7 Ways to Eat Healthy Without Spending Your Whole Paycheck

Tempeh Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sammies (2)

What’s a girl (or guy- but we’re talking about the ladies real quick) to do when it seems easier and ridiculously dirt cheap to pick up a quick meal at the taco spot instead of eating an $11 kale salad!? I know you’re trying to eat healthy, but convenience seems to get the best of you. And that freakin’ sucks. Why does the healthy stuff have to be so damn expensive?! Even though I’m all about eating really really good (high quality may cost some extra dough), I don’t believe in spending every last penny at Whole Foods. You can still eat the good stuff without burning a huge hole in your pocket. Trust me, I have some tips and a look at what I usually spend on a grocery store trip 😉

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Photo from Google Images

  1. Plan, plan, plan. Not only is it a great way to save time (I know you’re busy), it’s essential for your health. Pick a day, grab your phone or a notepad and plan some meals for your week. Then, make a well thought out list of the things you actually need. Head over to supermarket, get what’s on your list and get out ASAP. This will keep you from mindlessly roaming the aisles (and away from the pre-packaged meals) while keeping your hard earned cash in the bank. FOR REALS! And download the app Wunderlist to share your grocery list with your family members or honey to make sure no one is double shopping (or spending). 

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2. Buy foods that are in season.  Head on over to your local farmer’s market or the produce section of your grocery store and take a peek at what’s in abundance. Whether it’s squash in the fall or berries in the summer, eating with the seasons is a great way to save while enjoying delicious fruits and vegetables. And besides, if it’s in season it usually tastes better. Not just usually- it really does taste better and you can open up your palate to some new things that you prob wouldn’t have thought to eat. Need recipes? Ask your farmer they are a wealth of knowledge. I mean come on, they grow the stuff so they know best!  Can’t get fresh produce or simply don’t have the patience? See tip #5.

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Photo from Google Images

3. Clip coupons. There’s no shame in using coupons and shopping the sales. Choose your fave place to buy groceries (even if it’s Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s) and pick up their circular. You’ll usually find some awesome deals and coupons to save for next time. Score!  

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Photocredit Diana Chaplin

4. Buy in bulk & stock up your pantry. Do yourself a huge favor and go straight to the bulk section of your grocery store. It looks overwhelming at first but it will save you a ton in the long run. Buy more grains (farro, wheat berries, spelt, quinoa) and beans for much less. Keeping these non-perishable items on hand will help you prepare a healthy meal on a moment’s notice. And don’t forget the canned goods!

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Photo from Google Images

5. Don’t ignore the frozen food. When you can get your favorite fruits and veggies in season, make sure you get them fresh and ripe. But sometimes that’s not possible or financially savvy. Some frozen vegetables are flash frozen to lock in nutrients and in some cases can be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets.

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

6. Buy generic food and store brands. You don’t need a name brand to eat healthy. Opt for store brand foods (like Whole Foods 365 Brand and Trader Joe’s brand) to save a pretty penny when you’re stocking up. There’s no shame in that 😉 


7. Cook once, eat twice. It doesn’t get more simple than that. Cook with the intention to have leftovers. I do this ALLLLLL the time. I intentionally cook a HUGE meal and make that meal stretch boo. Transform your leftovers and turn them into something even more delish- like taking leftover bean chili and using it in a quesadilla, can you say yum? Use up ingredients by planning meals with similar veggies, beans, grains or prep them ahead and store them in the freezer to eat later. 

Whenever I have the intention of shopping, I typically go with an idea of how much money I am willing to spend. Typically this ranges between $80-$150 and this is for a weeks worth of groceries for 2 people. I usually spend less if I have a stocked pantry and shop at the farmer’s market.

Need a little grocery list inspiration?

Here’s what I pick up at Whole Foods (spending only $115): 

  • 1 34 oz container of plain full fat yogurt (Siggi’s)
  • Pumpkin puree (organic- got these babies on sale for 2 for $5)
  • Potatoes (purple and sweet)
  • Tomatoes
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Silvered Almonds (bulk section)
  • Walnuts (bulk section)
  • Brazil nuts (bulk section)
  • Pumpkin seeds (bulk section)
  • Paleo friendly bacon (without sugar or nitrites and organic grassfed- this is for my fiance)
  • Big ol’ bag of kale
  • Organic romaine lettuce
  • Brown rice tortillas
  • Thyme
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Frozen cherries & berries
  • Parmesan (pre-shredded)
  • Grade B Maple Syrup
  • Onions
  • Grass fed butter (Kerrygold is my favorite)
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Sprouted Bread (Ezekiel)
  • Jalapenos

Of course this is just a sample of what I keep on hand at all times. For more of an inside look at my fridge (and pantry) click here

And download my FREE Kitchen Revamp Guide here. 

How do you stay healthy without spending all your cash on green juice and kale salads?

Peace, love and no beef!


PS Did you know I give tours and teach you how to shop like a pro at farmer’s markets and health food stores? Shoot me an email and I will hook you up with a tour. You don’t have to navigate Whole Foods or Union Square Farmer’s Market alone 😉


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