Are you spending too much at the grocery on the Trim Healthy Mama plan? You can keep your budget in check and still eat healthy and on plan. I will show you how.
There is no doubt that you can let your spending get out of control when following the THM plan. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton to follow the plan! With a little bit of planning, you can stay within your grocery budget and still move towards your goals of losing weight and getting healthier.
The first time that I started THM, I quit after a few weeks. One reason that I attribute to quitting was that I was making the plan to complicated. I’m typically one of those “all in” kind of people. On the THM Facebook pages, people often recommend starting with one meal and building from there. That isn’t me. I bought every special ingredient, I ate every meal perfectly to plan.
And in doing so, I was making things so hard. So expensive. And so after a few weeks, I burned out and quit. Thankfully, I had learned the basics and picked it up a year or so later after my 2nd baby and successfully lost 60 lbs.
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Budgeting On Trim Healthy Mama
Here are some easy tips to help you keep your grocery budget low while budgeting on Trim Healthy Mama.
Don’t Buy Special Ingredients
I know when you look online and see those yummy looking THM cupcakes with on plan icing, it can be tempting to run out and buy two different kinds of sweeteners, a nut flour, a baking blend, and a bunch of extracts. But those costs really add up quickly. And you may or may not even like that multi-ingredient treat.
If you hang around here, you will see quickly that I very rarely use special ingredients on THM. I don’t use them for a few reasons but mostly because they are A. expensive and B. they complicate my life.
Try buying whole foods and avoid using those special ingredients to save tons at the store. I promise you can do THM & be happy without all those special items.
In Season Produce
This tip is true for any way of eating but it is worth mentioning if you are budgeting on Trim Healthy Mama.
Buying in season produce can save lots of money. If you have an Aldi nearby, their weekly produce specials are often right around $1. You can make lots of meals or snacks very cheap buy purchasing fruits and vegetables this way.
You can also check the frozen food area if you need or want something that is out of season. I can usually get frozen vegetables for .88 – $1 per bag.
Shop On Sale
Check the weekly sale circular for THM approved items. More and more stores are focusing on offering healthy items in their weekly sales. Of course you will find sales on meat and produce but I have recently found things like Zevia Soda, Halo Top Ice Cream, Mission Low Carb Tortillas, pork rinds, Skinny Pop and more.
If something is on sale one week that I know we like, I will buy some extra to keep in the pantry or to freeze. If i can save a couple of bucks an item by purchasing during a sale, that can really add up.
Cook Simple Meals
Meals with few ingredients will typically cost you less than those that require tons of ingredients. It also helps you cut down on your kitchen time (and saves some sanity).
Here are a couple of ideas that keep the meal planning easy and the cost down while budgeting on Trim Healthy Mama.
Sprouted Bread Sandwich
Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato and another veggie of choice
Turkey and bean Chili
Cheeseburger Soup (I love soup because it stretches so far. You could serve with Cheese Quesadillas on Mission Low Carb Tortillas)
Spaghetti (Even if you use Dreamfields Pasta this is still a cheap meal that the whole family will like)
Breakfast For Dinner – Eggs and bacon or some kind of crustless quiche
The thing about these meals is that you don’t have to buy a thickener like Xanthan Gum, nutritional yeast, or protein powders. You could easily make several more family meals for your family by purchasing proteins and vegetables/fruits vs. these specialty items.
Consider Your Swapped Savings
You are giving up some of your old habits for new and healthier choices. So although this may not put money back in your pocket, lots of times it will at least be an even swap.
Here are some examples:
A bag of chips vs. A bag of Pork Rinds
Regular soda vs. Zevia or Bai
Sugary Cereal vs. Love grown Power O’s
Admittedly some of these options might cost a bit more than the sugary/carby/fatty variety. But most of these items are optional so you don’t have to buy all of these on every grocery run! Spending an extra dollar on Love Grown Power O’s vs. a sugary cereal won’t likely kill your grocery budget.
The problem comes in if you are trying to buy all of these convenience items, all the THM special ingredients, all the specialty flours etc. Just pick one or two things to try a week and then stock up on veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses and healthy carbs.
It is also important to try and modify some of your old less than desirable food habits. For example, my old 4 Diet Cokes a day habit is not one that I would want to continue. So as opposed to subbing in a Zevia or Bai for those 4, I might try to get it down to one or two a day. Eventually you would try to get it even lower. So now, I’m proud to say that I don’t Need Diet Coke anymore and only have a Bai Creamsicle or some other drink as a treat.
This helps not only my health goals but also my grocery budget.
Adopt Meatless Monday
Ok, you can do this any night of the week but Monday makes the cutest phrase! I find this easiest to do with an E meal but it is possible with S meals as well. By eliminating meat, you get rid of what is typically the most expensive portion of a meal.
Here are a couple ideas for eliminating meat that your family will be ok with! For an E meal, we love to do black bean tacos or veggie dinner. For veggie dinner in an E, you can bulk up the meal with a carb like a baked sweet potato, brown rice or lentils.
For an S meal that is meatless, you could do breakfast for dinner and have a veggie omelet. Another favorite of ours is mac n cheese zoodles (though I am guilty of topping this with bacon on occassion)!
I hope these ideas help you on your journey of budgeting on Trim Healthy Mama. Do you have any amazing ways to save on THM? Please share with me in the comments below.
Next up on the THM A to Z series is the letter “C.” Check back next week for the continuation of this series that answers your THM FAQ.