and HELLO BILLS! It can be stressful, but today I am here to show you some ways to help you purchase healthy food options while you’re out and about shopping at the grocery store.
I am going to share a sample ratio of what to purchase and a sample menu of what you can make afterwards!
The most important thing where you can be saving money is MEAL PREPPING! Bringing your own breakfast and lunch to work! Seriously, you save so much money by doing so. If you work in a big major city your daily lunch can be to $12-30 a day! Crazy right!? Times that by 5, you are looking at $100-$150 per week. Ouch. Another great benefit by meal prepping is sticking to your goals of eating healthier and feeling more energized throughout the day.
Plan one day of the week, usually a weekend where you can go grocery shopping and cook! Meal prepping takes at least two hours. Two hours in the kitchen compared to one hour a day figuring out what you’re going to eat. One day for two hours sounds way better!
Let’s say you have $50 to spend for the week on food. What can you buy and use for the week?
1. Produce $20-$25
Always keep $20 of your food budget for fresh produce. This will do several things all at once: First, it keeps you accountable for choosing the best foods possible first, it ensures that you have a good amount of fresh food in your diet each week, and it prevents you from spending all your $50 on boatloads of fruit and vegetables you likely won’t be able to eat in a week. If you can choose organic, please do.
2. Bulk Section/Dry Goods $10-$15
Now it’s time to head to the bulk bins. Here you’ll want to buy some grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, except … don’t go crazy with amounts. You don’t need a pound of almonds to eat all week long and don’t need a pound of beans either. Or, skip the bulk beans if you don’t like soaking them, and spend a few dollars on some canned options instead. Purchase nuts and seeds in 1 ounce amounts and only choose a few different ones each week. Remember, you can always try a new kind next week.
3. Refrigerated Items (Non-Dairy, Hummus etc..) $5-$7
Pick up a couple of non-dairy milks; you’ll likely need only one, but if you have a child, roommate, sibling, or you just love the stuff, you might need an extra container. Or, buy a container of non-dairy unsweetened yogurt if you enjoy it. No need to spend too much of your money here, but non-dairy milk is one of those “must-have items” for many of us, even if we eat whole foods otherwise.
4. Frozen Fruit/ Vegetable $5-$7
Don’t neglect frozen foods when you’re trying to eat healthy and on a budget; they’re actually very healthy for you! Plain frozen greens, berries, and veggies like broccoli are must-haves for budget-savvy individuals watching the pennies. A pound of organic frozen spinach costs around $3 per bag, which would easily last you several servings. A pound of frozen fruit is usually around the same amount and you won’t have to worry about it spoiling before you eat it all. You can use frozen veggies in meals when the fresh veggies run out, and you can use the greens in fruits in your morning smoothies!
Example of what to buy for $50
Big bag/box of greens $5
Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato $3
Dry Goods/Bulk Section-
2 can of chickpeas $3
Brown Rice $4
Gluten Free Oats $4
Chia Seeds $4
Refrigerated Items/ Non-Dairy Items
Almond Milk $3
Nut Butter $4
Mix Berries $3
You can create two dishes for each meal such as breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. So you wont get bored of eating the same thing.
Banana Nut Oatmeal
Chia Seed Pudding
Roasted Zucchini + Rice Bowl
Dressing for the week – Lemon Tahini Sauce (so easy to make!)
Lentil Carrot Soup
Chickpea Curry Stew
Hummus + Carrots
Nut Butter + Fruit.