31 May Healthy shopping on a budget:
Budgeting is a practice that we implement in many areas of our life; we budget our money, our time, and our efforts. For if we didn’t, we may end up broke, burned out and exhausted! Often, the act of creating a budget and living within our means involves making choices that support us in our decision to save. The practice of shopping on a budget is no different. In order to achieve your goals, you’ll need to make choices that support you in doing so.
Shop on a budget and still eat healthy nourishing foods by following these tips:
- Stock your pantry and refrigerator with cost-effective staples.
- Avoid shopping in the aisles of the grocery store and fill up on the produce section of the store.
- When possible, purchase non-perishable items in bulk for cost savings. Warehouses such as Costco and Sam’s Club allow you to do so as well as online stores such as amazon.com.
- Decide what your priorities are; use the “want’s –versus- needs” exercise to help you out. If you’re struggling to prioritize where you spend your money, you can begin by asking yourself if the item is a “want” or “need” in your life. If it’s a “need”, then it is must be a priority. This means that you may have to give up purchasing the $100 pair of shoes to achieve your goals and include all of your needs into your lifestyle.
- For every meal, fill your plate with 80% plant-based foods: vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, leafy greens, nuts and seeds. The other 20% of the meal may include animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. This will help you gain a lot of nourishment while staying on budget.
- Instead of purchasing boxed snacks, cookies and chips take the opportunity to schedule one or two afternoons a month where you can bake your own goods and freeze for future consumption.
- Plan ahead. A budget-conscious shopper has a plan in place. While there are few coupons available for whole, fresh foods, you can still be strategic by reviewing the sale items and planning your weekly menu accordingly.
- Check into the option of a CSA or door-to-door organics company to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables. These options can provide a cost savings in the long run. Shopping at local Farmer’s Markets can also help you save some pennies.
- Decide to make healthy shopping part of your lifestyle; dedicate the time and effort needed to sort out your personal budget and plan accordingly. Once you get your feet wet and complete a few shopping trips, you’ll better understand how to meet the needs of your family while achieving your money goals.
- Remember that convenience doesn’t always come without consequence. Making the investment in your health today means less money being given to doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies later on. Whole, fresh foods will nourish your body and fight disease so you may enjoy all your days for the long haul. That’s a “need” in my book, how about yours?
Examples of foods to stock up on:
Brown Rice: $0.16 per serving
Oats: $0.36 per serving
Quinoa: $0.63 per serving
Black Beans (or any other type of bean):
Can of beans: $0.26 per serving
Bag of dry beans: $0.17 per serving
Popcorn (organic, non-GMO): $0.21 per serving
Raw Almonds: $0.35 per serving
Raw Walnuts or Pecans: $0.48 per serving
Organic Whole Wheat Flour: 5 lb bag is $3.98
Almond Meal: 6 lb bag is $16.49 for GF baking
Coconut Oil: $0.23 per tablespoon
Fruits, Leafy greens and Vegetables:
Select the items that are on sale and couple lower-priced items with some higher-priced counterparts. For example, you could add onion, kale, garlic and bell peppers to a spaghetti sauce. The kale, onion and garlic are inexpensive items while the organic peppers will run you about $3.50 per pound. In total though, you’re paying very little to add nutrients to your meal and the sum of the vegetables provides you a large portion for feeding the whole family.
Challenge yourself to see how many fruits and vegetables you can fit into your shopping cart for $75.00; I think you’ll be amazed with the results!
Using staples that are versatile, plant-based, and full of fiber and nutrients will keep you satiated and on top of your game whether you’re headed off to work, school, or play.