This edition of Candice’s Kitchen is a new take on the column, focusing more on a behind-the-scenes look at eating healthy on a budget. Since we often talk here about saving money while eating healthy and why eating real food doesn’t have to be expensive, I thought it would be useful to share a sneak peek into my weekly grocery list — including how much I spend — to give you an idea of what our grocery budget looks like. Before I dive into the details, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- We shop and cook for two (my boyfriend and I) and eat 90-95% of our meals at home. We typically eat out 1-2 meals per week, usually for a weekend date night. Our grocery budget aims to feed us for 18-19 meals (and snacks) each week.
- Our weekly budget is around $100, some weeks it’s more or less depending on circumstances such as having guests visit or if I’m working on developing several new recipes.
- Separately, we have a monthly budget for Thrive Market ($75) to stock up on essentials such as cooking fats and oils, hard to find snacks, and baking essentials. We usually only place an order every two months, so really the budget is closer to $37 per month.
I think it’s important to emphasize that we choose to prioritize healthy groceries and cooking at home over things like a daily cup of coffee at Starbucks or eating out lunch five days per week, as many people do. Some people may balk at paying $100+ a week to feed two (and others might think it’s not nearly enough) — but the reality is that we balance what we choose. While not everything is organic or even 100% sustainable, it is our long term goal to eat that way and for now we’re doing what we can to choose the highest quality options and eating healthy on a budget.
It all comes down to choices and what YOU choose to make your #1 priority. Often people complain that “eating healthy is too expensive” but they choose to spend money on happy hours, shopping, and vacations. Those things are all great and certainly have a place in a balanced life, but take a realistic look at your budget and priorities before claiming that it’s too expensive to eat healthy. And remember, you don’t have to buy all organic produce and grass-fed meats. While there are significant benefits to doing so, it’s important to do whatever you realistically can stick with long term rather than get overwhelmed and choose to do nothing.
Here’s a peek at all of the groceries I snagged from Trader Joe’s for $72.25. With 30 items on the list, it comes out to an average of $2.40 per item, which is great considering we picked up several types of meat, a variety of produce, some pantry essentials, and snacks. I’ll likely make another trip later this week to grab some produce for fresh juices and smoothies now that the weather has warmed up.
With all of these items, here’s a glimpse at what I plan to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week:
- Breakfast: Stuffed sweet potatoes and a ground pork and veggie scramble (always topped generously with Primal Palate spices).
- Lunch: Lettuce wrapped turkey and bacon club sandwiches, and experimenting with a new salad recipe.
- Dinner: Lettuce wrapped BLAT’s (from our Guide to Pre and Post Workout Meals) with plantain chips and burgers with roasted veggies.
- Snacks: Fresh grapefruit juice, berries, banana with almond butter (already in our pantry), and jicama sticks or radishes with homemade hummus (already have the ingredients to make hummus).
What questions do you have for sticking to a budget while eating healthy? Comment below or send us a note!
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