Tag Archives: eating healthy on a budget

Financial Peace University: Baby’s First Budget

It’s me again! So the hubs and I are 1/3rd of the way through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University system and we’ve created our own budget. (How embarrassing is it that I’ve never stuck to a budget? Look, I have no qualms about who I am. But I’m glad that I’m making this change in my life.)

 

Also- I secretly like that our first official budget month will be February because it’s the shortest month of the year! HA! Moving on….

 

We’re using “the envelope system” from Dave Ramsey which essentially directs you to put cash in envelopes for things like groceries, restaurant outings & “fun money” (i.e. Target runs for me). This is meant to make it hurt a little and create more mindfulness about how much we actually spend.

 

We are abiding by the envelope system and being more mindful of our spending.

 

The setbacks:

Realizing what a pain in the side student loans are. Yes, we’ve had them for awhile, but writing out a budget and seeing the percentage of how much we spend towards them is not fun.

The triumphs:

The system is like changing to a healthier lifestyle. You can go as fast as you like, with as much intensity as you like. Some people go to a drastic level and cut anything and everything extra for 12-18+ months. I’m using the same philosophy I use for my healthy eating; 70-80% healthy eating, with 20-30% of the indulgent stuff in-between.

What does that mean, financially? We are cutting some things, but we’re keeping a bit too:
1) we budgeted for a nice dinner out (for either Valentine’s Day or the hubs’s birthday, which is this month)

2) we are keeping the cable bill for now because it’s only about $20 extra/month, and my husband loves his sports!

3) we don’t plan to eat less, grocery-wise. We plan to buy our meats at Sam’s Club (which saves us 50% right there), our vegetables at Target and Aldi (which, again, I’ll explain soon), and use other money-saving techniques in-between. I can’t say we’ll be the “beans-and-rice” couple, but we’ll be mindful!

 

The next steps: 

Sticking to a budget for the month, especially for groceries! Will it be tough, or will it be do-able? Time will tell! Stay tuned!

 

Interested in following Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University? Click here and find a local class near you! (and no, this is not a paid advertisement for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I’m just a normal person who wants to document the journey and hopefully inspire others!)



What’s on my Plate: Week of Nov. 7

Today is a very exciting day! There are lots of new beginnings, so why wait? Here comes the breakdown:

21-day-gratitude-challenge_11-7-16_with-watermark

 

  1. I have a group of over 20 people who are counting down 21 days of gratitude with me! Gratitude is a hot button term that tends to pop up in November, but I wanted to take this one step further: Each week will focus on one overall theme, and each day is guided towards a certain topic/area.
  2.  I am officially starting a new workout program today! It’s called Core de Force and it’s a kickboxing, martial arts-style program. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, but then again, fitness didn’t come naturally to me about 4 years ago. I can’t stay in my comfort zone bubble forever!
    The workouts require no equipment, and are 30-47 minutes in length. I tried it over the weekend and I was ridiculously sore. I’m ready to feel that level of soreness all week! The soreness goes away, but the badassery doesn’t. 😉
  3. My meal prepping hasn’t been super on-point lately (read: not at all on-point). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been eating healthy overall! But I love prepping my meals the way that I like to prep my meals. I can’t do a spreadsheet that tells me what I’ll eat all week. We don’t have room in the fridge for that! But I plan on working out this morning, getting ready and then heading to the grocery store to make plenty of food for the week.
  4. My menu of food for the week:
    1. Turkey Chili
    2. Pumpkin Squash soup (this one is so cheap to make, it’s insane)
    3. Italian Turkey Meatballs
    4. Roasted Butternut Squash
    5. Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes
    6. QuinoaOverall costs for food: 
      Butternut squash: .99 cents each
      Ground Turkey: 5 pounds for $13 at Sam’s club
      Beans (for chili): .69 cents per can
      Canned pumpkin: .69 cents per can
      Vegetable stock (for soup): $2.69
      Sweet potatoes: about $1.99 for a 3-lb bag
      Quinoa: $2.99 for a bag
      ALSO: we always, always buy organic spinach and put it in our Shakeology, so add about $4.99 for a 16-ounce container of spinach in there too.

I’m going to keep it simple, healthy, and affordable this week!
GIVEAWAY!: If you sign up for my mailing list, I’ll send you my personal recipes for the rest of the food above!

 

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I hope you have a healthy and happy week! Take care of yourself and your body, or no one else will!

in peace and good health signature



8 Ways to Eat Healthy On A Budget (Yes, you can ACTUALLY save money this way)

I’ve been (mostly) eating healthy for about 3 years now, and I have to tell you, I get where you’re coming from.

Healthier eating, at first, SEEMS more expensive than when I used to just buy 3 Lean Cuisines at the grocery store and call them lunches.

But I knew that if I wanted to stick with this “healthy eating” thing on a musician’s salary, I would have to learn some tricks to keep the cost low and the food nutrition high.

 

 

And so, after 3 years of continued trial and error, here are some of the things that I’ve learned to eat on a budget and nutritiously.

 

Let’s break it down:

Our total budget for food, per month, is $600/month, including Shakeology for both of us.

If we were to do the math…..

$600 / 4 weeks = $150/week;
$150 / 7 days = $21.42/day;
$21.42 / 4 meals = $5.35 per meal;
$5.35 / 2 people = $2.67 per meal.

We eat healthily for under $3 per meal. And that includes Shakeology.

 

How do we do it? Here are some tips for you to follow, you money-savvy reader, you. 😉

 

1) We don’t buy much junk. Greg’s vice is ice cream, mine is chips. We may buy one container of that, every other week. But other than that, we really try and keep it to that.
2) We use everything that we buy. Example: we don’t buy many fruits because we’ve found we don’t eat them before they go bad. We only buy apples now. We also buy frozen fruits so that they don’t go bad as quickly and we can blend them into our Shakeology. Our pantry is pretty sparse because we use 90% of what we buy each week.
3) We buy frozen broccoli and fresh spinach. Those are our two EASY, quick veggies. Again, we don’t buy tooooo many other veggies on a regular basis because we tend to forget about them when we are exhausted and don’t want to make food. I buy frozen broccoli for $1 per package, which gives us enough veggies for our dinner meal.
4) We don’t eat out that often. (this is the big one.) We probably get pizza once a month (which is a struggle for me, hahahahahah), but lately we’ve tended to buy nicer meats (i.e. pork tenderloin) instead of going out to eat. It still saves money and is healthier.
OH! We also get restaurant gift cards for our birthdays/Christmas, so we save them for going out about once-twice/month. (So you can ask for restaurant gift cards to your favorite places for Christmas!)

 

5) We don’t drink lattes. Seriously, though. We don’t go to Starbucks or our local bistro for a quick frothy coffee drink, which easily saves us $4-5 per day, per person. Think about it: That $4-5/day could EASILY be the cost of our lunch or dinner!

 

6) We drink Shakeology. I know, I know, I’ve already mentioned this one.
Now, this might seem like something to break the budget, as Shakeology is a pretty penny to buy. But Shakeology actually saves us money in the long run. As someone with SIX part-time jobs (yes, you read that right, SIX), I essentially live out of my car on many days of the week. There have been times when I was driving from one job to the next and had NOTHING to eat in my car except an old bag of stale almonds, and my Shakeology. But Shakeology gives me a nutrient-dense meal at a stoplight, eliminating me from grabbing Panera (which is EASILY $9 for a soup and salad) or something unhealthy like Wendy’s (which would still be around $5, making it more expensive than my Shakeology).

 

7) We buy in-season foods. I’m writing this in the fall, which means that sweet potatoes and squash are a GREAT buy right now. I got a 3-lb bag of sweet potatoes and a whole squash for .99 cents each! I actually made a DELICIOUS, pumpkin squash soup that only cost $2 to make and will give me and the hubby enough soup for at least 3 meals. (that’s insane)
So when it comes time for the blueberries to be out of season, I bid them adieu until the spring (unless they are frozen blueberries, see #2).

Just another delicious example of eating healthy!

Just another delicious example of eating healthy!

 

 

8) Keep. It. Simple. Honestly. You don’t need to buy all of your foods at a fancy Whole Foods Market store. You simply need the foods that will serve you and your loved ones, nothing more. It took a lot of self-discipline to get to where we are today (in terms of not eating out as much, etc.) but it’s made our budgeting easier.

 

 

 

And so, I ask you: What’s in your cart? How do you work to keep things budget-conscious? How do you save money with healthy eating? Or more importantly….do you struggle with eating healthy and want help? Please contact me and I would be happy to set up a free consultation with you!

 

In peace & health,

Amanda