Living On A Budget

Many families are living on a budget or choose frugal living as a lifestyle. Therefore budgeting tips may ease the goal on eating healthy on a budget with the highest quality of products possible. 

Unfortunately high quality often means that the products are expensive as well. Since our bodies and our health usually reflect how we nurture ourselves, our standards rose over the years to produce that is as fresh, pure and as organic as possible on a shoestring budget.

For some insightful budgeting tips in regards to healthy eating on a budget I interviewed my mum.

The bitter taste of poor quality
lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
--Unknown author --

I: How do you achieve frugal living even though you shop organic?

Mum: Sounds like this could contradict itself. True many grocery items we buy are organic or as close to organic as possible. Something we can afford, because we are part of two co-ops. One co-op allows you to order staple foods in bulk once a month. This includes all flours, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruits, oils, and more. The second one allows us to get raw milk directly from the farm.

For fresh produce we make the choice between a weekly fruit and vegetable box ordered from a local organic producer. This box includes in season fruits and vegetables. There is always a small surprise factor of what you are going to get that week which makes it a challenge to plan meals.

The other choice to healthy but frugal shopping is going to the local market. The advantage is you choose the producer and the produce from a wider selection. Regular visits and conversations with the stall holders give me insights on the local producers and their growing habits.

For our fish and meat needs we look out for local shops with sources that are locally caught and grown.

Everything else that is needed we buy on a bi-weekly visit to the supermarket.


  1. If I understand this right your advice for living on a budget is for an organic distributor that sells common staple foods in bulk to co-ops and then either find a co-op or initiate one.
  2. For raw milk and fresh produce you would advise to find a source with produce straight from the producer. While you choose locally grown meat and locally caught fish.
  3. Lastly for visits to the supermarket your budgeting tip is to restrict visits to a bi-weekly cycle.

Mum: Yes that is correct.

I: Doesn’t this practice require an awful lot of planning?

Mum: Some planning for living on a budget is certainly necessary, but it saves a lot of time in the long run. It even reduces the random buys that just happen because you are in a certain mood or even worse hungry. Both conditions tempt you to spend more than planned and oppose your frugal living plans.

  1. Roughly plan your weekly menu.
    Ha-ha, that’s the fun part, be organised but spontaneous. Some things just may come up be it a change of eating schedule, the amount of mouths to feed or a craving for a certain recipe. Have one or two dishes that allow no flexibility and the rest should be of a more interchangeable nature.
  2. Make a grocery shopping list.
    Here it is important to stick to it, but allow for those cases were you forget to check items that you regularly buy and need. It doesn’t help if you need them urgently and need to go to the supermarket in between your bi-weekly cycle. Plus what I learned over the years is that it is difficult to restrain every (unhealthy) snack, but to allowing a set amount in a bi-weekly roster makes everyone in the family happy. Total restrictions cause uncontrollable desires.
  3. Stick to your shopping cycles. Have some emergency food solutions always ready in your pantry. For us this means we almost always have the ingredients to make a quick pizza, tuna fish pie, spaghetti Bolognese, or some kind of quiche.

I: How do you usually decide which product to choose, on sale or normal priced ones?

Mum: If the cheaper one is of equal quality when comparing the labels and equally liked I choose the cheaper one. Otherwise I choose the one I like. Buy the minimum amount when the prise is normal and more when it is on special. I distance myself from buying things just because they are on special. The reason to purchase them must be I like them and need them. On some occasions in the past I made choices for the wrong reasons which ended up polluting the pantry for far too long until I took it out without it really being used.

I: Thank you so much. Your answers were quite insightful.

Mum: Thanks for inviting me to do the interview about living on a budget. I do hope my answers could provide some inspiration that eating healthy on a budget is possible.

Do you have tips on living on a budget? Let us know about them ...

We all learn from exchanging opinions and how we handle living on a budget. That is why I would like to invite you, if you have budgeting tips and are willing to share them use the following form.

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