Healthy Groceries on a Budget

For the last 4 years or so, first while we were saving for our house and again now that we’re in a preparatory job phase and living off of savings, we’ve been on a relatively tight budget.

Our grocery budget is $100 per week. This covers all of our food (for 2 adults and 2 children with good appetites) as well as household items like soaps and diapers. We have Eva in diapers full time, and also buy pull-ups for Klaus to wear at night.

I am not an extreme couponer. I do not have a huge stockpile of food and grocery items. I usually have a few staples on hand, but I replenish them here and there out of my normal grocery budget as needed. By the end of the grocery period the fridge is pretty empty… And that’s how I like it. Its a good way to track my progress with the budget and menu plan.

Planning starts in the evening the day before I plan to go to the stores.  After checking what we actually  have left in the house I grab my phone and check the Kroger app for their sales and corresponding coupons. They don’t always have better prices than Aldis, but they sometimes have sales and they always have any specialty items I might need.

When I have the sales that I want to take advantage of listed in my notebook, it’s menu time. I try to follow THM and eat a low-glycemic, high protein diet with no sugar or processed flour.  I’ll specifically look for meals that utilize in season (therefore cheap) produce, and whatever meat is on sale. Pinterest and the THM cookbook are my main resources for meal ideas.

Breakfast is simple and always the same 2 or 3 things that we eat a couple times a week.

Lunch is also pretty simple but it’s the meal where we don’t all eat the same dish. The kids often eat different foods than I want to at lunch, and sometimes there are leftovers.

Dinner is our biggest meal of the day and where we have the most variety. I plan for 7 dinners a week. We don’t eat at restaurants, but there’s usually at least one dinner per week that we are visiting family and will eat away from home. In those cases I usually bring a side, and whatever I had planned as a main rolls over to the next week.

Snacks this week are: plums, berries, peanuts, sliced cheese, cottage cheese, and ice cream as an occasional evening treat.

This is what I bought this week:

I spent $80.70 at Aldi getting the majority of the stuff on the list.  Kroger had a great deal on strawberries so I went there for my last few items.

2 quarts of strawberries, a carton of Carbsmart ice cream, a piece of ginger root, 2 lbs of cheddar cheese, 2 oranges, a pint of heavy whipping cream, low carb tortillas, and one Kevita Lemon Ginger drink brought my Kroger total to 23.07.  Basically $3 over budget, and that was because of the drink.  The drink was definitely not on the list, but it was perfect and I was thirsty, so not really regretting it.

While I do plan A LOT, and stick to my grocery list for the most part, I also try to stay flexible.  If I get to the store and there is an amazing deal on some item I’ll go ahead and buy it, but pick something off my list that it will replace.

Anyways, that post ended up much longer than I meant for it to be.  I’ll keep it shorter next time, but I do intend to keep sharing our weekly grocery escapades and healthy menu plans.  Do you have a healthy, budget-friendly menu plan? Post a link in the comments!  I love seeing new menus and getting new ideas.

I’m including links to the main dishes I made was inspired by this week below.  I’m a shameless substitutionist when it comes to recipes.  I basically look at the picture and make something kind of similar with the ingredients that I have. It’s a little bit ridiculous.  The main thing that I made by the book this week was the citrus basil dressing.  It was THE BOMB.  Make it.

Summer Detox Salad with Citrus Basil Dressing (THM- E–we had it with chicken breast, and no honey in the dressing)

Coconut Flour Waffles (THM S)

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad (THM E or XO, depending on how much dressing you use, again with the added chicken.

Siracha Lime Chicken Chop Salad (THM S, again with the substitutions.  I’m really bad at this you guys…)

Pizza Crust