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I want to start off by welcoming any new readers and thanking my long-term readers. I am so appreciative of both of you and the kind emails and comments I get from you continue to inspire and motivate me to provide helpful information for you!

One of the things that I am focusing on with this site is to return to my core mission of why I even started it in the first place. And that mission was to:

Help people live healthier, happier lives through real food and natural living.

To take it a step further, I have a strong desire to help people realize that real food is accessible to anyone and everyone, no matter your budget. 

Many people feel overwhelmed with real food and don’t even know where to begin. The cost of real food is the number one concern that I hear about, and so many people feel that real food is something that only the wealthy can afford to eat.

My goal is to change that. 🙂

How Do I Eat Healthy on a Budget?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, how do I eat healthy on a budget? So many people today are wanting to transition away from the Standard American Diet and start eating more real food, but feel that a small budget prevents them from taking action.

(On a side note, isn’t it silly that we have to call it “real food”? It’s just food. Sigh… But I digress.)

These are people who want to feel better, preserve their health, improve their health, or maybe just set a good example for their friends and family.

There can be many reasons for wanting to eat better, but there is one thing that stops a lot of people.

That thing is the fear that real food is just too expensive or not attainable for them.

I am here today to tell you that this is simply not the case. So, today, I want to share three of my favorite tips for how to eat real food on a budget. I have tons of tips and ideas for how to stretch your grocery dollar and will be sharing more of that over the coming weeks, but these are three of my favorites.

Money Saving Tip #1 – Take Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Take baby steps. Changing your style of eating can be hard and overwhelming at first. Don’t try to completely overhaul everything at one time. Start with one area, master that, and move on to the next thing.

For example, changing the oils and fats you use in your home is one of the simplest and most cost effective things you can do. AND, it is one change that will have lasting impact on your health. (see this Ultimate Guide to Healthy Cooking Oils for more info).

Money Saving Tip #2 – Assess Budget Leaks

Budget Leaks

Assess leaks in your budget. Are there areas that are quietly sucking money away from your overall grocery budget?

Perhaps this is a 5 times a week coffee shop habit (which could add up to $25+/- per week, depending on what you buy).

Or, are you eating out at work more often than you realize? When I used to work in an office and I would often eat out 3-4 times per week. I remember when I added up how much I was spending and it was often $120 or more per month on just on office lunches. I can buy A LOT of real food for $120!

Taking a look at where your money is going each week can give you some insight into any leaks that you may have in your budget. Plug those leaks and have more money to spend on real food!

Money Saving Tip #3 – Plan Your Meals

Meal Planning

Plan your meals each week. This is the number one way to help stay on track with real food AND save money each month.

When you take some time to plan out your meals each week, you are ensuring that you eat healthy food every day AND you are cutting out the last minute trips through the drive through (or in my case, the weekday lunches that were costing me a fortune).

Yes, meal planning can take some time and some energy. But it is worth it when you start seeing the benefits and the extra money saved.

Meal planning can be as easy as taking an inventory of what you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer and then sitting down with a piece of paper and creating a week’s worth of menus using items you already have (or can easily buy on your grocery shopping day).

If this seems like too much, I totally understand. That’s why I co-created my site 20 Dishes where we make weekly meal plans for you and also give you the coordinating shopping lists and step-by-step prep guides so you can get your meals prepped in record time each week.

No matter what style of meal planning works for your household, this is one of the best ways to help keep you on track with real food AND save you money every month.

Introducing Real Food 101

Because of my passion for helping people eat better and live better, I am SUPER excited to announce the launch of two new eBooks, Real Food 101: Practical Tips for Healthy Eating and Real Food 101: The Companion Cookbook. Both are being professionally designed and my heart sings when I see how pretty they are!

Real Food 101: Practical Tips for Healthy Eating


Real Food 101: Practical Tips for Healthy Eating is an all-encompassing, getting-started-with-real food guidebook for anyone who is wanting to eat better and doesn’t know where to start. It is an excellent primer that will set anyone up for a lifetime of success with real food.

This book started out as a 15 page book and quickly grew into a focused resource of over 80 pages. Once I started sharing about real food, I couldn’t stop and found more and more topics that I needed to include in the goal of helping people take the fear and overwhelm out of real food.

Real Food 101: The Companion Cookbook


Real Food 101: The Companion Cookbook was developed after I realized that people would not only need information about how to get started, but they also needed easy, kitchen-tested recipes to start preparing. The book contains over 80 recipes and is over 156 pages total! It is the perfect addition to any kitchen cookbook library!

We are officially launching the Real Food 101 set on August 1st, but we have some super fun pre-sale festivities rolling out on July 18th. If you want to stay in the loop about these new books, you can subscribe to my newsletter here.


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