Remember when I wrote about the importance of buying good quality food if you want to create your dream bridal body? Choosing to eat high quality, whole foods is one of the best investments you can make for life long health — but dang girl, I know this healthy eating stuff can get expensive!
When I moved to the U.S. and had access to supermarkets like Wholefoods and Earth Fare it didn’t take long for my grocery bill to go through the roof. Of course I needed raw chocolate, grass-fed bison, and sprouted micro-greens … don’t we all? I’m a little surprised that Nate and I were also able to save for our wedding, considering the length of some of those receipts.
Fortunately, healthy living can be cost effective, and choosing high quality ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean choosing high-end ingredients.
Read on for this week’s cheat sheet: 3 Ways To Eat Healthy On A Bridal Budget. Here, I give you cost effective swaps for current “trendy” food items, show you were to spend your organic dollars (and where you don’t need to), and how to get creative with leftovers to stretch the grocery budget a little further.
Why you need this:
Weddings are SO expensive and I’m sure you’re looking to pinch pennies anywhere you can. This cheat sheet shows you how to save on your grocery budget without impacting your progress towards becoming a healthy, happy bombshell bride.
Why you want this:
The money you save in the grocery store can be put towards truly memorable meals on your honeymoon, or use it to start your dream kitchen fund for the future.
How to get your fiance on board:
“Darling, we won’t be buying any more spirulina until after the wedding, and I’ve figured out a way to shave $100 off our weekly bills” … umm, enough said!
How To Eat Healthy On A Bridal Budget
(A mindbodybride Cheat Sheet)
Save On Superfoods
Goji berries, raw cacao, maca, bee pollen, chlorella, lacuna powder, acai, chia — these are just a handful of the latest “powerhouse” ingredients that are making their way into our pantries. While these ingredients were once exotic they have become more mainstream and are popping up in recipes all over the internet. The good news is that there are plenty of common, nutritious, garden-variety (pun intended) foods that also contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The fastest way to save money at the store is by purchasing the whole foods that even your grandmother could recognize!
This week try my easy “superfood swaps” below:
Swap fresh wild salmon for canned wild salmon – There are a lot of great, sustainable canned salmon options these days. Look for salmon that isn’t packed in oil or water, and preferably a low sodium option. You can make salmon cakes, toss it through wholegrain pasta or eat it in a salad.
Swap tuna for sardines -These little guys are one of the most concentrated forms of Omega 3 fatty acids EPA + DHA. Their nutritional punch doesn’t stop there as they are an excellent source of vitamins (B12, D, B3, B2) and minerals (selenium, phosphorus, calcium, iodine, copper, choline). They are also low in calories, very low G.I and high in protein. Try eating them on toast for breakfast like my mum does!
Swap protein powders for eggs – The incredible, edible egg. One egg is 80 calories and boasts 4g of protein and heart healthy fats.
Grains & Legumes
Swap quinoa for lentils – quinoa and millet may be getting all of the attention lately, but the humble lentil is still one of my favorites. Try this cheap & fiber-rich legume in my kale salad recipe by swapping it for the quinoa.
Swap buckwheat groats for oats – with 3 grams of soluble fiber per serving you can show some love to your digestive system and your bank account. Try my protein oats recipe for a quick and filling breakfast.
Fruit & Veg
Swap kale for broccoli – If you don’t love kale you are in luck, broccoli is actually even more of a nutritional powerhouse than the popular leafy green — although of course, you could have both. Just remember not to eat broccoli raw if you want to avoid bridal belly bloat!
Swap berries for oranges – Berries are one of my preferred fruit as they are low in sugar, but they’re also expensive and yes, they do need to be organic (see the Dirty Dozen List below). Oranges are usually cheaper, they don’t need to be organic, and they pack a full day’s worth of vitamin C in one serving.
Swap almond butter for natural peanut butter – Peanut butter has been given a bad wrap in recent years, but it delivers many of the same health benefits as more expensive tree nut butters. Peanut butter is rich in heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, it’s a good source of protein, Vitamin E and zinc. Just be sure to choose natural, i.e. the ingredients label should only read “peanuts.”
– Make a cheat’s kombucha by adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of sparkling water. Add fresh mint or slices of lemon to taste. You just saved $4.99
To organic, or not to organic …
In an ideal world we would choose organic all the time, but you have a wedding to plan and we need to be realistic. The list below is thanks to the EWG and is categorized by the foods that have the highest amount of pesticide residue (the Dirty Dozen) and the lowest (the Clean 15).
If it’s on the Dirty Dozen buy it organic, or don’t buy it at all. If it’s on the Clean Fifteen save your dollars and choose conventional. I wash all of my produce with this nifty spray to better remove remaining contaminants.
The Dirty Dozen (plus)
Sweet bell peppers
Snap peas (imported)
Plus these which may contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as “highly toxic” and of special concern:
The Clean 15
Sweet peas (frozen)
Waste not, want not
My last tip saves you money, time and saves the environment. I’m talking about getting creative with your leftovers and using up your scraps. The next time you throw out food, consider that you’re also throwing away money. I’m something of a frugal fran when it comes to food as I hate waste, so I have a few tips up my sleeve for using up those odds and ends:
1. After you roast a chicken, use the leftover carcass to make a broth. Simply place the chicken in a large pot, cover with water and add a few other ingredients for taste (such as celery, carrots, pepper, salt, bay leaves and herbs). Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 2 – 4 hours. Strain broth into storage containers and freeze or refrigerate.
2. Combine leftover grains and chopped vegetables with egg and grated cheese. Form patties and shallow fry.
3. Turn stale bread into croutons for soup or salad (links)
4. Freeze slices of lemon in ice cube trays half filled with water
5. Toss leftovers from last night’s dinner into a salad for lunch today.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite healthy cheap-eats trick? Share your tips in the comments below.