With the start of a new year, many have made promises to themselves to begin a healthier lifestyle. Many also get concerned that eating healthy also means that you will be spending more at the grocery store. But, friends, this is not always true. This post is going to be about my weekly shopping this week. I like many of you had to re-promise and commit to a healthy lifestyle again.
For my husband, 2 kitties, 1 puppy, and myself our typical weekly grocery bill is between $80-$120. Had to include the animals because their food can be pricey too and is included in our costs. This week, back to eating healthy our bill was $77. Imagine that, a cart filled with healthy proteins, fruits, and veggies was cheaper than cart filled with junk! On top of that the only coupon I used was for 50 cents off some tea.
Here are some tips to help keep your grocery bill low while eating healthy:
1. Know what you already have. Before going shopping make an inventory of what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. This is also a great opportunity to clean out, or toss things that you know you will be tempted to eat that you should not. You may be surprised about what you already have that you can turn into a meal or use within a meal during the week.
2. Plan ahead. This one is oh so important! Create a menu for the week, or the next time you will be able to go grocery shopping. Write down exactly what you will eat each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. This menu will then help you make your list. You will know exactly how many bananas, green peppers, chicken breasts, etc. that you need.
3. Make a list. Using your menu and your inventory, make a list of exactly what you need. You can write this list on paper, or use an app on your smartphone. I use the app called list ease. Keep your list organized. Divide it into sections similar to how the grocery store is organized. My go to categories are, produce, aisles, frozen and dairy.
4. Buy what you know you will eat. If you are on a budget, don’t try weird stuff that you aren’t sure if you like. If you don’t enjoy eating salads, don’t buy 4 heads of lettuce your first week eating healthy, buy 1.
5. Go shopping when it is crowded. I had to add this one after my last shopping trip. I HATE SHOPPING WHEN IT IS PACKED. But, it keeps me from browsing and adding unneeded stuff into my cart. When it is crowded, you go in, get what you need, and get out.
6. Buy in larger quantities when it makes sense. Example: apples are $1.29 per pound at our grocery store. I can buy a 3 pound bag of apples for $2.89. I know I will eat those apples anyway, so it makes sense to buy the 3 pound bag. We also buy our onions this way. The same exact chicken, same exact company, is cheaper per pound when you buy it in a larger quantity. Buy more chicken one week, and freeze it for the next. Frozen chicken works great in a crockpot!
So for an entire week of meals I would say $77 isn’t bad. That’s $11 per day for 2 people.This also saves money because we are not going out to eat!
Here is some insight to what we will be eating this week. Our breakfasts and lunches are not always the same. My husband usually has a v8 or eggs for breakfast, and tuna or leftovers for lunch.
Saturday: Breakfast, homemade bread with OJ. Lunch, Greek yogurt with fruit. Dinner, Thai chicken w/ peppers w/ brown rice. Snacks, Lara bar, carrots and hummus.
Sunday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/ fruit. Lunch, no mayo chicken salad, which can be found here https://tastefullyhealthy.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/no-mayo-chicken-salad/ with pita crackers and fruit. Dinner, vegetable soup and grilled cheese with tomatoes. Snacks, pineapple and cheese stick.
Monday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/ fruit. Lunch egg salad w/ pita crackers and grapes. Dinner, vegetable soup and baked potato. Snacks, Lara bar, fruit, beef jerky.
Tuesday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/fruit. Lunch, tossed salad. Dinner, whole wheat pasta with meat sauce and a salad. Snacks, carrots, fruit, beef jerky.
Wednesday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/ banana. Lunch, Cobb salad. Dinner, Hamburgers and homemade fries. Snacks, fruit & cheese stick, carrots.
Thursday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/banana. Lunch, hamburger salad. Dinner, Tyson light breaded chicken, broccoli. Snacks, beef jerky, fruit & cheese stick.
Friday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/banana. Lunch, leftovers or salad. Dinner, brown rice and black beans w/ salsa. Snacks, carrots, fruit & cheese stick.
Needless to say, eating healthy doesn’t need to be expensive. You just need to be smart about it. Your body will thank you!