Hi. I’m Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness Personal Training Studio, where your health comes first. Today we’re talking about how to save money while eating healthy. I have a lot of clients who start to think, “Whoa. This is costing way too much money at this store. How do I make this all work for me?” Well, there’s three things that we like to start with to really help you to save money and eat healthfully, to build your health, so you can be the best that you can be.
Number one is to meal plan. I know it’s time consuming. People feel like it’s kind of tedious. The more that you can plan ahead, the more it’s going to work for you. If you can meal plan, you’re going to have a layout for the week. A lot of people like meal mapping, where we kind of get an idea of what to eat, but don’t really write down exactly the recipes we’ll need. That’s okay, if you’re talking about winging it throughout the week. If you’re talking about saving money, we really need to meal plan. That means we’re writing down exactly what recipes we’re going to use, and know what ingredients we’re going to need. That’s going to help us to save money at the store.
With my meal planning, I try to make it as smart as I can. Not only am I writing down the recipes, but I’m looking for recipes that use similar ingredients. Instead of buying an entire tube of celery and then only using half of it, I try and find recipes throughout the week, that we can utilize that whole piece, or maybe a whole bag of beans. What would we do with that for the whole week?
We want to make sure that we use smart choices in our meal planning, so that we can make sure and utilize what we buy. That way, then we’re not wasting things. Really multi-use ingredients if you will. If you kind of create a meal plan for a week’s time. That could be as simple as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It could have your snacks. You could break it down into people for the family, whatever you want to do. You can make it simple, you can make it complicated. It’s your deal.
What I like to do is make a week plan. I just do breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. And then, I like to create several of these and keep them in a notebook, so that, that way then I can rotate through them. Along with that, what I do is create a grocery list to go with each one. I’ve got an app that lets me put in multiple grocery lists. If you have that, then whenever you go to use that meal plan, you pull that grocery list. You just go through your kitchen and mark off what you already have, so you don’t have to buy those things. You know what you need already.
It makes life simple, takes a little bit of time in the beginning, but if you can get through that beginning part, then you’ve got a whole plan to go forward with. The more weeks that you do that, the more rotation you have, the less work you have to do later. That’s kind of how I like to meal plan. It’s helped us to save anywhere from $300 to $400 a month on groceries, just because we started making smart meal plans.
Number two is to make sure that your meals are balanced, so that you are more full. If you’re not eating the right combination of nutrients, then your body’s not going to feel as full from them. It’s not going to last as long, and you’re going to be really hungry and eating everything in sight. We’re trying to balance our meals. We need to make sure that every meal has protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. A lot of people kind of go crazy on one side or other of those. They’ll get a whole lot of protein and not a lot of fat. They’ll get a whole lot of vegetables, and not a lot of protein. They’ll get a whole lot of fat, not a lot … you see where that’s going. They get too much of one and not enough of the other. We need to make sure that it’s pretty balanced, so we’re getting enough of everything.
- The goal would be protein about the size of your palm, a deck of cards, that sort of thing, or approximately 20 to 30 grams.
- For vegetables, we’re looking for half to 3/4 of your plate in vegetables. Those are filled with high end nutrients, all of your vitamins and phytonutrients, antioxidants, and lovely things coming in from those. You’ve also got a lot of fiber in there, that’s going to help to fill you up.
- The healthy fats, same thing. They’re going to help to satiate you, or make you feel full longer. We want to make sure that we’re getting enough of those in, plus our body requires healthy fats. It’s really hard in this day and age to understand how important those fats are. Our body needs those, in order to burn off unhealthy fat, but also in order to function properly. We need to make sure that we’ve got enough of that. Meal plan first, then make sure your plate’s balanced.
Number three is to try meatless. Now if you’re like me, that’s kind of scary. I have a texture issue. Beans are not my thing, but there are other forms of protein out there. Just remember that if you’re eating plant based protein, it’s going to be cheaper and we’re going to have to make sure that we’ve got multiple types of protein on our plate.
It won’t be a complete protein for the most part with a plant based. We need to make sure that we’ve got at least a couple of forms of protein on there. For this, we’re looking at the labels. How much protein is in that product? How much is a serving size? What do we need to do? When you start trying meatless meals, you’ll notice that your grocery budget goes down quite a bit, because produce doesn’t cost near what meat does. If you start kind of changing to that, where even once a week you have a meatless Monday or something like that, it will start to help you to reorganize your budget a little bit on those groceries.
Those are my three tips for getting started with eating healthy and saving money. But what does it mean to eat healthy, what we can do there?
Is organic better for you? There’s two sides of the fence. I feel like it probably is to a point. Some things to me, are more worth it to get it organic. Other things I might kind of think, “It’s not as important today. I really need to save a little bit of money.” That’s okay. You’ve got to find what matters most to you. Organic, while it is a little more expensive, sometimes does last longer. Most of your veggies, your milk, your eggs. They’re going to last longer than your non-organic counterparts. You’ll have longer to use those things, if you maybe didn’t get to it in the first couple days, you’ve still got plenty of time.
Whenever you are eating healthy, not everything has to be organic right off the bat. For me, I’m thinking the dirty dozen list of the produce, to make sure that we don’t get high pesticides in that. It’s also meat. Not everybody feels the same way. That’s okay. You’re going to find the things that you feel like, “This is important. This is what I need.” This is something that I coach my clients on, so that we can sit down together and kind of figure out what those things are. Don’t feel like everything in your kitchen has to change to organic overnight. Start slowly, start making changes. Focus on being a little bit better. Maybe being better is one or two meals out of the day that, are a little healthier than what they were before.
Don’t buy what you’re not going to eat. If you’re not going to cut up the vegetables and eat them, don’t buy them. Instead, buy things like pre-chopped veggies, or frozen veggies. If you’re not going to use the dips the way that they are, don’t buy them, or if you’re not going to cook the chickpeas down into hummus, don’t do it. Find the way that works for you. Make the most use of the money that you are spending. There’s a lot of healthy options out there. It’s either going to take your money or your time. We kind of have to figure out between the two, what we want to do.
I hope that kind of gives you some ideas to start saving money while eating healthfully. We’ll try to continue these series on answering questions that people bring to us to make sure that you get the answers that you need. If you have questions, feel free to put them in the comments below. We’d love to answer them for you. See if maybe there’s something we could do to help you out.
Remember that we have our Clean & Lean program, coming up June 3rd. We would love for you to be a part of that, to join us for that, and learn how to eat clean, while saving money, while getting healthy and to get a long and lean physique. If that’s something you’re interested in, feel free to give us a call (806) 322-3188, or you can send us a message here or on Facebook. Talk to you soon.