One of the top excuses I get about not eating healthy is that it's expensive. Generally what I've found is that people aren't actually tracking their food budget enough to know. All of those snacks at the gas station, the coffees before work, the checkout line sodas... all of that counts. So, I broke down how Tim and I spend our grocery budget. It's a priority for us, so we cut in other areas in order to eat healthy. Our food budget (2 people) is $600 a month. That seems very high to some, but we don't eat out, so this is seriously our bottom line budget.
Most of it has to do with where you buy your food and whether you buy in bulk and not filling the house with junk. We pretty much only shop at Costco and load up on necessities. Our meal plan may not have the most variety, but it's clean, healthy, satisfying, and we definitely don't go hungry.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with scrambled eggs/egg whites, 2 cups of coffee with canned coconut milk as my creamer and 2 tbsp of raw sugar. I make my oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk, water, cinnamon, and flaxseed meal. (Less than $3)
Snack: Banana ($.15)
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast, sweet potato, green beans or some veggie. My seasonings are generally pink salt, pepper, and Tony's (Louisiana seasoning). ($3)
Snack: Shakeology. It's a meal replacement that has 70 superfoods. I used to drink protein shakes, but I had to add all kinds of stuff to them to make them a meal and it cost too much $. (VIP price $3.50. No Discount $4.50, send me a message to get VIP pricing)
Dinner: Giant salad with a protein source and some cheese. OR Turkey chili (To make 4-6 servings it only costs me $10) OR Shredded Chicken tacos (2 tacos is a serving and we generally get 3 full meals out of it for both of us and it only costs $10) = $2 per person
Snack: I generally try to only eat protein before bed if I'm still hungry so it will help me with muscle recovery. ($1)
So my total per person/per day is approximately $13-14 for eating 6 times and that's including Shakeology. Without Shakeology, you are under $10 a day.
Depending what your bulk pricing is, it is even cheaper. We pay $2.99/lb for chicken breasts and most of the time I only eat half of one. Our oatmeal in bulk is less than $10 and it lasts us 2 months. We get all of our canned goods for under $1 a piece, but for the above calculations I just rounded up to $1. A pound of ground turkey for us is $4. Our sweet potatoes are $.50 each.
People ask me all the time how I can afford Shakeology when our budget is so limited. It's all about how bad you want it. I know I function better with higher levels of nutrients, so we cut out treats like alcohol and Starbuck's to save $. For the 2 of us, we were spending $7-8 a day on coffee alone. That adds up quickly. I guarantee you can look at your spending and find a couple of dollars here and there. Alone it doesn't seem like much, but saving a dollar or two in a few different areas can make a big difference. Back to Shakeology, it has all the dense nutrition I need in a day. I can't find the ingredients in stores and the cost to make my own similar "shake" would be about 6 times more expensive. Quick heads up, I do get a VIP discount. I also have friends who love it too, so when 3 of them order their Shakeology from me, it pays for mine. I still count it in my $ budget, but I actually have never paid for my Shakeology out of pocket.
I hope this simple breakdown helps you see areas where you can save $. I would love to hear your healthy budget tips in the comments.