The choices our family has made, in our effort to eat as healthy as possible, have definitely caused an increase in our grocery budget - not to mention the fact that our boys are now eating a lot more food than they used to eat. I don’t feel like our eating habits can necessarily be called “expensive” to maintain, because we are making what we feel is a wise investment in our health. But yes, it does cost more to eat healthy, whole foods than it costs to eat lower quality foods.
I do what I can to keep our expenses as low as possible. Some of the following ideas may work for you. Some of them may not. I’ll just share the tricks I’ve tried that have worked for us with the hope that you’ll find some new ideas that may work for you too! I will likely go into more detail on each of these as we continue on with our No More Excuses series. So hang with me!
How I Keep Our Expenses Low While Feeding My Family a Healthy Diet…
1. We eat basic, simple meals.
Scroll through all of the Bread and Breakfast, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Condiments recipe ideas listed all over my site. None of those recipes are expensive to prepare. Or, if it is a little pricier, I balance it with a meal that is super inexpensive. Remember how I sometimes stretch a chicken to last give us six meals?
Whole Grain Cinnamon Swirl Bread – just over $1.00/loaf!
2. I cook from scratch if at all possible.
As far as I could figure, it costs me just over $1.00 to bake one loaf of Honey Whole Wheat Bread, which is 100% Whole Grain, no corn syrup, organic ingredient filled, top knotch bread. I’m sure if I broke down other recipes I would find that making food from scratch saves us all kinds of money. Every once in a while I splurge on store-bought packaged food, because my sanity appreciates the sacrifice. But overall, I try to make as much as I can so that I keep our expenses much lower.
3. We rarely eat out.
Eating out as a family is not an option that we ever fall back on, except for the very occasional splurge while traveling or rare special occasion or treat. This saves us so much money, making it possible for us to put our hard earned dollars toward healthy ingredients for eating well at home. For more information and inspiration, read this post titled: Eating Out Less.
4. We try to think outside the box.
We have researched, asked around, and figured out that there are many ways to save money on healthy groceries by shopping online, through health food co-ops, through local farmers and just by asking the right questions. Many people now call us and offer us their leftover fruit from trees and bushes because they know we’ll love it. Bartering and trading have been a wonderful way to gain access to healthy food for free or cheap. And remember how I shared that talking to a local grocer proved to be a great way to get organic produce for a much lower price? Try this idea – it never hurts to ask!
5. We found a food co-op that provides great prices on great foods.
Our healthy food co-op, Azure Standard, saves us loads of money on healthy foods. Check out the following post to help you find local co-ops that might be of service for you where you live: What Health Food Co-op Is Near You?
In addition to those ideas, we buy food in bulk, stock up when food is in season or on sale, can and preserve foods from our own garden, grind our own flour, and otherwise work as hard as we can to find ways to feed our family for as little as possible. Look over Our Whole Foods Pantry, Freezers, and Refrigerators Resources page to see a huge list detailing where we find most of our food.
As you work to eat a healthy diet and keep your expenses low, always remember that God is in control, and he knows your heart!
Coming up next in the No More Excuses series: With All the Conflicting Information Out There, What Does “Healthy” Even Mean?!
I know you are also working as hard as you can and doing the best you can to keep your expenses low. Share what works best for you as you work to stay within your grocery budget. I love that we can all learn from each other!