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, FaithfulProvisions.com, 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!

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173 Comments

  1. I shop for our fruits and veggies at a local produce market on “double-ad Wednesdays,” so I am able to take advantage of 2 concurrent sales. We also have a deep freezer and I stock up on meat at bargain prices.

  2. Karen & Kelly…this post was jampacked with great healthy eating tips. With spring gardening right around the corner, the thoughts of fresh fruits and veggies is making me hungry! Lol! Gonna forward this info to my daughters as well..my granchildren are great healthy foods eaters! Thanks again!

  3. Thanks for the tips. I’m going to start flash freezing my green peppers. I buy them but no on else in the family likes them, so I throw them way more than I like because I can’t eat them fast enough. I love these ideas. Thanks!

  4. I’m already a subscriber Kelly, but I realized today that I have been underutilizing your website! I love all your how to’s, and downloadable lists…so practical! I’ve been wanting to learn how to do canning, but have been a little leary of the whole process, so thanks for breaking it down so clearly!

    I know I throw away way too many veggies and fruits-& hate to-when a little flash freezing (new to me) and more planning could save them, and save me $$. I do stir frys, soups and roasting to save aging veggies, but I’ll add this method to my bag of tricks now. Also, I just looked up a few local CSA’s in our area, so thank you for that idea too! Our growing season is rather short here, but I do try to at least get the basics in, especially a “salsa” garden and a variety of tomatoes and fresh herbs. =)

    We hardly ever eat out. However, I go in spurts with my meal planning. We do have a healthy lifestyle, and I do mostly cook from scratch. That’s important as I have dairy sensitivities and must watch my salt intake. I want to know what is in my food. I read labels carefully. Awareness is key. I also don’t want my family to eat things with unidentifiable ingredients I can’t pronounce! :/ Once our tastebuds “detoxed” from eating so much high sugar/salt (tasteless), high fat processed foods, we realized how naturally good and sweet whole and raw foods really are! Using fresh herbs and spices adds great flavor too. All of my kids, aged 15-25, choose to eat healthy (and exercise) now of their own accord. They don’t care for junk food much, consume few treats (mostly grandmas!) and very little fast food. Three out of four can cook well from scratch.The last one is still learning.

    I think I need to get serious about couponing though, guess I’m a bit intimidated. Seems like it would take so much time and effort! Still, after two periods of unemployment (hubby) in two+ years, and with me only working 10 hours a week while I Homeschool the MS/HS years. We launched a new business 6 months ago. On our tight food budget, I’ve taken a fresh look at how I do things; how we can plan, stock up & use our resources better. I think we can save even more. Its a challenge, as I have two teen boys left at home, and they aren’t eating any less these days! ;)

    1. whoops, left s dangling sentence there! Meant to say…”MS/HS years, it seems like it would be a prudent step now, especially since we launched…” Need to slow down my fingers and proofread! Hmmm, think maybe I should win a book for the longest, or most thorough, reply. Lol

  5. My husband cooks incredible steaks. Most of the time we have left over steak. When that happens I like to slice the steak and place it over a bed of mixed greens garnished with what ever fresh produce we have in the fridge. Two great meals for the price of one :-). Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. We live in Alaska and so fresh produce can be expensive. I buy the fruit/vegetables that are in season and cheaper. I also shop on Tuesday morning when they mark the salad bags down to 99 cents and that is cheaper than romaine!

  7. I don’t watch the sales fliers, but I do shop with coupons. When I have a coupon for an item that’s also on sale, it’s a bonus! I’m not one who likes to cook much, so I’m more about quick and easy than saving money. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t buy things ‘just in case’ or just to buy them. We buy our fruits and veggies from a produce store, not the supermarket, so that’s a huge savings, even with off-season items. Beyond that, not much to share in the way of tips on this topic.

  8. Love eating fresh fruits and veggies. Living on a farm, we freeze and can a lot. Thanks for everything you shared. God bless you and your family.

  9. I have really been trying to meal plan to save money. The weeks I do it, I do save money compared to running to the grocery store everyday to buy something to eat!

  10. I put up a large garden every summer and flash freeze or can most of the extra fruits and vegetables. We have been planting more fruit trees in our yard so that we can utilize those in a few years instead of buying from the store.

  11. I can not wait until the weekend when i will have the time to check out all the linked information in this article. I am so thankful that you ladies are willing to share with the world your experience and knowledge. This is so awesome!!

  12. This may make all of you laugh… I have teenagers in the house. My strategy on saving money is to hide food and bring it out about halfway through the week. If I don’t do that, they devour everything in sight within 3 days!

  13. I love all these ideas….I am a couponer and a meal planner but I am trying to get my family eating healthier and less processed foods….I just got chickens and will be planting a garden this year. I love the blog and have already subscribed. Thank you

  14. Thanks so much for the wonderful info. this will help me even more to save. I buy in bulk, cook in large amount then freeze some of it then I always try to buy vegetables/fruits that are in season.

  15. I am going to try the flash freeze idea, I hit the local farmers market when I can and shop only the exterior of the grocery store to stay away from as much processed food as I can.

  16. I just retired from working outside the home, and I have found that shopping at Aldi’s, cooking more from scratch like I did when I was a stay at home mom, have both been helpful. I also have the time to freeze fruits when they are in season. I love your heart for giving.

  17. Wow, great tips, thanks! I am going to try something new and start ‘stocking ahead’. The book sounds great too!

  18. I try to buy very little package foods. I buy 10 lb bags of potatoes, bags of rice, dried beans, make crock pot yogurt make most baked goods from scratch. Even then it is hard to get the food bill down.

  19. I agree with Jen S about shopping at Aldi’s. Best prices for produce. I also shop at the local Farmers Markets. The produce is fresher and I love to support my community!!

  20. I enjoy watching for sales and also cooking from scratch. I find it a challenge to cook using up leftovers, packing buckets for work, etc. We also try to grow our own produce and canning/ freezing is something I enjoy although it has been harder with a young family.

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