By Jade Whitehurst
Did you know that Mississippi has the highest grocery tax in the nation? I was blown away to learn this. Add inflation, and it’s no wonder we’re a little nervous at the checkout line (swipe and pray). In all seriousness, I know firsthand how eating healthier on a budget can be a challenge, but it is possible. Does it take intentionality? Yes. Does it take some discipline? Also yes. However, we can learn to honor and trust God more in this area of our lives if we allow Him to help us.
As a faith-based health and fitness coach, I have the privilege of working with ladies all over the state, and they frequently ask me how to eat healthier without going broke. Here are some of my top tips:
- Plan your meals. You know the quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? Meal planning is no different. If you desire to save money around your grocery bill, you’ve got to start meal planning. At first, it can feel challenging, but with practice, it will become more natural. Several apps like Mealime make this easier, or if you’re a female, consider being part of my faith-based community, where I can personally help you through this process and your goals.
- Shop your pantry first. I am so bad at this, so I am calling myself out here too. You might be surprised at what you can whip up with the foods and ingredients you already have. Pinterest is great for this. For example, I will plug in “meals to make with rice,” and tons of recipes will pop up.
- Buy in bulk. Consider joining a wholesale club such as Sam’s or Costco. Buying staple items like rice, beans, and condiments in bulk can save you money in the long run.
- Price check. To add to number 3, compare bulk purchase prices to regular grocery store finds or compare prices from one grocery store to another. You’ll learn which items are best to buy at which location.
- Shop for seasonal produce. Seasonal fruits and vegetables tend to be cheaper and fresher. Visit local farmers’ markets or look for sales at your grocery store to get the best deals.
- Use frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and veggies are often more affordable than fresh, and they retain most of their nutrients. They’re also convenient because they have a longer shelf life, and you can keep them on hand.
- Make meals that stretch. Consider preparing meals that make a lot with a little, such as soups, casseroles, and spaghetti-type meals. These can still be healthy when you portion them correctly and use nutrient-dense ingredients.
- Shop online. Consider shopping from the grocery app on your phone. This is a game-changer for me. I spend way less money shopping online because I’m shopping strictly from my list that corresponds to my meal plan. Whereas going into the store, I’m tempted by “shiny” things (hello, Christmas tree cakes).
Eating healthier does not have to be expensive, and with a little planning and creativity, you’ll see that you can enjoy nutritious meals without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for a faith-based community to help you in this area and with your goals, reach out to me. My email is email@example.com, or you can scan the QR code on this page to browse my Godly Goals Guideline & Godly Gals Community Group.
Jade Whitehurst is a wife, mom, fitness coach, and eighth-grade science teacher. You can follow her on Instagram @jadewhitehurst_thefaithfitmom.