Here are 3 game-changing tips to help you save money and eat healthy, plus 2 tools to help you apply them and spend ~$100 a week on healthy groceries for a family of 5!

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We all want to save money and eat healthy at the same time, right?

Saving money and eating healthy can feel like total opposites, but today I want to show you how you can actually do them both at the same time! Use these budget-friendly grocery tips.

Naturally, saving money looks different for everyone – maybe you love eating healthy and you’re just looking to shave down the grocery budget a little. 

Or maybe you are dealing with job loss and trying to make ends meet while not just eating Ramen noodles until you can find a new job. 

Or maybe you’re working really hard to reach a financial goal – paying off debt, saving for a home or a renovation project, or a trip – and you need to trim expenses as much as you can. 

As a family of 5, living in the area of the world where we live, we’ve learned that we can easily eat real food on $100 a week. 

Now, this doesn’t involve a lot of organic produce or local meat or quality dairy products, but we can do it. 

Today I want to show you 3 powerful ways you can trim your grocery budget and eat good, real food on far less money than you thought possible. 

Then I’m going to give you an actual menu plan and grocery list you can tweak to your needs!

Save Money Eat Healthy

Tip one is to take a Kitchen Inventory BEFORE you menu plan.

Some people call it shopping your kitchen, some people call in reverse menu planning. It’s not new concept, but it is extremely powerful.

I explained how we do it on Instagram recently.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Grab a sheet of paper and write down everything in your pantry, freezer, and fridge. All of it. You don’t have to get super detailed, but writing it all down will give you a far better picture of what you have than simply glancing through your food.
  2. After you create a list of all the food you have, you’ll probably notice that you have the bones of some really good meals. For example, maybe you have some leftover pasta sauce, that markdown box of baby greens, cream cheese, and a box of pasta in the pantry. It sounds like the beginning of an Italian-style dinner! Make a list of meal ideas.
  3. After you have a list of meal ideas, decide what you need from the grocery store to round out these meals (a side salad, a can of diced tomatoes, some olives, whatever).
  4. Chances are, you can find a lot of meal ideas with your inventory list. Keep your meal ideas and inventory list handy over the next few weeks and you’ll have most of your meal planning (and grocery shopping!) done!

If you use this method, you will spend far less on your groceries and will start systematically eating through anything stashed in your pantry or freezer.

Here are 3 more weird but powerful grocery tips!

save money eat healthy with a kitchen inventory

Eat Healthy Food on a Budget

Here’s how to create a reasonable grocery budget for your family.

Whether you are creating a budget for the first time or moving to a new town, maybe you just don’t know where to start.

I recommend a quick internet search for the average grocery budget or cost of living in your area. Some sites even rank the averages for tight budgets, normal, and above average budgets.

Next, look up the local SNAP or food stamp benefits for a family of your size.

Both of these numbers should give you a good place to start when creating a reasonable real food grocery budget.

Here are 2 more important things to keep in mind when creating a grocery budget!


Create Simple, Budget-Friendly, Healthy Meals

Learn how to substitute specialty ingredients!

This is a way we have saved a lot of money by making small choices over the years. You know all those specialty spice blends, oils, vinegars, canned artichoke hearts, and red pepper paste?

While I love cooking with these kinds of ingredients, I found that a jar here and there adds up quickly.

When you’re trying to save as much money as possible while trying to eat as healthy as possible, find simple substitutions instead.

Instead of that Creole seasoning, can you make a blend using the spices you already have? Do you need those particular vegetables or can you use ones in your freezer?

Rather than using a tablespoon of a special sauce one time, what can you use instead that you will actually use up completely in other recipes?

The internet is full of ideas for your favorite recipes. Using budget-friendly substitutes helps me keep my kitchen full of ingredients we use all the time and keeps my grocery budget low.

Cajun sausage beans and rice
Cajun Sausage, Beans & Rice is one of our go-to budget-friendly meals!

Get Started Saving Money & Eating Healthy!

I have 2 free tools to help you apply these concepts!

The first tool is a 1-week clean eating menu plan. Feed your family of 4 clean food for a week with just $60 of groceries! Try it here.

The second tool is a list of the only 35 ingredients you need to make dozens of healthy meals. If you have these in your kitchen, you can make anything.

If you want to see all of this in action, I created a 4-week menu plan based on these concepts. It’s one of the most popular products in my shop, and the families who used it spent about $100/week on their groceries!

Saving money and eating healthy often feel like total opposites. But you CAN do both. I’ve been doing it for 13 years now, and I know you can do it too.

What You Can Do Now:

Choose one of the free printables above (or both!) and start saving money and eating healthy now!

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Slash your grocery budget and feed your family real food! Get simple, frugal, real food menu plans every month for FREE in the Cheapskate Cooks’ 1-Min Email. Get the next one here.