I received a message from a reader a few weeks ago asking how to eat healthy on a budget. At first, I didn't know how to approach this topic because everyone has a different idea of what "healthy" is. But I decided that regardless of other's ideas of healthy eats, I would talk about how to eat vegan on a budget! I have been very blessed that my parents pay for all of the food I eat, but I still have a few tips and tricks that I use in order to help save some money! Don't be afraid, eating healthier is easier than it seems. It just takes a little extra work in order to save major bucks. Make sure to read all the way to the bottom for an exciting giveaway to win some of my favorite healthy staples!

the stores


Trader Joe's is one of my favorite places to buy groceries from. Every time I go to one of their locations in Chicago, it's crazy crowded which means that they're doing something right. Unlike other grocery stores that sell their produce by the pound, Trader Joe's sells 95 percent of their produce pre-packaged at a set price. Pro Tip: Buying produce by the pound is one of the biggest culprits of a high-priced receipt. When you buy produce pre-packaged, you end up saving major bucks! In addition to their pre-packaged produce, Trader Joe's only carries their brand of products. Instead of paying well over a dollar more for "brand name" this and "high end" that, Trader Joe's offers their own products for a fraction of the cost of big-name brands.



Aldi is super underrated, and most people don't realize that Aldi is actually owned by the same company as Trader Joe's! Can you believe it? Aldi is my absolute go-to for produce in the suburbs (as their city locations aren't convenient), because they offer organic produce, gluten-free snacks, and vegan milk alternatives. By far, their produce is the cheapest anywhere. And if you're someone who enjoys eating a ton of fruits and vegetables (like me!) then Aldi is a must-go! Don't be led astray by their "cheap" reputation. I have never eaten anything from Aldi that hasn't tasted as good as something from Whole Foods.



Since Whole Food's was bought-out by Amazon, they have reduced a lot of their prices. But the main reason I go to Whole Foods is for their staple items. They're the only store that carries my favorite granola (Purely Elizabeth), favorite nut butter (Artisana), and favorite yogurts (Kite Hill and So Delicious) for a whole lot cheaper than other stores. Every time I go to Whole Foods, at least one of my staples is on sale. Not to mention, their app makes it a lot easier to shop for staples on sale. While I can't say that I shop at Whole Foods for produce--it's way too expensive--they are my go-to when I'm running low on my staple items.



If you don't have a Fresh Thyme where you live, you're missing out! Fresh Thyme is my favorite place for some of my staple snacks: GoRaw granola and chocolate, GoMacro protein bars, Larabar energy bars, and Health-Ade and GT's kombucha! Similarly to Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme has an app which makes finding deals on your favorite products so much easier! In addition to the staples I purchase from Fresh Thyme, this grocery store also has a BOMB bulk section. They have raw and roasted nuts, a variety of dried fruits, granola, lentils, quinoa, and my favorite "grind-your-own" nut butters (even cashew!). 



Thrive Market is a great online alternative to shopping for pantry staples if you don't have a lot of time to go out and shop. For a fraction of the cost of supermarkets, Thrive has paleo, raw, and vegan must-haves for 25-50 percent off. The only downside to Thrive is their membership costs, but if you're a student you can get Thrive Market for free! If you're interested in trying out Thrive, use my referral "brunettewithabudget " for 25 percent off your first purchase! And, if you like Thrive and end up getting a membership, my referral code will also score you a $25 credit to your account. Talk about #winning!

healthy staples

For me, not having my staple items readily available in my house is a problem. If I'm ever hungry or craving a snack, my staples are my go to. Instead of chips or candy, these products are nutrient dense and will fill you up without harming your body. 

my favorite on-the-go-snack: goraw

GoRaw is hands-down my favorite brand when all I'm craving is chips or a cookie. Instead of filling their products with additives, animal products, or refined sugars, GoRaw uses REAL ingredients like sprouted buckwheat, sprouted seeds, whole fruits and vegetables, and most importantly no oils! My favorite GoRaw products are their Sprouted Flax Snax (their Zesty Pizza crackers literally taste like pizza), their Sprouted Granola (the Coco Crunch is to die for!), and their Raw Mint Chocolate (that seriously tastes like a Thin Mint cookie).

my favorite protein bar: gomacro

File_000 (4).jpeg

It's so hard to find a vegan bar that actually has a decent amount of protein without any added sugars or fillers. GoMacro is certified raw and vegan, and their ingredients are amazing. Unlike other protein bars that taste bland, GoMacro actually tastes like you're eating cookie dough--healthy cookie dough, that is! My favorite flavors are: Everlasting Joy (a yummy blend of coconut, almond butter and chocolate chips), Cashew Caramel, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. The best part? These bars all contain over 10g of protein! And to make these bars even MORE affordable, you can use the code New30 for 30% off your ENTIRE PURCHASE + free shipping!!

my favorite energy bar: larabar

File_000 (3).jpeg

Sometimes, you just need an afternoon or pre-sweat sesh pick-me-up. LARABAR is my favorite staple when I need a little boost mid-day. Featuring 6 or less ingredients, LARABAR is only made with whole, plant-based foods like dates, nuts, spices, and sometimes even veggies (Carrot Cake, I'm looking at you!). Some of my favorite flavors are: Lemon Bar, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Coconut Chocolate Chip--these bars actually taste like dessert! 


File_000 (5).jpeg

There's nothing worse than wanting a healthy snack, but not knowing what to reach for in your pantry. I'm someone who loves eating apples and nut butter, or celery and nut butter. But unfortunately, many nut butter brands fill their butters with refined sugars, processed oils, and other garbage. I fell in love with Artisana's nut butter when I dove into their Raw Cashew Butter--this stuff is unbelievable. The cashew butter is creamy, sweet, and pairs perfectly with any fruit or vegetable. Unlike its competitors, Artisana only uses one ingredient in their butters: the nut. And for those of you who are participating in Whole30 this month, Artisana's products follow Whole30 guidelines, making them the best nut butter/coconut butter to use when detoxing this month! While Artisana butters are quite the investment, it's worth it. The next time you're at your local grocery store, make sure to pick up a few of their squeeze packs. And might just become obsessed with them like me!


File_000 (7).jpeg

It doesn't matter if I'm eating cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or cauliflower rice pudding I need something crunchy on top. But typical granolas and other breakfast cereals are loaded with high fructose corn syrups and other unhealthy additives. Purely Elizabeth is hands-down my favorite granola. Using only clean ingredients and unrefined sugars (such as coconut sugar), her granola is the best on the market. Along with the clean ingredients, Purely Elizabeth comes in so many amazing flavors. My favorites? Chocolate Sea Salt Probiotic, Maple Walnut, Maple Almond Butter, and the Grain-Free Banana Nut granola. If you're ever craving a deliciously healthy crunch in your life, choose Purely Elizabeth. You won't regret it! Pro Tip: They now sell Purely Elizabeth at Costco! So head to your nearest location and load up on those HUGE bags!


In order to help two of my readers save some major bucks on healthy snacks and staples, I have partnered with some of my absolute favorite brands to bring you this exciting HEALTHY SNACKS GIVEAWAY!

what you will win

Snack Box No.1

- 1 variety pack box of GoMacro Mini's (That's 24 Bars!)
- 2 of my favorite LARABAR flavors (Blueberry Muffin & Coconut Cream Pie)
- A variety of 6 GoRaw snacks: Sprouted Watermelon Seeds, Pizza Flax Snax, Raw Chocolate, 2 Sprouted Bars, and 1 Sprouted Protein Bar
- 1 jar of Artisana Organics Raw Coconut Butter (Perfect for those of you doing Whole30!)
- A selection of Artisana Organics Squeeze Nut Butter packs
- 1 bag of Purely Elizabeth Maple Almond Butter Granola

File_000 (9).jpeg

snack box no.2

- 1 variety pack box of GoMacro Mini's (That's 24 Bars!)
- 2 of my favorite LARABAR flavors (Blueberry Muffin & Lemon Bar)
- A variety of 6 GoRaw snacks: Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds, Sweet Spirulina Bites, Carrot Cake Sprouted Cookies, 2 Sprouted Bars, and 1 Sprouted Protein Bar
- 1 jar of Artisana Organics Raw Coconut Butter (Perfect for those of you doing Whole30!)
- A selection of Artisana Organics Squeeze Nut Butter packs
- 1 bag of Purely Elizabeth Maple Almond Butter Granola

File_000 (9).jpeg


1. Follow @brunettewithabudget on Instagram!

2. Show some love to the brands by following @gomacro, @larabar, @go_raw, @artisanaorganics, and @purelyelizabeth on Instagram!

3. Comment on my Instagram post a friend who would want to win! Only one entry is allowed, so only tag one person!

4. For an extra entry, comment on THIS blog post your favorite healthy on-the-go snack!

5. TWO winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Saturday, January 13.

good luck!



The winner of the Healthy Snacks Giveaway will be chosen by a random generator.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my DM, in which case another winner will be chosen if there is no response.  The winner MUST be following all of the handles mentioned in rules #1 and #2 in order to qualify for the prize. Instagram is not affiliated with the Healthy Snacks Giveaway.

with love & light, amanda