Two teachers that paid off $92,645 of debt in 2.5 years. We are passionate about helping others get out of debt and change their circumstances.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Eating Healthy on a Budget
Grace and Peace to You,
Debt as of 06/09/2012: $92,645.00
Debt as of 07/04/2014: $19,176.38
Total Debt Paid Down: $73,468.62
One of the hardest parts of the budget for us is the grocery
list. When we originally started doing our budget, we tried to only spend $60 a
week on groceries. However, we only did that for a few months before we changed
that number to $100. Even moving it to $100, it is one of the areas we struggle
to stay within budget. The reason for that is we really like to eat healthy. In
January of this year, we actually started trying to eat mainly a Paleo diet.
Emily is a migraine sufferer and her headaches started to
get much worse this past year. She was having 6 – 8 migraines a month. That is
really difficult to manage with a teaching career. Therefore, we decided to
make a change in our diet and see if that had any impact on frequency of the
Paleo, also known as the cave man diet, is basically no
processed foods, wheat, or dairy. We started this in January of last year. Our
meals mainly consisted of meat, vegetables, and fruit. There are also a lot of
breads you can make with almond and coconut flour. We started this diet in
January and Emily has not had to take her migraine medicine since then. It has
done wonders for her health.
The hardest part of this is that meat and produce are the
most expensive things at the grocery store. Sadly, in our country, the cheapest
foods are the most processed and worst for you. So we have had to figure out
ways to eat Paleo on a budget. We recently purchased The Paleo Kitchen. It’s an
amazing cookbook and where we got most of our meals this week. You can also
check out the author’s free blog, PaleOMG.com, for outstanding recipes.
We plan out our meals weekly. Here is a snap shot of our
meals for this week:
Sunday – Cereal
Monday – Dinner with Bryant’s mom.
Tuesday – Grilled Chicken and Stuffed Mushrooms
Wednesday –Rosemary and Sun Dried Tomato Meat balls and
Thursday – BBQ Grilled Chicken and Asparagus
Friday – Hamburgers (No Bun) and Sweet Potato Fries
Saturday – Steak and Asparagus
We purchased this week’s meals in $105. We only went over
budget $5 and still ate pretty Paleo based diet this week. We try to throw in
one or two cheap nights like cereal or breakfast for dinner. That allows us to eat
healthier the other nights. We also always cook enough to have leftovers for
lunch the next day. That way we don’t have to spend any extra money on lunch. Meal
planning is the other essential because then you don’t impulse buy at the store
or during the week. It also takes the
stress off each day of trying to come up with a meal after work.
It’s also important to note that we still
have non Paleo meals or modifications to the diet. Bryant is a runner and needs carbs for
workouts. He will still have bread or sandwiches
during the week. Whether you choose
Paleo or something else, I think where most people fall short is trying to go “cold
turkey” from the diet they’ve been on to something new overnight. We believe the smarter strategy is to try and
incorporate changes slowly and find what works for you and what doesn’t. You will be more likely to stick with small changes
overtime that grow into bigger lifestyle changes. The alternative is usually trying to change overnight,
sticking with it for a week, and then binging back into your old patterns
dropping the healthy changes.
Here’s where we shop to get the best deals:
Aldi – Buy your produce here. It is good quality and about
$1.00 - $1.50 cheaper than Kroger/Food City. We also buy any condiments
there. A big bottle of mustard there
only cost $0.69.
Trader Joes – Things like coconut oil are actually cheaper
at Trader Joes than at Kroger/Food City. Meat is more expensive but higher
quality. If we save money on the grocery a week, we will buy meat the next week
at Trader Joes. We hope to do more of our shopping there after we get out of
Kroger – We buy our meat from Kroger and anything else we
need. They run really good deals early Saturday morning. You also have a bigger
selection and less of a crowd.
The grocery budget is still a work in progress. Health is so
important so we forgive ourselves some when we go over budget here.