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Thanks for stopping by! I'm young, I'm in love with my man, and I'm a mommy. We're busy, but happy. I'll share with you how to eat natural, healthy, whole foods while balancing family life! Learn to love your food, it will love you back!
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Health Shopping on a Budget

Over the passed few weeks I've had several emails and conversations with people about how they would like to eat healthy, but they feel it would be out of their budget. Well I'm going to bring you into my shopping world and maybe give some insight on how to shop for healthy foods on a budget!

My family is in no way rich. My husband is still a student and I work part-time, two kids require a lot of expenses so, yes I still live on a budget! I am spending more than I originally was on groceries because I'm constantly inventing and trying new recipes! And unfortunately sometimes my creations don't turn out how I'd like them too, for example yesterday :(

These were meant for "J" day jelly filled brownies, they sounded sooo good to me, I had thought them up, made them healthy, but the end result was blah...garbage here we come! And that is a peak at what my kitchen looks like on a regular basis! I'm really hating dishes lately :) So when mishaps such as the brownies happen, I do end up wasting some food. The good thing about this blog though for you all, is the recipes I post have been tried and tested, so hopefully you won't throw food out and waste your money!

So I've explained to people that in the beginning when you are building up your stock of foods, such as chia seeds, flax, quinoa, flours, nutritional yeast, and other grains it may be quite expensive. I couldn't wait to start trying food in this lifestyle so I remember it was quite the dent in the wallet. If you are more patient than I am, every time you go grocery shopping add a health food item to your list from a bulk section and stock up on that item, maybe Spelt flour, or maybe you want to start with Quinoa, whatever it is you can always go slow then it won't be such a financial burden!

Okay, today was grocery shopping day, I plan weekly meals since it's easier for us to set up a set budget for each week, if you enjoy doing two weeks of food at a time, by all means go for it, just make sure you adjust your budget! One of the most important things I like to do to help me stay within our budget is first, use cash for groceries if you can...discipline yourself to know when the cash is more groceries! When it comes to that point you need to get creative with meals, eat salads, or leftovers, or PB&J's for a few days.

 The next tip I can give you is never, I repeat never go to the grocery store without your list, and maybe don't go with your husband :) On one side of my list I plan my meals. I try and make meals that I can incorporate leftovers into another meal, for example tonight we made veggie kabobs, I made sure to save some extra vegetables for my mini veggie Shepard's pie's in a few nights! Neat right! On the other side of the list I write down the grocery list. I always scan my cupboards first to see what I already have, it's not fun to come home and realize you have about 4 cans of tomato paste, especially when your living on a budget! So check your cupboards first!

Okay so we headed to the store! Something I really try to do on my grocery trips is...
I take my kids! I know it's not always a joy to bring the kids to the grocery store, but I find it such a valuable time to really teach them about healthy foods vs. unhealthy foods! My daughter wanted to pick something out...we didn't run to the cookie section...nope she picked a cucumber! Yes, a cucumber! I didn't encourage it, it was all her, (because to be honest I'm not the biggest cucumber fan) anyways my point is over the last few months my kids have always learned at such young ages what is healthy and what isn't. I find that has been my greatest accomplishment with this, and no amount of grocery bill will take that away from me!

Okay, so we've established that some health food is expensive, here is a health food that I didn't buy, but love to have on hand for my desserts, Raw Cane Sugar

I bought this exact bag a month ago and still have half of it! That's the beauty of it all, your taste buds adjust to not using so much sugar and sweets! So yes this bag may be smaller than a refined white sugar bag, but it takes me just as long to use it! And it's not very expensive.

I'm not sure if you want me to write out my whole receipt, but the grand total for our grocery trips was

As you can see I bought 36 items, which will give us 7-9 meals, and 4-5 snacks and treats! I used two coupons for two half gallons of almond milk! I love it we get so many of those since that's the only milk we buy at Smith's!

I bought some Agave today and it was $4.00 for a 24 oz bottle!!! Most of my list today consisted of produce with some chicken and 1 lb of turkey. And the milk of course. I had a few other things on there as well! If you feel this is still a high number for a week's worth of food, remember I'm making meals each day for blogging purposes, I don't eat a lot of leftovers, we might have them for lunch so they don't go to waste... you can cut this number down if you plan maybe 4 healthy meals a week, leftovers a night or two and then whatever meal you want another night! I've got some cookies planned, sweet breads, and muffins planned with this list as well! I used to use a lot of coupons for food all the time, I saved a lot of money, but fruits and vegetables weren't my main food, we ate them of course, but I also had a lot of boxed food, and my kids hated vegetables. They weren't picking cucumbers out at the store! This budget is not far off from what I was spending before healthy eating. This number may increase when I stop in for my nuts and nut butters, they tend to be some of my most expensive items I buy!

I hope these tips help you! It's very much so worth it. Just do what you can. Start slowly and plan, plan, plan your meals! It will save you money if you write them out!!!! Good luck and keep it up!

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