Through trial and error I have learned that there are THREE cardinal rules when it comes to consistently keeping healthy meals on the table without upping your grocery spending. I am SO happy to share these rules because they also debunk one of the biggest myths out there regarding healthy eating (which also happens to be one of my biggest pet peeves). The next time you hear someone say, “I want to eat healthy, but it’s just too expensive,” you can flick them on the forehead, and then refer them to this website because they are wrong. Sometimes keeping healthy foods in your diet is more time consuming or more laborious—yes, making a smoothie with fresh ingredients is more time consuming than cruising through a drive through and picking one up—but labeling healthy eating as “too expensive” is a farce. Here are three steps you can take to make sure $25 affords you the healthy essentials you need to get through the workweek.
STEP ONE: Know What You Have
Before hitting the store I take inventory of the staples we have in our pantry and refrigerator so I know what we can use as the basic backbones of our meals and if there is any item we need to replace during a particular week. I try to only pick up 1-3 of these items per grocery trip because they are usually pricier.
STEP TWO: Know what’s about to go Bad
Before hitting the store I also take inventory on all fresh produce and leftover meat that needs to be used soon in order to avoid the garbage disposal. I do this for two reasons—First, I will either need to buy more, and second, I might need to grab other items from the store to compliment the needs-to-be-consumed-sooner-rather-than-later items that are already sitting in our fridge.
STEP THREE: Create a Specific List of what you Need to Buy and a Rough Weekly Meal Plan
Once I know what basic backbone foods we have and what food items are about to go bad or have completely vanished from our refrigerator since our last trip to the store, I sit down and simultaneously create a ROUGH meal plan and grocery list for the week. I say “rough” because we never exactly stick to it, but it does help us save money by wisely using leftovers to create different meals that don’t leave my fiance completely bored and begging for “something different”. For example, if we have grilled chicken and baked potatoes on Monday, it makes perfect sense to shred the leftover chicken to make some delicious oven fajitas on Tuesday.
Based on the two lists from Step 1 and Step 2 and the food items I purchased for less than $25 (pictured at the very top of the post), I created the above meal plan above to get us through the work week! Easy as 1-2-3 and less expensive than one night of ordering pizza and garlic bread
Healthy eating myth debunked!!