So, today just happens to be my 43rd birthday, and I’m celebrating part of my day with some of my favorite peeps – YOU! I’ve had a few really great weeks lately, and I feel so utterly grateful to have the opportunity to live out my passion day in and day out. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here to listen to me each week. I was able to celebrate with my entire family a couple weeks ago and then again this weekend on a dinner date with my main squeeze. My husband and I decided to splurge for the occasion at Capital Grille. Confession: I ate WAY over my feeling of 80% full, but after my calamari and lobster bisque, I couldn’t let the pieces of filet dripping with dollar signs or the free birthday dessert go to waste. I guess it would be nice to be able to treat ourselves to this kind of meal more often, but as much as I love food, I have no desire to throw money out the window on it on a regular basis. It made me think about how some foods are so much more expensive than others when they don’t need to be. And, this lead me back to you. So, this week I wanted to give you strategies on how you can eat healthy without breaking the bank. Healthy eating sometimes gets a BAD WRAP – no pun intended – because it is perceived that healthy food is expensive. While healthy food is more expensive than say a hamburger from McDonald’s, if you follow some of my strategies, eating healthy won’t break the bank. 1.Make Healthy Eating a Priority and Avoid the Doctor – Eating healthy is a lifestyle. Give it the precedence that is deserves. Wouldn’t you rather eat healthy now and live longer than pay expensive doctor bills to combat one of the many diseases preventable with a healthy lifestyle? 2. Eliminate Processed Foods – Not all packaged foods are bad or should be completely eliminated. However, most packaged foods have higher levels of sodium, saturated fats, sugars and calories and don’t fill you up like whole foods, so you end up eating more of them. 3. Menu Planning – While this may seem like a chore or wasted effort, meal planning is a great tool especially when you are starting a new behavior. Menu planning helps your budget because you can plan multiple meals using the same veggies or protein source. 4. Shop Around – I just came across this new app called FLIPP. It is a one stop place for all the weekly shopping ads in one location. You can use this after planning your weekly menu to map out your savings. I tend to shop at a few main stores, but the savings really add up. 5. Shop the Perimeter of the Store and Stick to Your List – If you start with the whole foods around the outside of a grocery store, you’ll fill your basket with more of the things that your body actually needs, and less with what it thinks it desires. Stick to your list to cut out the expensive junk. 6. Avoid Eating Out – This should be a no brainer. I love Starbucks as much as the next person, but between coffee and going out to lunch or dinner, you can save a pretty penny if you limit them as much as possible. Dinner out can cost a family of four $20-$50 vs. $10-$15 at home. 7. Buy in Bulk – We are fortunate enough to have a Costco close by, but if you don’t, you can still buy in bulk at your local grocery store. Just don’t forget to freeze large portions into smaller ones to avoid waste. 8. Breakfast for Dinner –Per serving, meat proteins, such as burger or chicken are much higher in cost than a protein source like eggs. So swap one dinner out for breakfast and try a veggie omelet instead. 9. Shop in Season or Buy Frozen – Fresh produce purchased in season is much less expensive. Supporting your local farmer’s market can also save you money on in-season fruits and veggies. If you are just starting with a habit of eating more fruits or vegetables and you’re throwing out more than you can eat, try some organic frozen versions instead to avoid the waste. 10. Prep your Meals – Leftovers are great for budgeting, but another option is to prep the same meal in small batches. Not only will you save money, but also you can control your food intake to lose weight. I hope these help you embrace healthy eating! Let’s get FIRED UPP, Nat P.S. To celebrate my birthday, I have a super cool gift for YOU! I want to help 10 lovely ladies lose 1-2 pant sizes by summer with $21 OFF my Fit, Fueled & Fired Upp: 90-Day Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint. I just have 6 spots left for this guided, self-paced program for MOMS that want to tone up and feel ALIVE again without taking a lot of time out of their busy schedule. I’ll explain step-by-step exactly what to do to feel healthier and better about yourself, not just now, but for the rest of your life. Birthdays only come once a year, so this deal won't last long. Get your hands on one of these 10 spots now!