Nifty Thrifty Week: Day 3 with Kelly Hancock

Welcome to day three of our Nifty Thrifty week featuring ideas, stories, recipes and GIVEAWAYS from five frugal guests.

(And it all started with my devotion entitled The Boomerang of Blessing. You can click here to read it but be sure to come back!)

Up today is a woman whose book I was asked to endorse a while back. I’d never heard of her but I quickly put her at the tip-top of my “Favorite frugal authors” list. And I absolutely love her main reason for living frugally–so you can give more money away!

When Kelly left her job as a successful sales rep for a Fortune 500 company to stay home with her newborn, she learned quickly to live on less than half the family’s former income. With no special training (and an initial repulsion to budgeting of any kind!), she figured if she could do it, anyone could.

With Luke 12:24 as her cornerstone, she shares her lifestyle of a growing faith, her passion for healthy foods, and her desire to give back as much as possible on her daily cost-cutting blog,, and in her book, Saving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending in Half and Raise Your Standard of Living…and Giving.

Today here as part of Nifty Thrifty Week, she is teaching us to eat healthy on a budget. She is also giving away three copies of her book, Saving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending in Half and Raise Your Standard of Living…and Giving. As with all the posts this week, you have until Sunday night at midnight EST to comment and be entered in the drawing. All the winners will be announced Monday.

Now, enjoy Kelly’s idea-packed post!

5 Strategies for Eating Healthy on a Budget

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from my readers is, How can my family eat healthy and stay on our budget? Unfortunately, it’s true that eating healthy foods can cause your grocery to bill to rise. Coupons are plentiful for processed foods along with unhealthy snacks and drinks, but how do you save money if you’re trying to avoid those items and striving to eat more healthy foods? There are several cost-cutting strategies that I always count on to help me save money on the healthy foods my family enjoys. These are things I incorporate regularly when I head to the grocery store.

Eat Seasonal Produce. Long before we had supermarkets and wholesale clubs, we had farms and farmers. My grandmother lived on a farm, and she taught me to understand that God has a reason for everything He does, including the order of the seasons and the harvest that is produced throughout the year. It is all part of His divine, orderly way of doing things. Even the fact that foods have different colors, representing different nutrients, indicates that there must be an order to God’s eating plan for us. If we eat what the land produces, when it produces it, we will not only achieve great benefits for our bodies, but we will save money too. When food is in season, it is at its lowest price.

*Download my FREE Seasonal Produce Guide HERE.

Use Your Freezer. With fresh foods comes the dilemma of how to store and preserve them, so you can enjoy and not waste them by having to throw out rotten or spoiled food. Flash-freezing fresh foods is an easy process that will save you lots of money and time. Use the process below to freeze items at their peak of freshness. This process eliminates clumps, so you can scoop out individual or family-size portions with ease. (Watch my How to Flash Freeze video HERE.)

  • Dice vegetables or fruit.
  • Place the small pieces on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
  • Place the sheet in the freezer for one to two hours. Once the food is frozen, transfer to freezer bags (labeled with the name of the item and the date) and return to the freezer.

Another food preservation method, canning, is not really difficult, it just takes some time. Learn one of the easiest canning methods, Hot Water Bath Canning HERE.

Utilize Meal Planning.  It is critical to create a meal plan before you head to the grocery store. It can be as simple as knowing what meals you will be making, instead of just shopping for whatever your mood dictates. Meal planning answers the “What’s for dinner?” question, but it also answers the “What am I shopping for?” question that comes first. By having a meal plan, I have peace of mind, feel better about what I will be eating during the week, and save so much time. Check out my Recipe Box HERE for easy recipes your whole family will love.

*Download my FREE Meal Planning Template HERE.

Cook from Scratch. I love to cook, but I really love the savings I get when I make my own healthy recipes as an alternative to pre-packaged foods. Ease into cooking from scratch by starting with something simple, like my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins or my Homemade Pizza Sauce. You’ll avoid extra costs along with the extra preservatives and higher sodium content.

Stock ahead. A paradigm shift occurs in your mind when you realize that if you only buy what’s on sale, and you buy enough to last you until the next sale, you will save money. Most grocery stores now offer weekly sale prices on organic produce and meat. Check the weekly sales flier for the featured organic deals, and buy enough of the item to last you until the next sale. Learn more about how to stock ahead HERE.

What are some of your favorite tips for eating healthy on a budget? Comment and you might win my book!


  1. I love this post…My family and I grow a garden in the spring/summer in an effort to eat healthier and show our children the values that come along with growing and eating better. I will admit that I stink at meal planning and need to be better. I do believe in wasting nothing so every leftover becomes something else….I would love to win this prize and jump start me in the right direction.
    Smiles & Blessings,
    Robin :)

  2. Thanks so much for all your helpful tips!! I’ve recently been faced with the challenge of living more frugally in order to keep our 3 kids in christian school and be able to stay home with the other 2. It gets so expensive to feed a family of 7, especially healthy food!! I look forward to following these suggestions and can’t wait to read your book!! Thanks for the wisdom so far!!

  3. We buy what’s fresh and on sale and rarely walk through the middle of the store. The healthiest foods in the grocery store are all around the edges!

  4. Buying frozen fruits and veggies is helpful to my family of 6. Also, buying fruits and veggies on sale and chopping them up and freezing them helps. I try to keep an eye on the flyers to find good prices on meat. Thank you for sharing this information with us, every little bit helps!

  5. I have always wanted to do one of those things where you spend a lot of time on Saturday cooking up things that you can use all week. It saves money AND time…… I would love to hear from someone who had actually tried it.

  6. We buy our meat by the whole hog or whole beef and put it in the freezer. We get healthy cuts of meat and I don’t skimp on good cuts as steak “costs” the same as hamburger this way. We also can and freeze many vegetables.

  7. We are enjoying growing a lot of our own food. It is fun to see who in the neighborhood has the first tomato! We also give a lot of the produce away. This year we have three rain barrels to catch water for the garden.

  8. I do buy fruits when in season and freeze. I plan my menus around the fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season and stock up when my store runs its “Buy one get one free” sales along with my coupons. Always looking for additional ways to save.

  9. Milk is a most in my house!! Where we live, it is almost a dollar higher than where my daughter lives. When I go to her house, I bring 3 or 4 gallons home with me and put them in the freezer. I always buy meats on sale when they are marked down. I found some nice hams for .99 a pound…..I bought enough to be able to use them when our church feeds for funerals or such things with out hurting our food budget.

  10. I shop the discounted meet at a local grocery store. We buy what we can in bulk and make much of our own items from scratch I also try to garden and hoping this years garden will pay off my others haven’t been as successful.
    I do t buy or keep junk food in the house. We rarely eat processed foods and started buying and freezing fresh veggies and fruits on sale and those are healthy on hand options that really don’t cost that much and provides nutrients to our bodies and energy

  11. I try to stay on the outskirts of the grocery store where the fresher ingredients are. I love to meal plan and usually do a month at a time, but it isn’t always good for the pocketbook because you don’t know what will be on sale.

  12. The one tip that I do have is to make sure that I always plan ahead. Pre-planning meals for the week helps me to stick to a budget and sticking to the perimeter of the store to buy the bulk of my groceries insures healthier choices. Thank you for all of the resources!!!

  13. I do not have any thrifty healthy eating tips. To be honest, I always thought the two were an oxymoron. I can’t wait to put these ideas into practice!

  14. Enjoyed reading all the tips. My kids like those smoothies that in our area cost $6.67 each. Instead, I now by bananas, peel and freeze them, buy frozen fruit, frozen orange juice, greek yogurt (healthy and high in protein) and taught my kids how to make their own smoothies. After a while we have quite a few varieties like a peanut butter shake, strawberry/mango shake and we name our different variety of shakes. You can get a whole lot of nutrition in a shake. When the kids aren’t looking and if I’m the one making the shake I throw in a tablespoon of flax seeds for fiber.

  15. I am a teacher and these tips will definitely help us get through the summer without a paycheck much easier!

  16. The easiest way I know to eat heathy and on a budget is not to eat out. When you eat at home you can cook healthier. Also, not eating while watching TV helps as well.

    I may be stopping work soon due to a chronic illness and I hope to be able to do the meal planning to save money and help us eat better. It is hard to work and have a family and cook supper with you have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I also want to eat healthier fruits so I like your cheat sheet in when to buy, thanks for all the information!!

  17. I shop at a produce store that offers low prices, and also at an Aldi. I will only buy the produce that I need, and only things that are on my list, nothing extra.

  18. I am such an “ad” shopper. I circle the best deals and go to those stores and stock up. So when carrots are on sale…that’s what we are eating. Apples? Gala vs Braeburn….all depends on who has the best deal.

  19. I would love your book to learn more about healthy eating. We all need all the help we can get. I do can fresh food once in awhile when I have time to do garden, and have been told to eat fresh food in season, but have also been told that what you get in the grocery is not that good for you, soooo, idea’s are what I need. Thank you!

  20. Well i am on a fixed income so i have to be very careful to get the most for my money when i grocery shop. I’m getting better at using coupons and planning my menus around whats on sale but i also live in a small apartment with a small refrigerator and no extra room in the kitchen. I watched your video on flash freezing, you were doing mushrooms and this is a great idea that i’m going to try. I love the fresh veggies but i never buy too many because they will spoil before i can eat them and that is not wise spending so i will try your flash freezing! Thanks for all the great ideas today!

  21. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store to eat more healthful and watch for produce and meat and dollar off coupons to help with the savings :)

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