Selected Healthy Convenience Foods on a Budget at Various Stores
Finding healthy convenience foods on a budget has been our goal lately. Ever since starting our nutrient dense way of eating, we have been even more diligent concentrating on real foods and eliminating sugars and chemicals in our food. That’s why I shared the anatomy of our nutritional smoothies.
The hardest part is finding the time to prepare the things that will be good for us without spending all day in the kitchen. While it’s always a learning process and I would LOVE your input too, I thought I’d share some of our healthy convenience foods we depend on that are more budget friendly.
Quote of the day: “The best weight you’ll ever lose is the weight of other people’s opinions.” Unknown
I want to say this is NOT about losing weight. It’s about making our bodies healthy so they can heal from the normal, everyday attacks from bacteria, viruses and chemicals that we can’t control. One of my teaching points when I was a dentist is the fact that our body fights “wars” in our body. And it’s more successful when the body has less battles to fight. Otherwise the “army” is spread too thin.
What makes this hard in our lives is how each of our bodies is SO different. So what works for me, may not be good for you. That’s why it’s SO important to find a healthcare person who can guide you, and how you need to read the ingredients to know what is good and what isn’t.
For instance, my husband needs to limit the gluten in his diet because otherwise he has heartburn (did you know that heartburn is a symptom of underlying gut issues?), and digestive issues. While I can eat gluten and be fine.
The other factor we don’t have to monitor is our salt intake at this stage of the game because metabolically we are both healthy.
Where We Shop
As a thrifty person, I do shop around for different healthy convenience foods. Part of the convenience factor is always how far you have to go to shop also. So our three best budget oriented shopping trips include Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Warehouse and Fry’s (one of the Kroger’s stores).
The reality is we also pick up many items at Sprouts but it’s never a deal! So that won’t be included in this post.
What is convenience? That is another personal definition. I have grown tired of cooking many days, so I look for items that I can grab and eat or have very little preparation needed.
Of course most of the high nutrient dense items are in the produce section. And they can be convenient if you don’t have to peel, chop or prepare it!!
Trader Joes for Healthy Convenience Food
Funny story is how we never really liked shopping at Trader Joes when we lived in Denver. Truthfully, the people working there weren’t friendly, plus they didn’t carry our “normal” items. But fast forward to moving to Arizona, and the store closest to us has the friendliest folks working there. (Maybe the friendly customer service doesn’t affect everyone, but it makes a huge difference to us). Plus we’ve finally found products that fit into our way of eating and many are much less expensive.
Insider tip 1: Did you know that some of Trader Joe’s products can be found on Amazon too? Shocking!! But it’s not quite the deal in that case. Of course, the delivery convenience may be worth the cost.
The photos above and below are some of our favorite healthy convenience foods from Trader Joe’s. I feel like the nuts and dried fruit are the best deal compared to all of the other stores. Yet, some of the dried fruit does have added sugar, so it’s wise to be careful and read the ingredients.
Insider tip 2: Some of Trader Joe’s products are only available at certain times or seasons. For example the frozen mashed sweet potatoes (that we heat up and eat as breakfast cereal) are only available around the Christmas holiday. Therefore, now we will be stocking up on those and storing them in our “garage” freezer.
Now whether you shop at Sam’s or Costco, I’m sure they are about the same. We find some of the best deals on their produce and a couple of options of meats. I only took a photo of the salmon for this post and one of the reasons we get this one is because the healthiest is Alaskan Wild Caught per our naturopath’s recommendation.
We also found grass fed (and grass finished) ground beef which we have stocked up in our freezer.
Other healthy convenience foods we find are Lara bars. Granted because they come in a big box, you can’t get a ton of different varieties. But these are such clean snacks we tend to eat between meals.
The last thing we always purchase at Sam’s is the produce. I am a master at freezing almost anything and everything. So if we can’t use something before it goes bad, into the freezer it goes.
Insider tip 1: Did you know you can freeze avocado? I cut it in half, remove the pit, and then scoop out the half from the skin with a large spoon. It goes easily into a plastic baggie, and we freeze them for smoothies.
Another couple of finds at Sam’s are the frozen riced cauliflower (that we use in our breakfast smoothies), almond butter (with no added sugar) and the acai bowls (we leave out the granola when we eat these).
Insider tip 2: There’s an easier way to get the pit out of your avocado. You can see it on this short video. I’ve tried it and it works marvelously!!
Fry’s (or Kroger’s)
Besides taking advantage of the coupons we are mailed every month from Fry’s, and buying many of the produce loss leaders, we also stock up on this Natural peanut butter. The only ingredients are peanuts and salt. One of our almost daily snacks or desserts is an apple and nut butter, so we go through nuts butter fast.
Insider tip: Many of Kroger’s items can be found on amazon but again, like the Trader Joe’s products, they aren’t as inexpensive.
Now it’s your turn. I would love for you to share your healthy convenience foods because I’m always looking for new and different things. If you don’t comment on the blog, feel free to email me at Jtouchofstyle@gmail.com.
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