Create Delicious, Healthy Meal Plans Without Spending A Fortune

With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s hard to find time to make healthy meal plans for your family. From having to grocery shop to preparing the meals, it can be overwhelming!

You ask yourself:

Where do I even begin? How much of each food group should we be eating? Can we eat out and still eat healthily?

Find out below…

Step 1: Food Pyramid Guide and Children’s Feeding Schedule

The first step is to know what foods you should be eating. It is important to have a well-balanced meal with plenty of fruits, veggies, lean meat and whole grains.

The U.S. Department Of Agriculture has created the Food Pyramid to help answer questions about how much of each food group a person should have each day.

Step 2: Planning Healthy Meals

The second step is to lay out your meals for the week. You want to give your family a balanced diet of protein, fat and carbs to help keep their insulin levels low so they won’t be hungry again in an hour or fall asleep at 3 pm!

(If you are like me and want to save money as well, I suggest create around what is on sale that week. Read Creating A Healthy Grocery List On A Budget This will help you save money and serve your family healthy foods.) 

What Should I Be Serving?

Planning out each meal can be overwhelming at first. So here are a few guidelines and examples for each meal of the day:

Also, check out our blog each week for the MONDAY MEAL PLANNER and GROCERY SHOPPING LISTS! They are a great resource for recipes and grocery tips! 

Healthy Eating In Restaurants

Does your healthy meal plan include eating out? Don’t worry. It’s easy to eat in restaurants and still stay healthy with a little planning and knowledge!

Find out all the facts on restaurant nutrition to help maintain your healthy lifestyle and busy schedule!

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Healthy Grocery Tips On A Budget!

Healthy grocery tips that won’t break the bank! It CAN be done.

Every mom needs a little help when it comes to figuring out what to fix for dinner EVERY night. You want to find healthy foods for your family, but who has the time or energy after a long week of work and chores to spend hours at the health food store?

You CAN buy healthy foods for your family at the regular grocery store (and not spend a fortune) if you know what to look for!

Below are some great healthy grocery tips that I use myself to help make the trip to the grocery store quick, easy and (nearly) painless:

  1. When buying bread and pasta check the list of ingredients. Look for the words “Whole Grain” as the first ingredient. If you see “wheat flour” or “enriched flour” as one of the first couples of ingredients, then this is mostly refined white bread with some whole grains added.
  2. Buy lean meat, fish (especially oily fish like salmon) and poultry when it is on sale and freeze it for future use.Try to limit deli meats, hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats due to high levels of nitrates.
  3. Buy organic milk when possible.
  4. Avoid pre-packaged meals that contain high levels of sodium, fat and calories. Try broiling fish and steaming fresh broccoli instead!
  5. Try to spend half your budget each week on fruits and veggies and spend the other half on whole grains, dairy and lean meat. Start in the produce department first and work your way around the outside edges of the store. Most processed and unhealthy foods are kept in the centre aisle. Limit what you buy there!
  6. Stop buying soda or fruit juice that is mostly sugar water! Buy unsweet tea or tea bags to make tea yourself and keep in your refrigerator. If you must buy juice, be sure it is 100% juice and limit the amount you and your family drinks each day.
  7. Stop buying junk food at the store. I have discovered if I don’t buy candy or chips, my family won’t miss them! They will grab a piece of fruit to curb that sugar craving instead. Plus, not spending money on junk food saves money in the budget for healthier foods instead!
  8. Learn to read food labels. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), bleached flour, enriched flour, and high fructose corn syrup by checking the ingredients on packages.
  9. Buy a bottle of red wine each week. Alcohol in moderate amounts is actually good for adults especially red wine.
  10. Buy healthy cooking oil like Canola or Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

If you can’t afford all organic produce, try buying these fruits and veggies organically since they have the highest levels of pesticides left on them even after washing (according to a study by the Environmental Working Group):


Apples, Cherries, Grapes (imported from Chile), Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries


Bell Peppers, Celery, Potatoes, Spinach (and other leafy veggies)

Also, here is the list of the CLEAN 15.

You don’t have to buy these organically. They are not as prone to damage by insects and have the least amount of pesticides!

onion, avocado, sweet corn (frozen), pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, egg-plant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, sweet potato

(CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT TO BUY ONCE YOU ARE AT THE STORE? Check out these great totes!!)

12.  Purchase berries, peaches, mangos and other fruits when they are on sale and freeze in individual baggies for use later in smoothies or on whole grain waffles.

13. YES, you can use coupons and still have a healthy grocery list! It takes some work to pull your list together each week, but stores offer great coupons on things like frozen vegetables, whole grain pasta and whole grain waffles. But, don’t get tricked into buying processed foods just because you have a coupon. Just because a bag of candy is $0.50, doesn’t mean it needs to be in your cart! 
Some things have taken my family longer to get used to than others, but these healthy grocery tips have really improved my family’s overall health and nutrition!

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Healthy Grocery List On A Budget

Want a healthy grocery list without breaking the bank? Start here! Find great buys on natural, organic and other healthy foods at great prices each week.

Here are a few quick tips on saving money:

1. COUPONING-The basic principle is this: a grocery item usually goes on sale once every 6-8 weeks. At that time it is at it’s LOWEST price. This is when you want to buy enough to last you until it goes on sale again. Add any coupons to this and you get the lowest price possible!

EXAMPLE: Cascadian Farms cereal is usually around $3.00 a box. Stores run sales every six to eight weeks and mark it down to around $2.00 a box. Use coupons on top of the sale price and get it for around $1.00 a box!!! Buy 6 boxes to last you until it goes on sale again.

2. WHERE DO I GET THE COUPONS? Sign-up for home mailers, look for online coupons, buy the Sunday newspaper, grab grocery store flyers, pull coupons from the tearpads on the shelves and purchase magazines like ALL YOU. All of these are great coupon resources.

3. Buy produce when it is on sale. Wash it and freeze it for later. The fruit isn’t great raw once it has been frozen. But, it is great to use in smoothies, oatmeal or as a frozen treat in the summer. Vegetables can be steamed or grilled, used in soup or sauces and tastes great!

4. Plan your meals around what produce and meat is on sale that week. That way you can have the most afforable meal possible.

5. Look for in store sales and manager’s specials and be sure to bring your coupon planner with you in case you find an unadvertised deal. As long as the expiration date hasn’t passed, the food is still good. I find great deals on organics all the time! I always buy as much as they have on the shelf.

BONUS TIP: Never go to the store hungry or with your children. Both are easily tempted!

Not sure what healthy foods you should be buying? Check out the healthy grocery shopping tips on a budget and get tips on everything from what produce should be purchased organically to what type of bread to buy!

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