Why are the most unhealthiest and processed foods (made with things that aren’t grown from the earth itself) so much cheaper than the healthiest foods? This has always been one thing I have never understood. I understand they are made with “cheaper ingredients”, BUT we have food that grows in the earth and we definitely over pay for it (in most cases).
Something amazing about the world we live in today is that companies are making foods that are healthy, good quality and taste good. Back in the day, healthy foods tasted… well… healthy. Now you can go into your local food store and find healthier versions of pretty much all of your favorite snacks (without the junk). The problem is that sometimes these healthier food choices come with consequences… they are damn expensive. And depending on how the ingredients are sourced and how they are made (i.e. avocado oil over canola oil) etc., the pricier the item is.
You DO NOT need to over pay for your groceries. I do have my products that I love to splurge on, but in my household we try to stick to a weekly budget.
Let me start by saying, I believe that health comes first and everything else comes after. Your grocery budget should never come last. When you create a weekly budget, fit your grocery budget in first (don’t use what is left at the bottom of your budget for groceries).
There are so many ways to save on healthy foods like shopping wholesale! One of my favorite ways to save is with my Costco membership. They have so many healthy food options at whole sale prices. You can get things like avocado oil, organic peanut butter and almond butter, brown rice, beans, kale chips, tuna etc. all at whole sale prices. They are always adding “healthified” foods in the stores so keep a look out. One of my favorite things that I get through Costco is Simple Mills almond flour crackers. In your local grocery they are usually around $5 a box, but at Costco you can find a large box (about 4x the regular size box) for around $10. Another great way to save is through Thrive Market. You can get all your favorite healthy foods (everything besides produce) at whole sale prices. They also do sales, and cash back on certain items as well. Instead of buying condiments, beans, coffee grounds/beans, supplements and snacks at the local grocery store, I buy them through Thrive Market and at whole sale prices. I love buying my protein powders and supplements through Thrive, because it is lower in cost than other retailers. This is also a great way to save on meat and seafood.
Another great way to save money is by making your own coffee!! I use a french press which you can find on my products page. I will make a fresh batch and save the rest for iced coffee in an up-cycled glass jar. Buying coffee at a coffee shop not only wastes plastic and paper, but it can also waste money. (I love trying out a coffee shop when we travel but it is not sustainable for everyday living). I also think buying a bottle of cold brew coffee at the grocery store can be a waste of money in some cases. Making your own coffee, storing it in the fridge and pouring it in your own travel cup in the morning, saves you money, saves you time, and saves the environment. (You can also use your leftover coffee grinds as a homemade exfoliator. So you can start saving money on your beauty routine too!).
Another one of my favorite budget tips is to buy then freeze. I do this especially when I shop for whole sale items or when i go to the local farmers market. If I know I am not going to use a whole container of blueberries or spinach, I will take out half and freeze it. Not everything can be frozen, so make sure you check before you freeze.
Something else you can freeze is those meal prepped dinners! A very cost effective way to eat is to meal prep big batches of your dinners, then freeze half. I love making soups and chilis, then freezing them for another time. Soup and chili are inexpensive to make, so next time you make them, make a huge batch and freeze some for later!
I also love to buy in bulk! Most stores have bulk sections. Here you can purchase things like nuts, seeds, flours, etc. It is less expensive to purchase bulk over buying individual bags.
It is also important to learn how to store your food to make it last longer. The worst thing you can do for your wallet is throw out food. Learn how to properly store fruits and vegetables to make them last longer! I always buy celery but I often forget to eat it. So I have learned to store my celery submerged in water in glass jars to keep them fresh longer!
Also, because throwing out food is wasteful, practice efficient fridge and pantry storage! When food is hidden in the back of the fridge or pantry, it gets forgotten and goes bad. Start by cleaning out your pantry and fridge and then organize it so you can clearly see what is in there!
Another great tip of mine is to watch for sales and deals and stock up! Whenever I see a sale on my favorite ketchup or pasta, I will buy extra! I typically only do this for pantry items. I love stocking up on my favorite snacks when there is a deal. If avocado or salmon is on sale, I would not recommend stocking up as those will go bad! Sales are also a great time to buy supplements, as those are expensive at regular sale price. I also love purchasing my favorite spreads, dips, plant based milks and creamers (refrigerated items) when they are on sale. I love buying grain free wraps and plant based dips, but a package can cost $5-$10 (which is expensive). I wait until those refrigerated items are on sale before I buy. Plant based milks (before opening) typically last a few months in the fridge, so if there is a sale, I will buy a few and store in the fridge (just be careful to not open more than one at a time and pay attention to “best buy” date).
Buying WHOLE foods is the best way to save money! This means buying whole vegetables and fruits and creating a meal (as opposed to buying processed or pre-made meals). I love buying kale chips and dips/spreads, but honestly it is cheaper to make my own than it is buying them pre-made (it also tastes better to make them homemade).
There are so many ways to save on groceries. Back in the day, we would have to cut coupons from the newspaper to save on groceries, but today it is so much easier than that. If you could take anything away from this post, shop whole sale, buy in bulk, and buy on sale! This way you don’t have to compromise your budget or your diet (or good food)!
How do you stay healthy on a budget?!