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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Quinn

Your Cheat Sheet: Eating Healthy and Affordable Grocery Tips

It's a running joke in our house that I "eat to get the job done." I am less concerned with bold flavors and more concerned with nutritional and caloric content. OBVI, I don't live this way all the time. I make yummy meals that are very healthy, and I enjoy myself out at dinner a few times per week with friends. But, in order to keep the grocery bill down and hit my fitness goals, there has to be a little give and take.


I'm writing this blog for two reasons:

1. To help you eat healthy without breaking the bank

2. To simplify meals to make meal prep and macro goals less complicated.


How to save $$$ at the grocery store... 

We are not breaking the bank in the name of fitness and health. If you are #ballinonabudget, I get it. The good news is I don't buy into the lie that eating healthy is more expensive. It can be if you compare your meal to the dollar menu, but that's not the case for most people. If you want to get out of Trader Joe's as cheaply as possible while aiming to buy healthy food, here are your guidelines:


Protein:

  • You can buy chicken breast and ground beef relatively cheaply per lb. I love purchasing ground beef when it's on sale and freezing what I don't need for future meals.

  • Tuna and salmon packets are high in protein and healthy fats. I love to make salmon bowls with veggies and soy sauce or a tuna salad with strawberries and feta cheese.

  • Frozen meats are also an excellent and affordable option. For last-minute dinners, I keep frozen turkey burgers from Trader Joe's in my freezer.

  • Buy in bulk and freeze what you don't need that week


Produce & Grains:

  • FROZEN VEGGIES AND FRUIT ALL DAY. Seriously, buy them. They're easy to prepare, and you won't have to worry about buying fresh produce that could go bad. Let's be honest; this happens every week to all of us.

  • Canned beans, peas, and other veggies are a great option too!

  • Grains: Oh, yummy grains. They are an excellent source of fiber and B vitamins and are so cheap, especially when bought in bulk. Oats, brown rice, lentils, and whole wheat pasta can be kept for months and are healthy sources of carbs. Keep these on hand at all times.

  • Spices: These will be your best friend in adding flavor and pizazz to your meals. My favorites are garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt, pepper, and oregano!

  • Sauces: mustard, tamari, hot sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, all of these can be bought once and used for months to add flavor to meals, and they are mostly low in calories or high in nutrients.


A meal cheat sheet:

Choose a protein, carb, and veggie. BOOM. A well-rounded meal.



To make things simple during the week, I use minimal ingredients and meal prep items ahead of time, which helps to minimize unnecessary tracking and expensive grocery trips. There must be a compromise if you have a physique goal and a budget.


What steps will you take to ensure you are buying high-quality foods? How will you prepare these meals in advance for easy tracking and consumption throughout the week? It may seem overwhelming initially, but the more reps you put into grocery and meal planning, the easier it gets. You may not want to "eat to get the job done," but adopt the mindset that food nourishes and fuels us rather than just eating for fun. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy our food, but it does mean there may be a learning curve to combine the two. Review these tips the next time you plan your grocery list. Experimenting with new foods is the best way to learn what works best for you and your goals!



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