My (Affordable) Healthy-Eating Fridge

With clean eating being all the rage these days (which is awesome considering it is beginning to replace fad diets), more and more people are jumping on the…fitwagon…and giving it a go. As a working mom and nightshift cop’s wife, I had to find a way to jump on but still keep my grocery budget in check, as well as my time management. Anyone who has done 100% clean eating knows that (a) it’s expensive, and (b) it takes more time in the kitchen. People have asked if I clean eat, and the answer is no. What I do is healthy eating. Clean eating involves fruits, veggies, proteins, and naturally-found carbs like brown rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. And natural oils and spices only. As lovely and skinny-tastic as that sounds, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” So, today’s grocery trip led me to posting about how to HEALTHY EAT (clean eating plus a little more salt, butter, dairy, and bread) while maintaining your budget and time (a.k.a sanity). Below is my menu for healthy eating. Click on items for exact brands/flavors I use. (I buy store brand for a lot of it.)

Breakfast
Whole wheat English muffin/toast + natural fruit jam
Fried or hard-boiled egg (or egg white)
Plain oats + toppings of choice (maple syrup, brown sugar, fruit, peanut butter, etc.)
Fresh Fruit: berries, kiwi, peaches, melon, oranges, occasional bananas, pineapple, apples, green grapes
Nutri-grain Cereal Bars (80-100 cal.)
Yoplait Nonfat Greek Yogurt (love the Key Lime!)
Occasional bran cereal or cinnamon Puffins
Recipe: A whole grain or protein (egg/yogurt) + A whole piece of any fruit

Lunch
My usual sandwich: Whole wheat bagel thin or whole wheat tortilla + 2 slices of roasted chicken lunch meat + slice of provolone + romaine lettuce + spinach + BBQ sauce
Another sandwich: Bagel thin + reduced fat peanut butter + banana slices
Dinner leftovers = my fave
A big salad
Hard-boiled eggs
Recipe: I usually eat one of the above with a piece of fruit or raw veggie

Snacks
Raw fruit (see breakfast for what kinds)
Carrots with Greek Yogurt ranch dip
Cucumbers in apple cider vinegar with chili powder
100 cal. Granola Bar/Cereal Bar
Hard-boiled egg
Sweet potato chip w/ light sea salt
Yoplait Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Dinner
Basic Dinner Recipe: A protein + a frozen or fresh green/leafy veggie + a natural carb
*Click each item for one of my favorite tried-and-true recipes. I often replace calls for mayo or sour cream with plain nonfat Greek yogurt!*
(I do a husband-pleasing dinner involving less healthy foods once or twice a week…like baked spaghetti and garlic bread)
Protein
Grilled/baked chicken
Grilled tilapia (salmon is a rare treat!)
Grilled shrimp
Grilled pork chops
Ground turkey
Green Veggie
Asparagus (fresh)
Zucchini (fresh)
Spinach (fresh)
Broccoli (frozen)
Blue Lake Green Beans (frozen)
Natural Carb
Sweet potato
Red potato
Brown rice
Carrots

(There a thousand ways to prepare the greens and carbs, but when I don’t feel like doing anything fancy, I just steam or roast them with about 1/2 tbsp light butter and sea salt and black pepper.)

Drinks
Water
Green tea with stevia
Almond milk for cereal/oatmeal
(And that’s IT.)

I just spent $146 on a re-stock grocery trip to give you an idea. That includes a value size chicken breasts, pork chops, bacon, frozen shrimp, breakfast sausage patties, about 8 bags of frozen veggies, and 3-4 fresh pieces of all fruits I listed above except pinapple. That’s for two adults and a toddler. Enough food to last 2 weeks or so (at least meats and produce). And that includes my husband’s Oreos and such that I don’t eat. And thrown in lots of randoms like vitamins, sour cream, butter, milk, etc. It is possible to spend LESS money eating HEALTHY food (in comparison to frozen dinners and eating out).

My grocery budget is $300 per 30 days. My family eats out for dinner for around $35. Multiply that times 30 and you’re spending over $1,000 a month on JUST dinner. It’s a no brainer, people!

Hope you enjoy clicking through the links and finding yummy recipes that strike the perfect balance between health with cost! Comment below with questions or other ideas!

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