Sure it is Real Budget! With a little planning and creativity, you can certainly nourish your body on a reasonable grocery Real Budget. Granted, eating whole, plant-based foods will be more expensive
Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget?
then the dollar menu at your local fast-food joint, however, I would argue its a worthy investment. Prevention is powerful, saving loads of difficulty and money in the future.
Real Budget – Check out these tips & tricks to get started!
1. Meal Plan – I find meal planning essential for remaining sane while feeding our family well. Planning ahead allows you to utilize the foods you have (check your fridge and pantry to see what needs put to use), plan meals with similar ingredients, and not be rushing to the store in the middle of dinner prep (sanity!). Check out my Meal Planning tips to get started.
2. Make a List…and Stick to It! – This (almost always 😉 ) prevents impulsive purchases and can speed up your time in the grocery store.
3. Only Purchase Organic When Necessary – Do you ever wonder if purchasing organic produce is really worth the cost? The answer is yes, but now always. Utilize the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list to identify produce that is most heavily pesticide-ridden and purchase only from this list.
4. Buy in Bulk – The upfront cost can seem overwhelming, however when you break down the cost per ounce or serving, its much cheaper. Identify your most frequently used items in the kitchen and start there (mine are rolled oats, beans, nuts, and seeds). Find a friend to split it with if you don’t think you’ll need it all!
5. Shop Online – Companies like VitaCost offer great products at reduced cost due to the elimination of overhead found at a grocery store. While I greatly value shopping locally as much as possible, there are some key products that I purchase here to stay within our budget.
6. Don’t Frown on Frozen – I’m not talking about frozen TV dinners, but rather frozen fruits and vegetables. They are just as healthful as fresh and much cheaper. Plus, you won’t have to worry about waste! I stock my freezer with endless amounts of frozen fruit to use in smoothies, oat breakfast bakes, and overnight oats. Additionally, I always have frozen broccoli, peas, corn, and artichoke hearts on hand. They allow me to quickly create a fabulous stir-fry on a busy night.
7. Beans, Beans & More Beans! – Beans have countless health benefits, add bulk to any meal, and are very inexpensive. Check out my favorite recipes page for some great main dishes featuring these powerful plants. The same is true for whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and millet.
8. Support Your Farmers Market and Local CSA – Eating seasonally is not only more cost effective, but often more nutritional since produce is harvested later, allowing it more time to ripe on the vine and develop higher nutritional value.
9. Grow a Garden – This year my dad helped me plant the perfect little garden. I’m new to gardening, so it was a “test run”. We decide to plant a few items we use on a weekly basis, which included tomatoes, okra, eggplant, and a ton of herbs.
I hope these tips will be useful in keeping your wallet and your tummy happy and full!