As a healthy lifestyle coach, one thing I worked on with clients the most was how to do Fresh Food Shopping on a Budget. It is no doubt that fresh food can seem more expensive than the processed, food-like products that line the shelves, but the good news is that it is possible to stay within your budget and feed your family healthily.
- First and foremost, shop with a plan. Have a grocery list in hand and stick to it – this is non-negotiable! It is shocking how much extra money we spend on – excuse my language – total crap because we just don’t know what else to buy. Of course, you could use a service like Maggie’s Fresh Kitchen and have your meal plans and grocery lists made for you, or you can make your own. Either way, PLAN AHEAD!
- Have at least one dinner per week be vegetarian. Quality meat is where most of our grocery dollars go, and rightfully so. There are a TON of great, filling, nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals out there. You could try my Pasta Primavera for starters, it is always a huge hit in this house!
- Shop the sales! Gone are the days of having to wait until the Sunday ads come out. Pull out your smartphone and check out what’s on sale that week. Does a recipe you want to make call for broccoli but asparagus is on sale? No prob, just swap them out! That’s the great thing about vegetables, they can be totally interchangeable without compromising the taste of the recipe. Fruit is also a big one! Don’t bust your budget on the $7 carton of organic strawberries, buy what’s in season and on sale.
- Store brands, store brands, store brands! I’ll say it again STORE BRANDS! Don’t be a snob on me now – kidding, kind of… Anyway, for things like beans and whole grains, the store brand products are almost always just as good as the more expensive name brand. Seriously, my whole pantry is store brand items.
- Bulk Bins. A lot of people don’t know that the bulk bins often have spices available. Yeah I know, awesome right?! So that Chipotle Powder that costs $5.99 at the store that you might use twice? You can buy it a teaspoon at a time for mere cents, not blow your budget, and still be able to try that amazing fresh recipe you are dying to make.
- Buy cheaper cuts of meat! Listen, I’m a beef girl – I love red meat, but quality steak just isn’t a family-friendly staple, ya hear me? Sooooo I’ve learned to adapt recipes using a flank or a skirt steak which are often cheaper and on sale. I get my beef fix and my husband is happy with our grocery bill, total win-win! Those are great tips for red meat, but my favorite hack is boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You guys, these are often HALF the price (HALF!!!!!) of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and are totally interchangeable in about 99% of chicken recipes. To be honest, I think they taste way better too! I mean, check out this Maple Dijon Chicken I had on the meal plans last week, YUM!
- When possible, utilize local CSA’s and Farmers Markets. Local farmers can offer fresh, quality, just picked produce at a much cheaper price than a big box store. Not only that, but buying local is an amazing way to show your community some support.
- Lastly – it’s simple – don’t buy unnecessary junk food or beverages. That bag of chips that gives you no nutrition, but gives you something with crunch for your Netflix binges? Swap it for a $1 bag of baby carrots instead. Also, the sugary beverages that you know are no good for you, but you want them anyway…sorry honey, Cut. Them. Out. Not only will your wallet be thanking you, but, your whole body will as well.
So you see, fresh food shopping doesn’t have to be difficult OR expensive! A few swaps and a plan can have you well on your way to feeding your family nutritious, delicious, fresh meals in no time!
Love you guys,
P.S. Of course I have to mention one last time, right now our meal plans are 50% off! For as low as $4.16 per month you can know that you have a plan, a grocery list, easy to follow instructions, and guaranteed family-friendly recipes ready to go each week. Not only that, but we also want you to try it for 14 Days Free!
Click to Share