A friend told me: I can’t eat healthier, because my budget is so tight! That started me thinking: who said rich people eat healthier because they can afford it? That is such a big myth!
I started dieting, looking for healthier and better meals, a month after my husband retired last year – which has drastically slimmed down our overall budget! The budget did not make a difference for me, since my job was to define the healthy choices and shop around to make sure my weekly shopping trip included them! I know, you are curious! I will be sharing all my findings with you!
- Fruits and Vegetables, base for any healthy meal – Bananas, broccoli, lettuce, salad bags, onions and potatoes come from the same brands sold in other supermarkets, so why not buy those at Walmart? I buy the organic fruits and vegetables, but it’s your choice!
- Strawberries, grapes, blueberries and other fruits – prefer to buy them in season and shop around for deals at Shoprite.
- Deli Cuts – If your budget is tight, stay away from freshly cut meats and cheeses, which have the same concentration of artificial ingredients of packaged goods and buy them where the prices are better.
- Frozen Foods – Even if your schedule is a nightmare, stay away from fast food and frozen foods. They cost a fortune, when you compare to healthier 20 min. meals. I will give you some options later! Hang in there!
- Milk, Creamer, Snack Bars, Cereal and Oatmeal – can be found at Aldi for 1/2 of the price of other chains, same brands, you need to check it out!
- Breads, Bagels, English Muffins – I have looked for low fat and gluten free recipes and have baked a lot on weekends. Since my schedule is a little more hectic now, I am purchasing those items in store, but you would be surprised that the same brands Shoprite and ACME carry are sold at Walmart.
- Splurge and Don’t Feel DEPRIVED – I take a once a month trip to Wegmans, sometimes twice a month, I purchase some vegetables and fruits that look good and are worth the price, I also go to the bakery and deli sections for olives, fresh mozzarella and fresh bagels.
- Canned Goods – I ran away from those! All the sodium in the soups, all the artificial ingredients, all it takes to keep that food edible for months on the shelf, just think about it! They seem cheap, but if you use your creativity for new soups, chili, baked mac-n-cheese, you will save at the end, I promise you!
- Plan ahead – I usually plan my weekly meals ahead of time, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday when I need to leave something pre-cooked. I also have incorporated a lot of crock pot recipes which takes the excuse of being busy out of my book! With just 4 ingredients, you can make a huge crockpot mac-n-cheese to serve 20 or more!
- Buy Just What You Need – I used to get extra veggies, fruits and extra food for no reason, many things used to go to waste. I trimmed my shopping trip to what I know we like and will eat in a week or 10 days.
Extra Tip – Stocking and Saving With Coupons – When you stock your pantry and think it’s great that you are saving on 10 cans, or 5 bags of something, remember, most times you are stocking up on items which will not make the cut on a healthy diet. So be careful on that when it’s in regards to food items.
I will be sharing my 5 favorite recipes, which can either be made in 20 minutes or in the crock pot in the upcoming weeks, another great bonus to help you be healthy, eat amazing meals and stay within your budget! I promise you, the tips will allow you to stay within the $300.00 monthly budget, less than $80.00 a week for groceries, not sacrificing your healthy choices.
If you follow my tips, you will most likely be thanking me later!