Last month I answered a question on Quora related to grocery shopping. Here is the full interaction here.

What are the cheapest groceries one could get weekly that would supply all of a person’s nutritional needs to healthily live?

When it comes to our dietary needs, there are surprisingly only a few essentials that are needed upon arriving at the grocery store. Here are some tips to help you stay disciplined with your grocery purchases (it’s worked well for me):

Stick to the four “real” food groups – fruit, vegetables, nuts/grains and light meats.

Let’s dig deeper into these groups and where you can find them.

*Word of caution: every aisle in the middle of a grocery store is advertising noise, typically filled with high-sugar, high-salt foods disguised as something you need. Stick to the outer areas of the store to avoid the trap of unnecessary spending on these.

I love to eat apples, bananas (breakfast), lemons (salad dressing), and blackberries (snacking). These are the cheapest food items and they cover everything you need with regards to fruit nutrients and healthy sugars.

Spinach/kale (excellent for salads), carrots, broccoli, potatoes, and brussel sprouts will cover your vegetable requirements. The greener the better. It’s surprising how many people don’t eat enough vegetables when it should make up the bulk of your meal.

I always go with bulk bags of walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, and quinoa – actually you can almost live off of quinoa as a grain in your salads or breakfasts. These items have a long shelf life and will cover you for months of meals.

Light meats.
I used to be a heavy red meat guy, but now I’ve trimmed it down to the best three meats you could possibly buy: chicken, salmon, turkey. Ensure none of these have added breading or salt. Just buy fresh and freeze yourself. Turkey should be the lean ground variety, and is cost-effective for protein intake. While cooking you can use natural spices or lemon and garlic.

The most important food item: water.
You can cut down on eating consumption just by drinking more water. You’ll find yourself eating less snacks, your cravings will disappear, and you will lose that fatty weight in no time.

By switching to the foods on this list and eliminating the bad, sugary foods, I have lost 10 pounds of unhealthy weight in a matter of one month, without changing my fitness intensity. I also eat out less and therefore save significantly on restaurant gratuities.

All in all, my monthly food cost comes out to less than $240 for the best meals imaginable. I am also a lousy cook, so anyone can do it if I can 🙂

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