Let’s talk budgeting because let’s face it: buying whole, real foods aint cheap. Fact.
I want a farm so badly and lots of chickens. Do you know what organic, free-range eggs cost? Oh my. I sound like Veruca – “Daddy, I want it nowwwww.” Dad, I’m not asking for a golden goose, just a chicken. Good thing I have pay cheques coming in now otherwise I would legit be miserable every time I see my grocery bill – I am carefully tracking my grocery spending during the Whole 30 challenge so I will fill you in. And good thing I live at home – did I really just say that?! Yes. Yes I did.
My parents are awesome and would never let me go hungry, but I buy my own food. As I should. I’m a big girl now. But since starting the Whole 30, I am not used to buying so much fish and meat (beans and lentils are much more budget friendly) and I try to buy organic, free-range, pastured, grass-fed (all that good stuff) as often as possible – but it is certainly adding up – I just began buying my meat from Rowe Farms. I have made this a priority in my life so I am trying to figure out some budget friendly ways to keep this realistic.
You don’t need to buy the most expensive this or that (do what you can) but there are ways to eat well and not break the bank. So today’s Fit Tip Tuesday with Lisa is all about healthy eating on a budget – because it’s possible.
If you choose to invest in your health, you can do so and still be financially responsible. It first comes down to budgeting and balancing your life. Amy wrote this great post on making a budget. I use a little book I like to call my “pink book” and an Excel spreadsheet to budget my earnings, spendings (needs vs. wants), and net goals. I buy “expensive” food but I do my very best to budget for this. I love to travel (obvs) but I budget for this. I CrossFit. But I budget for this. I love Lululemon. Okay I don’t budget for this as well, sometimes it just calls to me. Anyways, those are my choices and you make yours.
Obviously eating real, nutrient rich food is a priority of mine. So what to do? I’m no expert, but here’s what works for me.
1. Buy frozen produce and shop in season.
I used to be really bad at this. I love berries and I wanted them all the time. But $5.99 for a box of raspberries that I could devour in 2.5 seconds? No thank you. Instead, I stock the freezer with frozen berries – much more cost effective and a lot of professionals believe this to be healthier as the produce is frozen at it’s optimal point.
Seasonal shopping is really important as well. In season fruits and veggies are budget friendly and often better tasting. If raspberries are in season, go for it. They are less expensive and of higher quality. Another tip is to buy produce in bulk. An avocado can sometimes be as pricy as $3 each but buying bags of (smaller) avocados is often around $2.99.
2. Shop locally and at a farmer’s markets.
Farmer’s markets are the new candy shop. Hopefully it will start to get warmer ASAP (go away winter) so you should see a lot more farmer’s markets popping up around you – check your local newspaper or hello, Google! Farmer’s markets are a great option for in-season, budget-friendly produce and other goods.
3. Look for sales.
Even health food stores have sales. One of my favorite stores announces weekly and monthly sales. If a jar of nut butter is on sale or a box of Larabars, I buy it – I will need it and use it eventually. If meat is on sale, buy it, store it properly (see tip #7) and freeze it for future use. Whole Foods has weekly and monthly flyers as well. Check your local store and take advantage of the sale.
4. Learn how to make homemade goods.
You don’t need to buy everything. I make lots of snacks. It’s super easy and cost-effective to throw some dates and nuts into a food processor and make delicious energy bites. There are so many other goods that you can make too: fermented veggies, kombucha, almond milk and nut butter. My goal is to make homemade cashew butter asap. Hopefully I don’t kill our food processor.
5. Grow your own spices/produce.
Aren’t gardens the cutest? I don’t exactly have a green thumb but I want to try to grow a mini garden this summer. I think I am going to start with fresh herbs and spices on the windowsill in
my my parent’s kitchen. Of course growing your own spices and produce will save you lots of money.
6. Buy from bulk bins and buy in bulk.
This has been a life-saver for me. I frequent Bulk Barn (it’s Canadian) for most of my nuts, seeds, flours and some dried fruit. It is so much cheaper to shop this way rather than buying pre-packaged flours and nuts. Sometimes I only need a little bit of this or a lot of that, so this is a great option. If you are shopping for more than one, buying things in bulk is another cost-friendly tactic – just resist the Costco taste-testers, ew.
7. Limit how much you go out to eat.
Going out to eat is expensive. Sure, it is a fun social endeavour but what about a pot-luck? Or cooking with a friend? I do enjoy some time off from the kitchen but it is super rewarding to eat the fruits of your labor and share it with someone you love.
8. Properly store food.
Often time food “goes bad” because it isn’t stored correctly. I store nuts, seeds, grains and flours in glass jars. Nuts and some flours (like almond and flaxseed meal) should be stored in the fridge. Store chopped veggies in airtight containers and use a vacuum sealer to prevent foods from losing freshness or getting freezer burned.
9. Make a plan and stick to it.
Yup. My favorite word: plan. This has seriously helped with my budget! I used to buy too many things and they would often go to waste – and we know that I hate wasting food. I know it has been a few weeks since I have posted a weekly plan but I still plan my meals. I survey my section of our fridge and pantry and figure out what I have/need/want to make. I write down meal ideas on stickie notes and make a grocery list. I buy the food (and stick to my list!) and then get my prep on.
10. Eat amazing and delicious food and love life.
I just couldn’t end on an odd number…
Questions of the day…
How do you eat healthy without breaking the bank?
Who is your favorite character from Willy Wonka?
Keep in touch:
Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee
Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee
Facebook –> The Little Honey Bee
Pinterest –> thelilhoneybee
Bloglovin –> The Little Honey Bee