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Real Food Budget Tips

Real Food shopping can get overwhelming and get out of the budget pretty fast. I believe that health is wealth, and keeping a simple system can help with the budget and general wellbeing. The following are Real Food practical tips that were helpful for us:

  • Shop once a week, restock your pantry
  • Prioritize budget by focusing on buying real staples like quality proteins, healthy fats, seasonal produce. Seasonal produce is cheaper. 
  • Choose buying food in bulk, particularly meats, frozen fruits, vegetables. We have been buying meat in bulk from local farmers at Farmer’s market and utilizing Costco’s frozen section. 
  • Consider investing in a freezer to always have available real food and to avoid last-minute trips to the store. 
  • Limit buying processed pre-made packaged food and snacks. 
  • Limit buying lunch meats.
  • Focus on choosing less expensive cuts of meat.
  • Cook some meals meatless or use less meat in recipes by substituting with vegetables.
  • Buy less bottled drinks.
  • Choose to buy cheese in block vs. sliced or shredded. It’s often cheaper and healthier. 
  • Focus on cooking simple recipes with fewer ingredients.
  • Make your simple granola, healthy desserts, and simple snacks instead of buying. 
  • Consider growing your herbs and greens and keep it simple.
  • Waste less food, store food properly, preserve fresh produce by freezing, dehydrating. Using leftovers to cook some flavorful stir-fry is a way to go. 
  • Use meal planner and plan meals for a week ahead. 
  • In general, sticking to mostly eating at home saves money.

Two other things that personally worked for our family:

  • Opening a debit card just for grocery shopping, so it was easy to track the expenses and stick to the budget. 
  • Do grocery shopping only once a week and keep each grocery trip under the same amount. Knowing the amount that we have to spend weekly on food helps to prioritize and focus on buying main ingredients first than snacky kind of food. 

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