I have come across a few misconceptions while having a health and fitness blog such as healthy eating is too expensive, too fancy, too hard to follow, or complicated when trying to understand macronutrients. With this post I plan to focus on how to control a few of these elements and how I thrive by eating healthy and staying in shape within my price range.
A few things to keep in mind...
- I do not eat straight vegetables and grilled chicken every day
- I do not spend a ton of money on groceries
- I do not eat perfectly all the time, I love sweets!
- Not everything I buy is organic or “gluten-free”
- I will never judge someone based on their eating habits
My goal is to help anyone who is interested by providing insight on how I to live a healthier lifestyle. For the rest of this post, my focus is to reveal some of my tips when it comes to grocery store shopping and saving money, because I am only in college and don’t have a full time job. I am going to break this list down into different food categories for what is important to buy organic and what is not based on information I have gathered from a few different online resources. I will also provide where I have found the cheapest and highest quality foods for some of these categories.
How to Shop Smart
My go-to butter brand is Kerrygold because it is grass fed, organic, and it tastes amazing. I typically get this from Walmart because I usually find it priced at $2.98. Trader Joe's also might have it for $2.79, depending on the location.
It is pretty rare that I will ever buy a steak for myself to eat alone. If I have a steak it is either at a restaurant or for a special occasion. I love steak, but it is not the cheapest source of grass-fed protein out there. I would go with ground beef for this category because you can make a ton of different dishes out of it like burgers, taco meat, or put it in a salad just to name a few.
Produce: (Organic vs. Non-organic)
Should be organic: Apples, celery, cucumbers, green and red bell peppers, green beans, kale, lettuce, spinach, and berries. It’s a good idea to spend the extra money on organic for these. (hyper link this to bulletproof)
Does not have to be organic: Asparagus, avocado, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, pickles and eggplant. (Avocados are pretty much the safest conventionally-produced food on the market today.)
You can find your produce from any grocery store you prefer, because the prices are typically very similar, unless you find otherwise.
My favorite fish to eat on a regular basis is salmon. Salmon is obviously more expensive than buying frozen chicken or some other cheap, lower quality meat, but I sacrifice here and go with the fish. Salmon has the omega-3 fatty acids that chicken does not, which are vital on my high fat diet. Buy these wild caught not farm raised.
I am able to find cage free brown eggs at Walmart for 26.6 cents a piece, or $4.78 for an 18 pack. I prefer to buy these in bulk because eggs do not spoil quickly.
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil:
Surprisingly, I find my best quality and lowest priced olive oil at TJ Maxx or Marshall's. Conventional grocery stores over charge in my opinion, and they really only provide generic brands. At these two stores, they have a good variety of authentic olive oils. For coconut oil, it is smart to buy the unrefined version of coconut oil in bulk off amazon.com. I use coconut oil for a lot of different things like in my coffee, to cook with, for my skin, and as a supplementary fat throughout the day, so I need to make sure I always have a lot.