Eating Well On a Budget: Part 9 – Wrap Up
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Eating Well On a Budget: Part 9 – Wrap Up

Posted on Monday, January 7th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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Eating Well On a Budget: Part 8 – Staples & Spices

Through our 8-part Eating Well On a Budget Series, we’ve compiled and explained information the Environmental Working Group released to help you affordably eat a balanced healthy diet. Their list of recommended foods fall into 7 helpful categories:  fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, cooking fats & oils, and staples & spices. The trick is to know which foods per category give you the most “bang for your buck.” Buying more of these recommended foods will help you save money in the long run.

Perhaps some of the most helpful information provided is the budget breakdown. This helps shoppers understand dollar for dollar what their money should go towards when making decisions at the grocery store. Food experts and nutritionists suggest that for every $25 spent on groceries:

  • $6 should go towards vegetables
  • $5 should go towards fruits
  • $4 should go towards grains
  • $4-5 should go towards protein and meat
  • $4 should go towards dairy products
  • $1-2 should go towards cooking oils, fats, and other items

You might find it helpful to print out this budget breakdown along with a list of the foods the EWG recommends to help you save money. Compile the lists, print them out, and stick them on your fridge, so you know where they are when you make your shopping list. You can also have them laminated so you can take the lists to the store with you. If you’d like to take it a step further, send a small donation to the Environmental Working Group and they’ll send you a nice printed out copy of all of their foods.

In addition to following this handy guide, you can save even more money using traditional money saving methods like couponing, buying produce seasonally, and buying in bulk. When shopping for your fruits and vegetables, consider shopping at a farmer’s market for produce that’s not only more affordable, but super fresh!

If there’s a week where you don’t need to buy any grains, for example, take the budget you set aside for it and splurge on some organic produce or meat. You can also set that amount aside and let it add up in your rainy day fund!

Here at, we understand how important it is for you to provide healthy meals for your family. We’ll keep an eye out for handy information and create more helpful serials like the Eating Well On a Budget series to keep you and your pocket book feeling good!

Need to start back at the beginning: Eating Well On a Budget: Part 1 – Introduction

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.