One of the biggest causes for concern when people set out to clean up their diet is that it’s going to blow their budget. It’s true that aimlessly wandering into Whole Foods and buying whatever looks simultaneously tasty and healthy can easily result in an expensive trip (and typically one where you somehow only bought snacks and no real meals… or is that just me?) But there are definitely tricks to making it out of the grocery store on budget and with healthy and nourishing foods for you and your family.
Read on for some of my tips and tricks that can save you money while still purchasing the healthy and quality foods that you and your body deserve!
1. Shop the deals, buy in bulk, and freeze (if needed) so you can enjoy those foods even when prices have skyrocketed!
I come from a big family so buying in bulk was always the way that my mother kept our house full of food for all of us. Stores like Sam’s Club and Costco have tons of high quality food items like organic produce and grass-fed meats. It may be worth it to get a membership and take advantage of their bulk options. I find myself still shopping this way even though I currently only cook for two people. Partially because I love to avoid going to the grocery store for as long as possible and also because it’s typically cost effective. Even if you don’t want to frequent wholesale stores where things come in bulk you can take advantage of this tip at your regular grocery store by keeping an eye on sales and promotions.
- Any time you find your favorite healthy pantry items that don’t need refrigeration or freezing on sale it can be a great chance to stock up. These items don’t go bad for months (sometimes even years). And while it might seem silly to purchase 10 boxes of your favorite gluten-free crackers when they’re on sale, your wallet will thank you in the long run.
- Often fruits and vegetables that are in season will be on sale and it’s a great time to stock up. If you love a certain organic fruit and find it on sale you can buy a bunch and chop and freeze them to add to smoothies later! I actually do this with fruits and with greens (for example, you can blend organic kale with a banana and a little water and freeze it in an ice cube tray to throw in green smoothies as needed).
- This trick can also be done with quality meats and seafood if you find great deals or see reduced prices for buying in bulk. Proteins can stay frozen for months without issue.
- Investing in a second fridge or a deep freezer to keep in a basement or garage can help give you more storage space. Keep an eye on online resale marketplaces to find good deals on these.
2. Plan out when to buy those more expensive staple items, so they don’t hit you all at once!
Something that used to always sneak up on me was when it came time to purchase my high priced kitchen and pantry staples such as avocado oil, organic seasonings, coconut aminos, cassava flour, etc. Of course, it always felt like they all hit at the same time. And those suckers can add a good $50-$100 to my grocery bill when I have to purchase them all at once. BUT… they do have to be purchased because obviously I can’t make half of my favorite dishes without them.
So what I started to do was to plan those purchases into my weekly (or bi-weekly) grocery budget a few at a time so that they never all hit at once! A simple and easy fix to keep me from gawking at my grocery bills when it came time for a full-fledged pantry restock like in the past.
3. Have a few awesome go-to recipes while leaving room for new & exciting meals as well!
I have a handful of go-to recipes that I know are tasty, healthy, quick and cost-effective.
We eat those same recipes on rotation at least once every two weeks and we never get sick of them.
For example, chickpea pasta with grass-fed beef & marinara. So good, so easy, and surely going to stay in my rotation.
Doing this has helped grocery bills stay reasonable and easy to maintain! Yet I always reserve a few meals out of the week to be for trying new and different recipes because well, I’m a foodie of sorts AND life needs variety, am I right?
4. If you eat animal protein, find simple ways to use a little less meat in your recipes without sacrificing flavor or going completely vegan!
Blended meat products are all the rage right now and are only going to become more popular this year. This is so awesome if you’re like me and you like to cut back on your animal product consumption when and where you can without ever giving it up completely.
Big-name brands, as well as new and emerging brands, are coming out with beef patties blended with mushrooms, chicken sausage blended with sweet potatoes, and even chicken nuggets blended with cauliflower.
While I think it’s seriously awesome that these products exist and are becoming more mainstream, I like to be in control of the ingredients in my food any chance I can be which is why I recommend jumping on the blended meat bandwagon in your own kitchen!
It’s as simple as throwing some kale in the mix for your shrimp burgers, or blending chopped mushrooms into your ground beef for pasta or tacos.
Not only is it doing the planet a favor but it’s saving you money by making your pound of meat stretch further and adding extra nutrients to your meals! That’s a win-win!
There you have it. Four tips to hopefully help you keep your healthy eating reasonably within budget. Now go forth and embrace these tips but also don’t forget to spoil yourself every now and then! Shame free! Because you deserve that $10 chocolate bar from Whole Foods! It’s about balance right?
And don’t forget to schedule a visit with me to start making sustainable changes to help you achieve your health goals on a budget!