How to Avoid Overspending With a Restricted Diet: Where to Save and Splurge

Having a restrictive diet often requires a bit more strategy when it comes to grocery shopping. Eating organic and avoiding common ingredients can make finding a variety of foods within the ‘safe zone’ and also keeping the grocery bill at in check very difficult. Here is the mindset I keep when it comes to food shopping as well as ways I look to save on healthy food.

As a refresher, because of my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I never e-v-e-r eat gluten, grains, unhealthy oils such as canola or sunflower, dairy, corn, soy or legumes. I eat unrefined sugars every now and then (coconut sugar, maple syrup and honey) and very rarely (once every few months or so barring any flare ups) I’ll have organic cane sugar. In a new turn of events, Zeameh’s recent allergy test shows she is allergic to egg so I’ve cut that out of my diet as well. I always say it’s much simpler to say what I can eat than to list what I can’t!

I shared this in my email list Q&A last week but for me, my health is the top priority. If I am forced to choose between paying more for an item or eating something that my body doesn’t process well, I choose paying more every time. The preservatives, chemicals, pesticides and herbicides in conventional meats and produce might be fine for some but are especially dangerous for me. We prioritize organic fruits and vegetables but there is some wiggle room here. Learning which are especially prone to carrying those chemicals even alter washing helps to cut down on food cost while still being clean. You can see a list of the Dirty Dozen-the foods to always eat organic-here. The Clean Fifteen list-the least contaminated produce- is there as well.

I strictly eat organic meat and fish that is grass-fed and pasture raised. Choosing an option such as Butcher Box or a local farm is a fantastic way to do this less expensively. I’ve always found Costco’s organic products to be of such great quality as well. This is, of course, my own personal preference and priority but it is not by any means essential.

Now, when it comes to pantry staples-kids snacks, my own bars and jerky and pastas and broths-this is where I turn to Thrive Market.

If you haven’t shopped at Thrive before, I’m genuinely thrilled to introduce you. I like to think of it as the Costco of healthy food. They carry my very favorite brands and offer savings on every single item-it’s a dream come true. I’d start here if you have any food restrictions because you can shop by diet-whether it’s Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Gluten-Free…you name it, they’ve curated a safe-shopping section for you.

things we always keep on hand:

baby/littles favorites:

and a few fan favorites:


And as for healthy food while traveling- packing plenty of food and keeping it simple when it comes to meals is my go-to. We get fresh produce-berries, carrots and grapes especially, cooked proteins and veggies at a Whole Foods or healthy grocer and order simple protein packed breakfasts. I always pack things like oatmeal cups to add water to for the kids in the morning, jerky, granola bars and so on in the suitcase. Stocking up on foods you know your family will eat at home from Costco or Thrive beforehand, packing just a few and keeping them on hand during the trip provides savings that add up in a big way overtime.

I hope you found this little guide helpful. It’s not always easy to deal with the extra cost most healthy foods bring, but by cutting out excess spending in other areas (like coffee and take-out) reminding myself how important my health is and implementing these tips I can keep my head held high and shop responsibly. You can read some of my healthy snacking favorites in this post even though my diet has changed slightly (no more egg or white potato) since then.

What are your tips for saving on healthy food?

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