This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.
I'm kind of a skeptic when it comes to real food…….though most certainly not by the benefits. I've seen enough of my crunchy friends rave about their clean eating habits and heal their bodies to doubt too awfully much.
I'm more of a skeptic about real food on a real budget.
You see, in my grocery store, fruits and veggies cost way more than preservative-laden granola bars from the snack aisle. Milk is already up to $4.09/gallon in my state, which means I'm definitely not going to find a raw milk food source and pay double. And when it comes to kefir and kombucha, I refuse to make or consume anything I can't pronounce.
I'm a frugal girl with a small grocery budget, so the way I eat has to be pretty frugal too!
But the more I research everything that goes into my desired lifestyle change, the more articles and eBooks I find on how to make clean eating more affordable. Coincidence? I think not.
Truthfully, there are so many creative, out-of-the-box ideas available to help stretch the food you eat — real food included — you just have to know where to find them.
The following 8 resources are some of the best to help you save money on ingredients, and make nutritious meals at home without breaking the bank.
22 Days to a Fresh Start (Free)
For those who want a real food challenge laid out for them day-by-day, 22 Days to a Fresh Start is the perfect option. This free downloadable guide is available when you subscribe to the Don't Waste the Crumbs email list, and her blog is a fantastic resource on it's own, especially when creating your first real food grocery budget!
Money Saving Mom's Guide to Freezer Cooking (FREE)
Freezer cooking is one of my favorite ways to stock up and save money on our meals, and Money Saving Mom's Free Guide to Freezer Cooking is one of the best resources to teach you exactly how to do that. From planning your first freezer cooking day, to my favorite cinnamon roll recipe, you'll be ready to start stocking your freezer this weekend!
Making Organic Food Affordable ($18)
It's true that organic foods run about 20% higher in cost compared to regular fruits and veggies, but in Making Organic Food Affordable: A Step-by-Step Approach for Lowering Your Costs by 50% or More, you'll learn how to correctly shop a farmer's market, where to find the best wholesale food prices and coupons, and 8+ ways to grab organic produce for absolutely free.
Your Real Food Journey ($25)
One part cookbook, one part gentle mentor, my friend Trina Holden has outdone herself with Your Real Food Journey. This book encourages you to embrace real food as a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you're not sure which step to take next, Trina will guide you through the basics of eating well with easy, doable tips, and recipes your whole family will love!
7 Day Real Food Challenge ($19)
While many real food challenges last 8 weeks, 100 days, or an entire year, the 7 Day Real Food Challenge only requires you eat real food for one week, which I think is completely doable! This entire package includes a beginner's guidebook on what real food is, a real food meal plan (including snacks), and access to a private Facebook group for support.
List Plan It Meals ePlanner ($5)
If you're always running out of dinner ideas, this Meal ePlanner has you covered. Learn which meals you should make on a regular basis, create a monthly menu plan with your favorite recipes, and transfer ingredients to a printable grocery list for easy shopping. It's your meal planning resource in one handy PDF!
eMeals Clean Eating Plan ($5/month)
If you need a meal plan laid out for you each week, look no further than eMeals. You'll receive 4 new meals plans a month, with yummy recipes matched with your favorite grocery store sales so you never have to worry about expensive dinners again! Here's why our family loves and uses eMeals.
I don't know about you, but I desperately want to make better health and lifestyle decisions, starting now. I want to lose a little bit of weight, have more energy, and use greener products, and healthy nutritious meals are the perfect baby step for me to prevent serious health issues down the road.
It's so easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the masses of healthy living advice out there, but instead of being frozen to the point of inaction, you can do something. You can start small, slowly change your diet one food at a time, and come out feeling a better person – these real food meal planning resources are just the start.
Don't let the high cost of real food keep you from living a healthier life. Just one change can totally transform how you think, eat, and live. I definitely want in on that….don't you?
What are your tips for planning healthy meals on a budget?
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.