After 10+ years of saving money and eating healthy, I know you need these 4 skills. (You might not like #2!)

eat healthy on a budget and save money eat healthy pin

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Chris and I have been saving money and eating healthy for almost 15 years.

Those two dumb, optimistic kids who created their first budget in their first apartment (which was just a shed with a bathroom in someone’s backyard), had no idea what it would take to stay debt-free.

Our lives changed a lot in the last 15 years. We lived in the shed. We lived in a village in Greece where only 2 people spoke English. For a little bit, we were nomads, hopping through temporary rentals while trying to make an out-of-state move (someone used the word, “hobos” to describe our living situation). We had babies. They had food allergies. We lived a mile from a farmer’s market. We changed jobs. Our family of 4 lived in a tiny condo on the wrong side of town until a drive-by shooting forced us out.

We’ve had a lot of different grocery budgets. But through it all, we’ve tried to eat as well as we could within our means.

Sometimes this meant spending $360 a month for our family of 5 big eaters.

Sometimes this meant trying to eat all organic on a budget.

We did Whole30, increasing the budget while challenging ourselves to a Cheapskate Whole30.

We grind grains for flour, we bake sourdough, we meal prep, menu plan, and do pantry challenges.

Through it all, I discovered that no matter the size of your budget or your food restrictions or needs, you need 4 skills to save money and eat healthy.

​To Save Money & Eat Healthy, You Need 4 Skills:

  1. Know your why
  2. Watch your attitude
  3. Get creative
  4. Keep learning

​At first glance, these tips have nothing to do with grocery shopping.

But the reality is that you probably already know how to grocery shop. Maybe you already know about real food, or you’re just beginning to learn (if you are, go here!)

These 4 skills will help you do something more.

Because here’s the truth. Something about your life will change in the next 5 years. You’ll move, you’ll add people to your family, you’ll change jobs, you’ll get a raise, you’ll have an unexpected expense.

​Life changes every day – as we all learned in 2020.

​Your grocery budget will change along with it.

chris and steph in greece
Me & Chris in Greece when we were finally able to bring our kids back

​1. Know Your Why

Knowing your Why is key to accomplishing any goal – in your career, health, fitness, parenting, finances, you name it.

​When it comes to grocery budgeting, I found I’m only ever motivated by desperation or by a big scary dream that won’t happen unless I actively participate.

​When Chris and I were first married, we had $25/week for food.

My Why was survival.

We needed to eat.

That was it.

​When we had kids, my Why shifted to food allergies. I had kids who got sick when they ate. And we didn’t make a lot of money.

I had to find a way to save money and eat healthy with food allergies.

​Later, we had some big crazy goals: paying cash for our first home, and taking our family to Greece so our kids could meet my husband’s extended family.

Choose a Why that stirs something deep inside, and you’ll remember it when you want to impulse buy ice cream at the grocery store.

Steph making a face

2. Watch Your Attitude

There are a million reasons why you can’t save money and eat healthy right now.

Food is expensive.

You don’t have time to cook.

Your family follows 3 different diets.

Your kids are too picky.

As humans, we are hard-wired to avoid discomfort. It’s in our nature. So of course it’s easier to do nothing.

​But we are also strong, smart, and creative.

​If you tell yourself you can’t save money and eat healthy right now, you are probably right.

But if you have a can-do attitude, you can find a way to make it work for the season you’re in.

Maybe it won’t look the way you thought, but you can find a way to save money and eat well on a budget.

eat healthy on a budget and save money eat healthy pin

​3. Get Creative

Budget-friendly cooking is all about making stuff work.

You have to get creative.

You have to be a little flexible.

Maybe you’re making soup and you realize you don’t have any canned tomatoes. Try tomato sauce! Or the end of that jar of marinara or salsa, (depending on the kind of soup you’re making).

​Saving money and eating healthy takes creativity. You don’t need a lot, but I bet you have just enough.

Me and my kids

​4. Keep Learning

Life changes. What worked when my kids were little doesn’t work anymore. Your life will change too.

Besides, experts keep changing their minds about what food is actually healthy.

​Be willing to learn a little bit more and try new things. This way you’ll find what works for you and your people.

eat healthy on a budget and save money eat healthy pin

​You might not like these suggestions.

Not many of us like to be told to watch our attitude or get creative because we don’t have the right materials.

​But I hope these ideas help you realize that saving money and eating healthy isn’t some magic skill only reserved for people who are really good at cooking or are willing to shop multiple times a week, chasing deals.

​You can save money and eat healthy wherever you are.

I can show you how.

menu plan ebook

If you’re ready to save money and eat healthy, but you want a simple, actionable jumpstart, you might like our Budget-Friendly Menu PlansIt’s 4 weeks of real food, using simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen!​

In fact, when I sent it to my testers, some of them didn’t even have to go grocery shopping before they started it! They already had a week’s worth of real food in their kitchen, and they had no idea.

This menu plan will give you all kinds of clean eating recipes and take the headache out of figuring out what to cook on a budget. And since it’s only $2/week at full price, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

I want you to save money and eat healthy no matter where you are or how tight your budget is.

Get the Budget-Friendly Menu Plan here 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 your first one here.