Don’t break the bank!


Many people say that they don’t eat healthy because it is so expensive. To me this is just an excuse to not do it! The Fitnessista was asking for a little help in giving some tips to a student in her business school, and I started leaving an insanely lengthy comment, so I decided to turn it into a post!

Eating healthy while also saving money.

If you all remember, for about 4 months I did a weekly market recap where I posted the amount I spent buying groceries. It was a great experiment and taught me a lot. Throughout all of those weeks I didn’t use any coupons, although I did casually look for things on sale. I wanted it to be as accurate as possible in terms of every day shopping.

I will say that a lot of us spend a decent amount of money on the grocery store because we like gourmet things… almond butter, goat cheese, fancy greek yogurts, raspberries out of season, etc. You can still eat well without those items.

I did a post about eating well on a budget back in January, focusing on your actual market experience. Now I tell you how to do it at home.

Here are my tips to eating healthy, while not spending too much money:

1. Don’t buy the packaged stuff. No Larabars, fancy almond butter, etc. Shop the perimeter of the market. As we all know, the healthiest stuff is there, and it is cheaper/makes more meals than the middle aisles. Bulk foods fall into this category.

2. Eat a little less. If you buy really good quality fresh foods, smaller portions are just as satisfying!

3. Make big pots of meals and then freeze them into portions for a later date. That way you don’t waste half that onion or whatever it is you don’t use up to make your small portion.

4. Have 1 vegetarian meal a day. For most of the U.S., this is a challenge. Other places in the world… it is the way of life. Which leads me to number 5…

5. Experiment in the kitchen! There are lots of great ethnic meals out there that don’t cost too much to make!

One example that utilizes all of the above…

Mujadarah

Cost of ingredients:
1 16-oz bag of lentils = $1.50
1 28-oz bag of brown rice = $2.69, you will use 2 cups app. $0.19
1 onion = $0.99
olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, water =Β  app $0.10?

According to my calculations, it will cost you $2.78 TOTAL to make 6 huge servings!!!! That’s $0.47/serving.

Let’s say to that meal you wanted to add a huge salad with all the veggies in the world… Even if that cost you $3.00 (which is an extremely HIGH estimate), your entire meal just cost you $3.47.

Is that expensive?

**Please note that I am heading to Indiana to visit my best friend Lynne for the weekend! She just moved there!Β  We are going to a fancy cooking lesson tomorrow and I will be sure to tell you all about it! Meanwhile, PB is in New Orleans for his bachelor party weekend.

**Follow me on Twitter! I am rhodeygirltests!

**Thanks for all the great feedback on my last post! You all rock! Happy Friday!


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14 responses to “Don’t break the bank!

  1. Oooh that dish sounds delish!!

    HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!

  2. Great post. I agree with you – I think people say this as an excuse or maybe they haven’t tried to buy healthy foods. I am amazed each week at how little I spend on fruits and veggies – it’s all the other stuff that seems to add up for me! (like you said, packaged foods).

  3. Love all of these ideas! I definitely agree with all of them. I really try not to buy the bars and fancy pb but sometimes those things are just too darn good hehe. I’m going to try tho!! Maybe consider it a challenge in the future! πŸ™‚

  4. Woo thanks for all this advice! I tend to buy quality food whether its expensive or not- if I can get the cheaper no-name brands then I’ll do it, but some things (like almonds) are expensive regardless. Those are my luxury items πŸ™‚

  5. I hear you on the shopping perimeter! Its always awesome to be able to find that local store you know you can count on for the staple fresh items for less money!

  6. Great ideas! I am always looking for ways to spend less on food!

  7. yay for Friday!

    Lovely post. As a college student, I’m always looking for more tips on how to eat well on a tight budget πŸ™‚

  8. Great tips and post. It can be expensive to eat healthy but you CAN make it less so.
    Ive cut back everywhere (thank you economy!) & the foodpart was the last to go….but go it has and I always need more ideas.

  9. Good post πŸ™‚
    I’ve been a lot more budget conscious lately and I’ve saved a lot of money just by being more careful!
    Have fun this weekend!!

  10. Love all the ideas! Especially the “eating less” one.

    I’m a cheese addict, and used to eat mostly american style or cabot cheddar, while staying away from the really expensive stuff. Now I just buy the good stuff that I really, really want, and enjoy it ten times more…just less often!

    Have a nice weekend! πŸ™‚

  11. GREAT POST! i manage to eat pretty well and buy food for 3 people for under 50 bucks a week.. and my boy eats a lot of meat too..

  12. Thanks for this post. My husband and I really trying to watch our grocery budget. We buy all of our produce in bulk at Whole Foods which helps a lot. I’ve stopped buying bars, and I’m making my own almond butter. Every little bit helps.

    I just started following you on Twitter. πŸ™‚

  13. haha I too was inspired by the fitnessista to blog about eating healthy without breakin the bank and our tips are very similar. dare I say: great minds think alike!

  14. Pingback: 2009. « RhodeyGirl Tests

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