Nutrition is a huge part of having a successful recovery. A lot of times the main reason people eat junk food or fast food is finances. This common misconception that a healthy diet is an expensive one causes many to not even try to purchase the nutritious options in the stores. However, this is an excuse we must all stop using because it just isn’t true. When in treatment, you are often on a tight budget and only have so much you can spend and so many places you can spend it, so it is easy to feel limited and throw nutrition out the window. It is our goal to put a stop to that mentality by providing helpful lists of healthy food options without compromising taste and giving additional tips that won’t break the bank and will make that food card last just a little bit longer and your body and mind feeling that much better.
Below are nutritious options found in local supermarkets that can be used for a variety of different recipes and are great starting points for those new to shopping nutritiously. Remember to try to include at least one thing from each category for your core meals. In the end, it's all about finding what works best for you and always consider your own personal food allergies! We hope this baseline shopping list can provide you with a balance of simple, healthy, cost effective meals you can prepare quickly all within a $75 dollar budget.
It all starts with a baseline shopping list with a balance between different food groups:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (5.0 lbs) - $2.99/lb = $14.95
Lean Ground Beef (5.0lbs) - $7.50/lb = $9.90
1 Carton Eggs (12 ct) - $2.99
Sweet Potato (2.75 lbs) - $1.99/lb - $5.47
Quaker Instant Oatmeal (10 ct) - $2.79
Whole Wheat Pasta - $1.99
Peanut Butter (16oz) - $4.59
1 Bundle Spinach (8oz) - $2.89
4 Bell Peppers - $1.79ea - $7.16
2 Zucchinis - $2.00
1 Bundle Asparagus - $3.50
1 Small Carton Strawberries - $5.69
1 Small Bag of Limes - $2.89
4 Granny Smith Apples - $3.75
1 Bag Frozen Steamed Corn - $2.50
1 Red Onion - $1.34
This will get you through a week of healthy eating for $74.50. There are many alterations to this list that can be made to best fit your dietary needs and financial restrictions. To help you further with maintaining a nutritious diet in recovery read through our tips and tricks below!
Tips and Tricks:
Sales Sales Sales
All of these prices represent full price items at Albertsons/Vons in the Orange County area. There is a substantial amount of savings if you are able to shop the sales these locations have to offer. This will free up room in the budget for other items.
One of my favorite apps is Fooducate. This app is a one stop shop for healthy food rankings based on price, meal ideas, and tips from a community with the same goal of eating healthy.
Get Friends on Board
Have a roommate looking to eat healthy as well? The quickest and easiest way to get more bang for your buck is to band together with a few friends to purchase food together. Not only is it cheaper but makes the process easier and fun. You can hold each other accountable and rather than going it all alone, you are able to build relationships through cooking and shopping together. For example, from my personal experience, Saturday nights and Sundays have forever changed. Rather than stress about going out and eating, I have a few buddies that I get together with and cook with while we watch football or motocross!
Find the Farm
Why waste time buying fruit and veggies at the supermarket? Huntington Beach has a beautifully done farmers market every Tuesday night on Main St. There you can find inexpensive and fresh produce while supporting local farmers. Not to mention, it is a great time! From live music and beautiful art, this weekly event gives you an opportunity to hang out with friends while doing some grocery shopping.
Visit: https://www.surfcityusa.com/where-to-eat/farmers-markets/ to learn more about this Huntington Beach tradition.
These are just a few of many tips and tricks to help you get started with your new way of eating. Remember, you are what you eat and what you eat can be healthy without costing you a fortune, so be sure to manage your nutrition throughout your recovery.