How to Buy Healthy Food Without Breaking the Bank
Is anyone scared to eat healthy because it "costs too much"? Scared to shop at Whole Foods because you don't want to blow your monthly budget??
Lucky for you, I am a self-proclaimed professional grocery shopper and I've finally decided to write some tips for you guys. Not only will I teach you to shop for a weeks worth of healthy groceries for under $50, but I'll show you how to do it at Whole Foods, even.
Below you'll find complete explanations of what I bought during two different weeks & what I used it all for when meal prepping. At the VERY bottom of this post you'll see my 3 top tips for grocery shopping & meal planning, as well as a picture of both receipts so you can gauge if you're overpaying for your items or not.
Week 1: The very first image is my shopping trip this week at Whole Foods. Below I have listed exactly what I got, and what I plan on doing with everything I bought. The grand total of this grocery trip to Whole Foods was $45.29.
-1 Sweet Potato
-Red Pepper Flakes
-Brown Rice (in bulk)
-Banana Chips (in bulk)
-Natural Coffee Creamer
-Frozen Shelled Edamame
Items I already had at home and plan to use:
-2 sweet potatoes
-Ground Flax Seed
-Vinegar & Olive Oil
Week's Menu/Meal Prep Plan:
Breakfast - Baked sweet potato with peanut butter, blueberries, and ground flax seed
Lunch - Salad with spinach, vinegar/olive oil dressing, strawberries, avocado, feta cheese, & baked chicken
Dinner - Stir Fry with carrots, edamame, zucchini noodles, & onion. Served over brown rice. Homemade stir fry sauce with liquid aminos, red pepper flakes, and some spices.
Snacks - Banana chips, almond milk shake with my protein powder
And just like that, a week's worth of meals for around $45 from the ever-so-famous Whoel Foods!!
Week 2: On a separate week, I got my groceries at Trader Joe's (my main grocery store for amazing deals). This week did not include any meat, just eggs. My grand total for a week's worth of groceries was $35.55...plenty of room to grab a package of chicken breast if you wanted to.
-Bag of 6 avocados
-Pack of 3 zucchinis
-2 red bell peppers
-3 regular potatoes
-2 sweet potatoes
-Bag of Jalapenos
-Can of Black Beans
-Can of Black Olives
-Bag of Dried Okra
Week's Menu/Meal Prep Plan:
Breakfast - Regular potato hash with bell pepper, jalapeño, green onions, and avocado
Lunch - Salad with romaine, spinach, tomatoes, & black olives
Dinner - Black beans, sautéed zucchini/jalapeno/mushrooms/cilantro/lime, baked sweet potato with a fried egg on top
Snacks - Dried okra, peaches, banana & peanut butter
During this week I also froze half of the bananas for future smoothies and had peanut butter (obviously) & spinach left over.
TIPS & TRICKS:
My first honest tip to anyone trying to eat healthy on a budget would be this: DO NOT buy the fancy name brand things!!! Sure, there are some items that are just plain better or only available name brand. But for the most part (Whole Foods especially), the store brand is 1) amazing and 2) usually a lot cheaper.
My second most important tip would be to make a firm list before you step foot into that grocery store. Both Whole Foods & Trader Joe's have some wonderful products...but do not get sucked in if you are wanting to stay within your budget. I can easily spend $100 at Whole Foods if I walk in there and just start grabbing things, of course. Whole Foods is genuinely one of my favorite places on this earth, and sometimes I go there just to walk around. But just like the discipline of making yourself healthy food instead of buying junk, you're going to have to be disciplined with a list when buying your groceries! Also, know your schedule and prevent food waste/money waste from buying too much at the grocery store. Each week I know I will eat out about 2-3 times. I make sure to not count on lunch and/or dinner for those days when I'm buying my groceries! I learned the hard way for a while and wasted so much food and money. Know yourself, know your schedule, and make a smart list!
My third and final tip would be to meal prep one day (most likely Sunday before the busy week) to set yourself up for success with your healthy eating plan. Also, it will ensure you eat what you paid for, and don't spend too much money eating out. If I let myself get really hungry at work/school and know I don't have food already made or ready to go at home, I am 500% more likely to just grab something quick on the way home. Strategize! Make a plan! Trust me, you won't regret it.
Want more about how to shop on a budget? Check out General Wellness’s grocery tour here: