Starting a new diet or healthy eating plan can really cut into your budget. But it really doesn't have to! Trim Healthy Mama is an easy plan to follow and doesn't have to cost you a bunch of extra money. There are quite a few ways you can save money. Let's look at how you can follow Trim Healthy Mama on a budget.
Trim Healthy Mama on a Budget
One of the many bonuses of following the (that's an Amazon affiliate link -->) Trim Healthy Mama plan is that you can still enjoy your chocolate! It's easy to make a huge shopping list of specialty ingredients and spend lots of money. But most people are on a budget. It's actually better if you start out slowly, making a few changes, instead of getting frustrated and quitting a few weeks in.
And, while you're making changes, there are some ways to watch your pennies and not overspend. Here's how I follow Trim Healthy Mama on a budget.
Start with whole foods
Many of your dietary changes can take place right at your local grocery store. Choose a whole-grain sprouted bread instead of white or even wheat bread. Buy whole oats and unsweetened almond milk. All of these basic things can usually be found locally - no need for some special shopping online. You can even find various brands of stevia and other sweeteners (just watch out for those bulk fillers).
Cut out prepackaged products
While you're making the switch to whole foods, slowly start weaning your family off foods that come in boxes. Whole foods are actually more cost effective than prepackaged stuff. Oatmeal is much cheaper than a box of cereal (and it's better for you).
Choose meals & sides that fill your family
Growing kids can have potatoes or rice - it's a great way to fill them up (especially growing boys!). They are energetic and can use the extra carbohydrates. So, when you're serving dinner, make sure those side dishes are there for them. Casseroles are still possible, just not filled with lots of starchy veggies or pasta. Trim Healthy Mama's Kai Si Ming is a great, filling recipe and easy to make.
Eat 'meat free' a few times a week
Eggs and beans are great sources of protein that can save money on your grocery bill. Quiche or rice and beans are perfect dinners. Try breakfast for dinner (Trim Healthy Mama pancakes are full of protein). Meats and poultry are often the most expensive items on your grocery list so brainstorm for some healthy protein alternatives to save money.
Fill your freezer
Keeping a small freezer is a wonderful way to save money. Buy fruits and vegetables when the price is reduced - just for filling up that freezer. Look for low-priced meat sales to stock your freezer.
Once your freezer has a good supply, you can menu plan from what's already in your freezer, only purchasing things to restock your pantry or freezer. That way you can wait for really good sales instead of weekly sales that might not be that great.
Plan your menu
If you are working on saving money, you must menu plan. It doesn’t have to be strict or tied to particular days. I like to keep a list of meal ideas (enough for two weeks), and I just choose an idea for dinner that morning or the night before, keeping an eye on what items from the fridge need to be used first.
Plan for leftovers
Save that chicken carcass for a post of soup. Stretch that ham over a few meals. Use leftovers for lunches. Think of creative ways to use up those leftovers. Leftovers are perfect for saving on that budget.
Adjust family meals
Following Trim Health Mama doesn’t mean you have to create all new recipes every night. Many of your family meals and recipes are easily adapted to eating the THM way. Tacos? Skip the shell and make a salad. Chicken dinner? Let the kids eat the mashed potatoes, double up the veggies on your plate.
Sacrifice in other areas
We need to change our view of our grocery budget. Often it is the area that seems most flexible but I encourage you to take a new look at your budget. Eating whole foods is important for your health and the health of your family. Look at other items in your budget as a luxury, but not food.
How do you save money on your grocery bill?
Making the switch to whole foods and changing my mindset about the importance of our food budget has changed my view of the importance of healthy, whole foods for my family. Instead of viewing our food budget as an extra, I focus on other ways I can save money instead of dipping into my grocery budget.
Have some creative money-saving tips for Trim Healthy Mama on a budget?