In My Cart [I]

I’m excited to finally start the ‘In My Cart’ series’!

There’s a lot of overwhelming and confusing information as to what you should eat, how much you should eat, and when you should eat it for ultimate health. On top of that, the notion that healthy eating breaks the bank keeps a lot of people from following through on health goals.

Every 6 months or so Derrick and I will go on a big shopping trip to Sams Club (a store similar to Costco) to stock up on the essentials and meat.

What we don’t buy in bulk, I get during my weekly trip to the grocery store. Being a recent college graduate, with an unfortunate amount of student loans…, I’m on a budget. To save money I  plan out my “menu” prior to shopping. Knowing exactly what I need to make the meals I’ve planned allows not only for me to stay on track but also prevents me from wasting money on food I don’t need.

I don’t claim to be a nutrition expert but I know what works for me, the foods I like, and the information I have gathered in the research I’ve done.

As my journey in healthful living continues, my diet adjusts. Just as my fitness regiment changes – so does my nutritional needs / wants!

Now on the to carts..shall we?

Below I will post what I bought, my weekly menu, estimated time to prepare, and cost from the last two weeks of my weekly grocery store trip.

Week #1:

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I had a very busy week, and an even busier weekend, so I opted for super easy meals that took minimal prep and very little imagination.

The Breakdown-

Breakfast: Egg Whites + Avocado + Toast

Lunch: Baked Chicken Breast + Pre-Mixed Garden Salad with Sunflower Seeds & Dried Cranberries

Snack: Sliced Cucumber / Bannana + Almond Butter / Strawberries

Dinner: Baked Salmon + Steamed Corn on the Cob + Asparagus

In my cart-

  1. 3 Packages of Pre-Mixed Garden Salad (I use my own dressing, I just like the veggie combos!
  2. 1 Box of Leafy Greens
  3. 2 Cartons of Strawberries
  4. 4 Bananas
  5. 2 Oranges
  6. 5 Lemons
  7. 4 Avocados
  8. 3 Corns on the Cob
  9. 1 Carton of Eggs
  10. 1 Cucumber
  11. Salmon
  12. Asparagus

This cost around $50.00 and was more than sufficient for the week. I always have a ton of lemons and oranges to put in water, squeeze for fresh juice, or cook with. Its the easiest, and healthiest, seasoning! [Not to mention delicious!]

I baked the salmon, chicken, and asparagus in the oven with light seasoning and olive oil and boiled the corn.

I was able to cook for all of my meals at the same time then portion servings into microwaveable containers for the week. This way I have no excuse to binge when I come home from work starving- I have dinner waiting!

Total  Cost = $50.00

Total Time (shopping included) = 2.5 Hours

Week 2:

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There is nothing worse than planning an eloborate dish for meal prep only to have it turn on you before the end of the week.

I personally love easily assembled salads and lunch / dinner bowls. There are endless combinations that can fit any mood or time of year and they’re pretty hard to get sick of!

This week I was feeling a little south of the border.

The Breakdown-

Breakfast: Hard Boiled Eggs + Avocado + Homemade Gluten Free Bread

Lunch: Ground Turkey / Tofu Chipolte Taco Salad +  All the Fixin’s!

Snack: Grapefruits 🙂 + Cucumber + Banana + Plums + Apples + Cliff Bars + Hard Boiled Egg

…ok I think my blood sugar was low with all the fruit I ended up buying! What can I say…I love natural sugars!

Dinner: Baked Chicken + Zucchini /  Brussels Sprouts

In My Cart-

  1. 7 Cliff Bars
  2. 5 Plums
  3. 5 Avocado
  4. 5 Bananas
  5. 4 Grapefruits
  6. 3 Zucchini
  7. 2 Roma Tomatoes
  8. 2 Onions
  9. 1 Carton of Eggs
  10. 1 Bag of Red Potatoes
  11. 1 Package Tofu
  12. 1 Package Chicken Breast
  13. 1 Package of Cherry Tomatoes
  14. 1 Package of Leafy Greens Salad Mix
  15. 1 Carton of Almond Chocolate Milk
  16. 1 Large Bag of Green Beans
  17. 1 Can Black Beans
  18. 1 Can Olives
  19. 1 Can Adobe Soaked Chipolte Peppers

This cost around $70.00. One of my coworkers had a taco salad recently and I had been craving one every since! So I experimented by combining a homemade chipolte recipe I saw for chicken with the ground turkey and tofu combination, and it turned out way better than I had expected!

I have an abundance of food, and produce I am concerned will go bad, which will show me to shop with low blood sugar!

Total  Cost = $70.00

Total Time (shopping included) = 3.5 Hours

Derrick got home this morning, which means he will be taking over the cooking for a few days and I get to enjoy some amazing grilling!

What tricks do you have for getting healthy and staying on track?

Are you a meal prep-er? Feel free to share you favorite recipes / advice in the comments section!

Hope you are having a fantastic and healthful week so far! Thank goodness its almost over 🙂

xoxo

Nat

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7 Comments

  1. Great post. It’s really helpful to see what other people shop for. Here’s my dilemma though. My husband & I tried the whole meal prepping thing & it worked…for a while. We both have a desire to eat healthy but a) I get bored of the same ol’ same ol’, b) the food didn’t taste as fresh by the end of the week and c) it took a LOT of time on Sunday to get cooking. So for those of us who don’t want to prep for a whole week + want a little variety…do you have any suggestions on how to still stick to being healthy and on a budget? Thanks!
    >> Sam from diyjustcuz

    1. Hi Sam! I DEFINITELY understand your dilemma..I’ve struggled with the same issues in my healthy eating lifestyle! I told myself for years that ‘I had my whole life to eat boring health foods’ to justify my poor eating habits. As far as budgeting goes, I still suggest having a meal plan in mind when you shop..even if you don’t plan a
      on prepping, having an idea of what you’ll eat in the coming weeks will prevent buying ‘it just looked good’ food. That’s the biggest issue I had, buying food I didn’t need but looked good on the shelf, spending twice as much as I needed to…then feeling obligated to eat that box of Mac and cheese and thus the cycle continued. I have my go-to recipes, but I love experimenting. If I come across a recipe I want to try I’ll save it and try to work it into a menu. I LOVE Pinterest for this, my boyfriend has access to my account and will pin recipes he wants to try and can view what I’ve found. It keeps us from getting bored with our meals AND we get a pre-planned date out of it since we love cooking together. I am definitely going to make an effort of posting more recipes in the future as we make up a lot of them as we go! It’s not unrealistic to eat healthy without prepping…some weeks I do that too it just takes finding a schedule that allows for you to make your healthy meals when you have time 😊 I hope this is helpful! I’ll post another ‘in my cart’ this Sunday for more easy (healthy) weekday meals ideas! Hope you have a wonderful Friday 👍

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