Eating healthy on a budget can be hard. Food budgets are a tough topic. I find it is difficult to find many bloggers, who openly share their food budgets. As someone who is a tad bit of a numbers geek, I am going to verge out into this area. I have had different people over the last few years complain that they can’t afford to eat healthy. So, I am going to go on a mission to say, “Yes, you can!”
First, what do you consider healthy food? This is something that will play into one’s budget. Healthy food starts by focusing on whole foods, in my opinion. Avoiding artificial sweeteners, dyes, and pretty much anything processed. It is, in my opinion, the first major improvement you can make towards eating healthy. Eat real food. Food that only has one ingredient or few ingredients that you can pronounce or no ingredients on a label. How often do you see fruits or vegetables with an ingredient list?
My first goal in sharing our food budget, meal plan, and grocery shopping trips will be eating whole, real foods on a budget. This will mean very few items from the inner aisles of a grocery store. Mostly items that are on the outer aisles: produce, meat, and dairy. Our weekly grocery budget is $130. This is supposed to include toiletries, diapers, laundry detergent, etc. I am going to aim for $100 a week to be used for food and $30 for other items. This will be for our family of four (two adults, a six year old, and an almost two year old).
I will be using items that are already in our freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. The way I meal plan is like this:
- What do I have on hand in the refrigerator? The freezer? The pantry?
- What meals come to mind in using these items?
- Check the local sales flyer for any “great buys.”
- Make a list of meals.
- Finalize my shopping list.
We keep a $1 list notepad from A.C.Moore hanging on our refrigerator. When something runs out that we know we always keep on hand, it is placed on the list. For example, if you use the last of the ketchup, you better put it on the list. Otherwise, I may not know it is empty and someone will be unhappy the next time they go for it.
In all honesty, I don’t know how this is going to go. This has been our food budget for about a year now. I have yet to master it. Most months I blow it. Although, I usually ruin our budgets the weeks I don’t efficiently plan. So this will be a way to hold me accountable, as well. I hope that by sharing my thought process in planning and shopping, I can help show you how you can eat healthy on a budget. Can you afford $100 a week?