Hello! We are on our third bucket in our budget friendly options for the 21 Day Fix series. I hope this is helping you see that you can totally eat well on a budget. This week’s bucket is the GREEN one, the one you fill with veggies. This is the bucket most people tell me that they don’t always get in during the day. I understand completely seeing as it is normally the bucket you have the most times per day, especially if you are on one of the higher brackets. The great news is that there are a plethora of choices out there that are super budget friendly!
Remember, just as with the purple bucket, eating in season will always give your budget a little more wiggle room!
I know, there’s three listed in one, but all three of them are fairly budget friendly and you tend to get a lot of bang for your buck! Look for bright colored leaves without funky colors around the edges.
There are so many varieties to choose from within the squash family. I typically choose zucchini, butternut, and spaghetti squash. Remember in season choices will be the most economical.
Sold in almost any way you would like them, whole, baby, sliced, and shredded! Whole will be the cheapest since you would do the work of cleaning and cutting. Also, don’t forget to keep the peels and ends to make homemade stock and broth.
Adding onions to your food is an easy way to get your greens in and add flavor at the same time! Chopping them up into small fine bits you can “hide” them in your meat for those of you who aren’t particularly happy with their texture.
Great in salads and sandwiches, cucumbers are always readily available and friendly to your budget.
Bonus: Cabbage and Romaine
These leafy veggies are great as salad “stuffers.” One full head of romaine is typically about three full greens! So those bags that contain three sets of them, hold nine total green buckets full! So nine buckets for about two bucks is quite the deal!
We are currently talking about filling our 21 Day Fix colored buckets with budget friendly foods. Last time, we discussed proteins or our red bucket fodder. Today we’re going to talk about my favorite bucket! The purple bucket is filled with fruit and there isn’t a bucket I like more.
Shop “In Season”
Our budget friendly purples start with the idea to choose “in season” varieties. Choosing produce with current harvest times will help your food budget stretch further. So ideally during this current fall season apples will be the most budget friendly and coming up next in winter you will typically find citrus fruits to be the most economical. Spring will be bountiful with strawberries and blueberries topping your list and summer provides an awesome combination, but melons are the cheapest for the amount of servings per individual fruit.
Outside of in season harvest options, here are a few staple budget friendly fruits.
These are great! Full of potassium and around $.50 pound, you can stock up regularly. The bonus is that one banana is two purples, so you get 2 for 1 in this deal!
So many varieties available, including cotton candy flavored! These can even be frozen and eaten as a sweet icy treat.
Chock full of vitamin C and so juicy! A bag of navel oranges can run around $3.00 for around 10-12 oranges. That’s pretty budget friendly if you ask me!
These are definitely the most bang for your buck! A $5.00 watermelon can fill your buckets for two full weeks! The bonus here is that watermelon freezes pretty well and helps keep you hydrated!
One of top five things I hear about eating healthy is that it is too expensive. I tend to disagree. Once you learn about healthy food and start eliminating less nutrient dense food from your meal plan, healthy options start appearing, many of them are budget friendly. Over the course of the next few posts we will talk about budget friendly options that fit in each of the 21 Day Fix color coded buckets. Today
we will tackle the Red protein filled bucket.
Light tuna canned in water is a surprisingly economical and healthy option. But make sure you don’t drown it in mayo!
2% is the best protein option. This goes great with fruit!
Although it isn’t as full of Omega3’s as salmon it can still provide you with those special added fats while being a pretty sensible protein choice. You’re cheapest options will be in the frozen food section.
While 1% plain Greek yogurt is the “better” option, you can spend less and go for the plain 2% variety and still be making a great choice. Make sure to look for single ingredient kinds and avoid any added sweeteners or cornstarch.
Eggs get a bad rap, but they are actually extremely healthy and incredibly budget friendly. Scramble them, hard boil them, or even make fancy egg cups! Just two eggs fill the red bucket as one serving, giving you six protein servings for under $2.00!
Okay, this obviously doesn’t work for everyone, but for those families with avid hunters in them, wild game is a fabulous choice!
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1 flat iron steak (about 3 lbs)
1 red onion sliced
4-5 small sweet peppers (red, orange, and yellow)
3-5 cloves garlic minced
Small bunch of minced cilantro (as desired)
Equal amounts cumin and chili powder (about 1 TBS each)
chipotle powder (optional for kick)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4-1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (reserve one full lime for after cooking)
1/2 cup stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
Marinate all together for at least 8 hours/overnight
Grill the steak as desired (mine is rare-medium rare)
Cook veggies separately in either an iron skillet or broil them in the oven. (if you broil, watch closely!) Squeeze the fresh lime over the veggies and enjoy!
Eat at home more than “out”
Cooking your own food has great advantages. First, you actually KNOW what you put into the dish. You have complete control of the ingredients from beginning to end. There are no hidden calories or unknown sodium content. You can also choose a healthier cooking method! Instead of frying your meat you can grill it. The added vitamin D soak while in the sun is just a bonus!
Plan a menu using whole foods
This fits in with the first step. Choose whole foods, meaning the ones that actually look like a food and hasn’t been processed and packaged in a box. There is always some controversy and discussion about organic verses “traditional” farming. I’m not even getting that far here, just choosing a whole food instead of processed yuck/yum is a step in the right direction.
Ditch the Pop
This video was the catalyst to getting rid of my diet Dr. Pepper habit. It took some time, but I can tell you the advantages of leaving pop behind all add up to feeling and being healthier! Shakeology was what helped me do it. I’ve seen people drop an immense amount of weight just by giving this sugary beverage up.
Move Your Body More
Even if you exercise regularly you can do this simple step. Take the stairs when you have a choice, park further away from the entrance to work or the store, or add an additional day of exercise. If you are a busy parent, play with your kids. Have a spontaneous dance party or play tag and you be “it.” The kids will love it and you’ll increase your heart rate in a fun way!
Ever wonder why we call our first meal breakfast? It actually means “break” the “fast.” Your body hasn’t eaten in a long time and it’s sleepy. Breaking the fast jump starts your body’s system, introducing vital nutrients and FUEL into your metabolism. It actually tells your body it’s time to get to work. If that isn’t enough to convince you research has consistently shown that people who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off, eat breakfast regularly. Chalene Johnson, in her book PUSH, says “Eighty percent of those who have been able to maintain a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for at least a year report that they always eat breakfast.”
My Total Results: 60 days of Core de Force and the 3 Day Refresh
The picture above is 30 days. The left side picture was taken after the 3 Day Refresh and is at 125 pounds. The picture on the right side is me 35 days later, but also at 125 pounds! See, the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story.
I would love to help you have your own transformation! Our challenge group will provide recipes, tips, how to set yourself up for meal prep success, accountability, motivation, and daily support. We all do better when we have people cheering us on, let me be your personal cheerleader!
Let’s do this together!
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