*This post is in partnership with Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market stores. All opinions are my own.
I LOVE grocery stores.
I could spend literally hours wandering the aisles, looking at products, and buying all the food. I would say libraries and grocery stores are my two happiest places to spend time. This is my life.
I was contacted by Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market, a natural and organic grocery store. To my embarrassment, I had never heard of it aside from knowing my friend Ashley shops there in Michigan. I was surprised to find out that they have a location in Chicago and immediately wanted to go there, buy everything, and write about it. If someone who loves taking field trips to grocery stores didn’t know about it, OBVIOUSLY no one else must know about it and it’s my mission to tell the world. 🙂
The goal of this post is to help show that eating healthy doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but before I get into that I wanted to talk a little bit about the store itself.
Fresh Thyme takes a slightly different approach to grocery shopping. Because their emphasis is on fresh, healthy fare, you’re immediately greeted by a giant produce department, much of which is organic and sourced from local farms. Processed foods are minimal and everything else can be found surrounding the nucleus of produce in the center.
There is a large selection of bulk foods as well as an extensive natural products selection.
As this post is geared at helping you eat healthier for less, I also want to take time to mention that prices are more than fair. I was surprised at how many items were on sale. Not just random things I wouldn’t normally buy, but much of the produce, the frozen vegetables I bought, and many everyday items. Sales are the best.
I chose to make two recipes that are healthy AND cheap — two of my favorite things. They’re also super quick to make which is also the best since I’m super lazy when it comes to making meals.
While fresh produce is always a good choice, frozen vegetables are another great option. They are often flash frozen, which maintains the nutrients and are just as good as their fresh counterparts.
Here is the breakdown for the above recipe of trout (which I baked) and mixed vegetables:
- Frozen Mixed Vegetables = $1.59 (on sale!)
- Boneless Trout = $3.99
- Total for one meal = $5.58
I used the whole bag of veggies, but if that’s too much you could also split it in half. For an even cheaper dinner, replace the fish with turkey or chicken.
The second recipe I made was my healthier chicken curry — the recipe which you can find here. I portioned the recipe into two large servings, but you can easily do three.
Price breakdown (ingredients I didn’t have on hand):
- 1 lb chicken breast = $2.32
- Diced Tomatoes = $.79
- yellow onion = $.40 (on sale!)
- Total = $3.51 — price per serving (3) = $1.17
There are tons of ways to eat better for less. Don’t feel obligated to buy organic everything or think you need every fancy powder on the market. Some tips that may help you on your next shopping trip:
- Buy store brands
- Buy frozen or canned veggies
- Look for sales
- Shop bulk bins
- Buy larger amounts of food and freeze for later (often costs less the more you buy — think Costco)
- Make large quantities of your meal and freeze for later
Now, the part you’ve all been waiting for. Fresh Thyme is offering a $50 gift card to one reader so you can see just how easy it is to eat healthy on a budget. To enter, simply choose from the options below to ensure you get as many entries as possible!
This goes without saying, but since this is a Midwest grocery chain, make sure you have access to a Fresh Thyme store before entering.
The giveaway will stay open until midnight CST on Monday, March 27th. A winner will be chosen at random and I will mail your gift card out. Good luck!!