Monday, February 24, 2014

What's in your cart? $30 of Healthy Groceries

Happy Monday! I'm finally recovering from the whirlwind week last week, and getting back on schedule! It was great to spend time with my family, and celebrate my mom's birthday. We went shopping, seriously, and one of our favorite places to shop is this retail chain in NC and SC called "Hamrick's". It's amazing. Their merchandise selection keeps getting better and better, and this weekend, I'm proud to say that this bargain hunter walked away with a badly needed new pair of ballet flats, a date-night top, a pair of Marika leggings...and a really adorable spring top for (drumroll) $32ish! And the best part: the leggings were only $5!!!!! Micah just got a job closer to home (only 2 miles!) and we've been doing 21 Day Fix which is Ah-mazing. I've had tummy troubles like IBS my entire life, and the symptoms were GONE by the 3rd day. This is a program we'll be doing again and again! But you can check all that out on my blog's 21 Day Fix page. :)
This post has been long in coming, but it was inspired by the plethora of people in my life who love to say: "I can't afford to eat a healthy diet." Well, good news, you can. I went to the grocery store today, just for you and picked out some amazing foods that are staples of a healthy diet. The best part, I only spent $30.09 for the food pictured below. Through the years, I've encountered a lot of people who have heard how important it is to follow a healthy diet, but don't have any idea of what that means. Let me explain this to you. You need a variety.
What you're looking at is: 12oz. fresh broccoli
                                            7 bananas
                                            2c. mozzarella cheese
                                            1lb. ground chicken
                                            2 cans no salt added corn
                                            4 cans reduced sodium black beans
                                            2 cans dark red kidney beans
                                            roasted, unsalted peanuts (Make sure there are no added ingredients.)
                                            roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds (I usually buy raw, but they were out.)
                                            1 bag of radishes
                                            2 giant heads of romaine lettuce
                                            1 lg. tub of greek yogurt
                                            1 ginger root
                                            2 bulbs of fresh garlic
I can hear some of you saying where's the fudge rounds...? Let me explain this: treats are treats...I've seen buggies in the store that have about 70% junk food 30% real food. This is where their money is going. They complain about being addicted but have junk food all over their house. Don't get me wrong, a treat is ok, but if you're eating a treat everyday, then it's no longer a treat, it's part of your diet.

Now to debunk some common misconceptions about healthy eating:

Myth 1: It costs a fortune. You do not need to buy everything organic! I know people that use the cost of organic as an excuse...really? The only ones to be careful about are the dirty dozen, according to my husband, who has a biotechnology degree, and studied what pesticides actually do. Buy in season, and locally, if possible, there's a reason that this is really popular right now...because it's cheaper. Buy in bulk. Get another family to go in on the cost of a crate of a particular food. you'll both benefit from making a healthier choice. Grow your own herbs, instead of paying $3 every time you need fresh rosemary.

Myth 2: I don't have time. If you've never heard of a crockpot, then I suggest that you acquaint yourself with it. This is how I worked 5 jobs and still ate healthily. All is takes is 15 minutes. You actually will spend more time driving somewhere to a drive-thru to eat a much less healthy meal.

Myth 3: Healthy food tastes bad. Trust me, we make some delicious stuff at our house, chili, protein cookies, etc. I had PF Chang's-inspired clean chicken lettuce wraps for lunch....nom, nom. We don't eat cardboard. You don't need all that added junk. I looked at the label for corn meal the other day and 9 out of 10 brands had added wheat flour. We've duped ourselves into thinking we need all those fillers, like MSG, bleached flour, modified food starch, but we're wrong.

Myth 4: I'll still be hungry all the time. If you're eating the right portions, the right calories for your activity level and getting enough protein and fiber, that won't be the case.

Do some research? How healthy is your daily food intake, really?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!



  1. It always amazing me how much healthy food you can buy without blowing your grocery budget. Great reminder!

  2. I try to spend about $30 a week on groceries for my son and I. My husband's out of the equation right now, because he's away training on a Navy base, so he eats at the dining facility there. When he gets back, I'll probably try to spend no more than $45 a week.

    Most of that money goes towards fresh fruits and veggies, chicken thighs, oatmeal, milk, eggs, nuts or dates, and cheese. Every week I also replenish my rice or quinoa or couscous...whichever one is getting lowest...sometimes two of them. And about once a month the bill is a little higher, because I'm also buying more honey and/or peanut butter.

    I've also found that produce is usually much cheaper at ethnic grocery stores, like Asian or Lebanese markets.

  3. stopping by from WOW- love that you are calling out all these "myths", I hear them allllll the time. So so true, especially #4! I stay full much longer and feel so much better since cutting out processed foods!

  4. I haven't tried growing herbs but want to this year to see how I like them fresh. I love growing veggies in my garden!

  5. Couldn't agree more - I hear this too often. The cost of a fast food meal is probably 1/3 of what you bought above, and it's only ONE meal in a day. This yields a lot nutrition and satiety.

    I'm not sure I could get all that for $30 in Canada, but your comment resonates nonetheless! WOW Link Up!

  6. Great post! Eating healthy CAN be cheap and delicious, love that you're spreading the word :)

  7. You've hit everything right on the nose about eating clean, it does not generally costs tons of money plus it can be delicious. I also agree with you about the crock pot, its one of the best kitchen gadgets one can have. I have cooked whole chickens, pork you name it in mine.

  8. Stopping by from WOW, you can eat healthy on a budget and the most excuses I get is about the time. I don't have the time to cook healthy. Crockpots and making meals and freezing them, saves a lot of time.

  9. I need to monitor and better manage my daily food intake but I am one of those people - smoothies are delicious but I am hungry after 1 hour. I have to couple it with eggs and some other forms of healthy protein in the morning. Thanks for stopping by the WOW Link Up!