Eating Healthy On A Budget

“I can’t eat healthy! It’s too expensive.” A quote I hear too often from friends & unnamedsee on social media from others who want to better their diet, but feel like they can’t. I’m here to tell you that it is possible to eat a clean diet that your body & your wallet will thank you for! This week’s grocery haul (what’s pictured + canned fruits & veggies + 4 beef patties) only costs a total of $125 for two people, so $62.50 per person! By sticking to the following tips I’ve implemented, I’ve been able to save some money, which is awesome coming from someone who used to shop at Target & would spend $200 per week for two people. I wish I was kidding! As students, post grads, parents or city – living gals with high rent (aka me) it can be stressful looking at prices of healthier foods when we have other financial responsibilities. Follow my tips I’ve listed below & I promise you’ll start grocery shopping stress free!

Make a list & stick to it.

When you’re roaming through the store without a plan, it’s easy just to throw whatever sounds good into your cart. Nutri – grain bars? I’ll take 2 boxes! Organic Pop-Tarts are a thing? YES. 3 different kinds of berries? Okay! Before heading to the store, create a list of not only what your grocery items will be, but also the meals you’re going to use them for. That way you’re not over purchasing so before you know it, you’ve just spent $150 & forgot what you came to the store for.

Go For Frozen & Canned If Necessary 

I love having frozen fruits on hand for smoothies & canned veggies ready for me to heat up if I’m in a hurry to pack my lunch or make dinner. Canned fruits & veggies can be as low as $0.30 so I’m all in for those! Frozen fruits & veggies often have deals such as 2 for $6 & what I found this week: 2 for $3! Just be sure to opt for labels that say, “No sodium added” & “No sugar added.”

Shop During the Week

This might come as a surprise, but store’s significantly heighten their prices on the weekends. Grocery store ads come out earlier in the week and typically end on Fridays, meaning you’re missing those $1 avocado deals & we just can’t have that now can we Millennials? I did my own little experiment using Walmart, purchasing the same items (meats, fruits, veggies, grains, eggs) on a Thursday & then the following week on a Saturday & by shopping on the weekday, I actually saved $23! In order to make this work as I work full time, I’ll head to the grocery store right after work on Fridays. It’s less busy, I get the good deals & I can use my Saturday to relax instead of having to get up early to beat the soccer moms to the store!

Buy Meat on Sale & Freeze It

That might have made you cringe.. but trust me on this. A package of chicken is easily $10 for 3-4 chicken breasts. I was able to purchase 2 packages (6 chicken breasts total) on sale for $10 because the sell by/freeze by date was within 3 days. Just to clarify, the sell by/freeze by date, is not the expiration date. Fresh chicken typically stays fresh for 2-3 days past the sell by date. By buying my chicken on sale, I know one package will be used for meals by that date so the other one can be thrown in the freezer & taken out when needed!

Chop It Then Utilize It

Did you know that purchasing fresh made guacamole in the produce section costs $6 for a 10z container (at Target)? Did you also know that you can make your own for $5.94 to equal double the amount? If you ever purchase chopped fruit to save you time (guilty!) you’re most likely spending double to amount it would be to purchase your own whole Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 6.46.11 PM.pngfruit & chop it yourself. At Target I used to purchase a 10z container of chopped pineapple for $4.00 but for this week’s groceries, I purchased my whole pineapple for $2.50 at Cub Foods, which weighed out to 27oz chopped! When purchasing any produce it’s important to make sure you’re utilizing each item. Meaning, my fresh pineapple is going into overnight oats for breakfasts, the freezer for smoothies & is going to be used to make a homemade pineapple pico for tilapia this week. My onions, tomatoes, cilantro & avocados are being used for homemade guac, to help me make my pineapple pico & to add flavor to my quinoa I already have in the pantry. My cucumbers, carrots & bell peppers are being chopped to dip into the guac for healthy snacks & going to be sautéed with olive oil as a side for dinners! Find creative ways to use all of your produce & you’ll never feel like your money or time is being wasted!

Stop Shopping At Big Name Places 

Places like Target love to jack up the prices! Target knows that you’ll go there for food because they have everything, if you need a pair of shoes, toothpaste, protein bars, or anything else. Target’s got you. Although I love Target, you know the struggle of wandering through to see what new gym wear or shoes they have in stock & before you know it, you already have $100 worth of leggings in your cart, a bath towel you didn’t need & you haven’t even made it to the grocery section yet (I feel no shame). Even though Target is not known for its sales, places like Cub Foods (for my fellow Minnesotans) & Aldi are. When in college, Aldi saved my life! I was able to spend $120 per month (for one person) on groceries. You can sign up online to receive a free weekly “newsletter” in the mail from Aldi, Cub Foods or Walmart that tell you all of the food that is on sale and for how long!

Thank you for reading & sharing! I hope you’ve found these 6 tips helpful! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other money saving tips when buying your groceries. I could always use some more!

 

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