{Eat on the Cheap} Healthy Eating on a Budget

I got this question in from a reader who connected with me through my about.me!

Hello there! I am curious, I am wanting to start using the envelope method but I’m wondering how to go about spending the amount given for me in the grocery amount when on a diet. Diets are super hard to stick to especially when you are on low budget. Any advice?

MyKudos to you for making two great decisions eating clean and trying not to go into debt doing so. The envelope system, by Dave Ramsey, is such a wonder tool that has helped me reshape how I think about money. Truthfully, it may take a few visits to the grocery store for you to figure out exactly how much goes into your grocery envelope. My latest goal that I have implemented into my own life is to set realistic goals. Once you figure out how much is realistic to spend for your budget, lifestyle, and family size, then you are really to maintain a consistent amount every check.

My second recommendation would be to plan your meals on a weekly basis and make a grocery list based on the meals you plan to cook. There are a number of sources that provide recipes to help you eat cleaner by planning your meals in advanced. Choose My Plate is a government website that helps you plan motivational menus on a 2000 calorie diet, provides tips to help you save, and suggests foods that are great for your diet. Here is an example of a sample menu for the week. Another great source is Pinterest, which is filled with thousands of recipes from people across the web who share similar tastes and goals as you. Now that you have an idea of what you want to prepare for the week, then it is time to make the all important grocery list. I really like this grocery list from MomAgendga and I recommend never stepping into a grocery store without a completed list.

Other tips to consider:

  • Never shop on an empty stomach…it often causes people to over shop and over spend.
  • Wear your most fabulous heels to the grocery store: Look good, feel good, right? Well, yes… but wearing your most fabulous heels (which often ends up being the ones that hurt the most) will force you to stay on track so you can get exactly what you need and get out of there so you can get home to more comfy shoes or…no shoes at all. It may sound crazy, but I keep my heels on after work ONLY on days when I have to run errands where I may be tempted to spend!
  • Get a shopping/accountability buddy: My good friend, Kema and I used to make our grocery lists and go shopping together. It made the experience fun, we used that time to catch up, and we helped each other stay on target and budget.

For other tips, check out these 10 tips from Choose My Plate on Eating on a Better Budget

What is your favorite budget shopping tip?

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Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com

{Let Me Check My Calendar} Fabulous Day Planners for Less!

Let me check my calendar is a phrase I use quite frequently in both my personal and professional life.  Working in an industry that causes to you to plan months in advance, has me used to planning…well, months in advance. With the end of the year steadily approaching, this is the time I usually find myself on the hunt for a new planner. If you know me personally, you know I don’t leave home without my iPad and my planner. I must admit, I completely LOVE my 2011-2012 myAgenda that I purchased last year. It’s chic, handy, and functional. Last year I purchased this gold one from The Container Store for about $50.

This year, I decided to stay with this style planner, so I went directly to the site and ordered this a feisty leopard one plus had it personalized with my name for less than what I paid last year…BIG Ups to me. Now that I purchased and signed up for their rewards program, I can share a 10% off code with up six people. If you are interested, please email me for the code.

Lets Connect!

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Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com