Before I get into the “meat” of what typically resides in my pantry, I want to explain something really breifly:
You don't NEED any special ingredients to successfully do Trim Healthy Mama
Aside from the regular foods you buy every shopping trip, you don't have to buy the coconut flour, the nutritional yeast, the coconut oil, or anything else – and you can absolutely be successful as a Trim Healthy Mama.
However, as you slowly start to adjust to this new way of eating (and living!) you'll start to want to incorporate some more speciality ingredients.
But won't it cost more?
First of all, don't buy anything you can't afford.
We've had tight budgets, lose budgets, and budgets that were somewhere in between, and overspending never helped when things were tight. If you can't afford it, please do not buy it in the name of Trim Healthy Mama. You can be successful without them.
I call some of these “speciality ingredients” which makes them seem really fancy and expensive, but that's just not the case. In fact, since I've started Trim Healthy Mama, our grocery spending has actually gone DOWN. This is partly due to the fact that we were eating more at home, partly due to eating for health (rather than becuase it's indulgent and eating too much), and we've found that many of these ingredients are actually less expensive!
I do my best to shop at some of the least expensive stores in our region (we're in the Southern Illinois/St. Louis area, for reference): Sam's Club, Amazon, Aldi, and Thrive Market. This combinaiton of budget grocery chains + strategic online shopping has helped us to reduce our grocery spending while still sticking to plan.
You won't see a ton of meats on this list, not because we don't eat them – in fact, meat plays a part in nearly every meal we eat – but becuase we're smart about where/how we buy it. We buy chicken in builk from Zaycon Foods because it's fresh, never frozen, and antibiotic and hormone free. For pork, we raise our own pigs, then send them to a meat processor to be processed and packaged. This saves us a LOT of money on meat, but it does require planning ahead to be able to pay for large meat purchases when the time comes.
For some other things, we buy in bulk from Sam's Club. We get a discounted Sam's Club membership because my husband is in the National Guard, and I usually pay for every single purchase from the store with Swagbucks gift cards. (On one of my other blogs, I wrote a tutorial about how you can earn more than $1,200/year from Swagbucks). Currently, I earn $300 – $400/month in Swagbucks gifts cards, which I redeem for Sam's Club, Target, CVS, and Amazon gift cards.
Aldi has been a long-time staple in our house. In fact, I was raised shopping at Aldi, and their products have come a LONG way since then! If you have been leery of trying Aldi, I highly recommend that you give them a change – you will be surprised!
And finally, one of my most recent favorite stores is Thrive Market. I started my 30-day trial memebership to write a cost-comparison article, but was hooked! They have in-house brands that are of the highest quality, at super low prices, help me get creative with my THM cooking, and their prices on many items are better than anywhere else. The membership costs us $60/year, but if you're interested in looking around for yourself, you can start a free, 30-Day Membership here (<< — Affiliate Link. Use my link for your trial membership and you'll receive a free box of Cashew bars with your first order!)
The best thing about Trim Healthy Mama iss how flexible it can be. Many THM-enthusiasts buy lots and lots of speciality ingredients, but I buy only a few that I really, really love. I've tried lots of them, but have been able to narrow it down to the ones I've listed below.
Just getting started with Trim Healthy Mama? Read my Trim Healthy Mama 101 page for a breakdown, plus helpful tips!
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Ground Flax Seeds
- Coconut Oil
- Avacado Oil
- Cottage Cheese
- Shredded Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Heavy Cream
- Low-carb tortillas
- Frozen berries
- Cocoa powder
- Lily's Chocolate Chips
- Gentle Sweet
- Pure Stevia Extract
- Super Sweet
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Defatted Peanut Flour
- Joseph's pitas & flatbreads
- Stevia Syrups (caramel, chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, etc)
- Oat Fiber
- Whole Husk Psyllium Flakes
- Oolong Tea
- Xanthan Gum
- Miracle Noodles
- BioChem Protein
- Sprouted Bread
- In season berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
- Root vegetables: onions, carrots, red potatoes, radishes
- Leafy Greens: Arugula, spinach, lettuce
- Herbs: Cilantro, Basil, Oregano
- Anything else in season: bananas, celery, cabbage, limes, lemons, oranges, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, apples, peaches, pears
- Greek Yogurt (organic & non-organic)
- Canned & dry beans
- Lunch Meat
- Frozen, prepared chicken strips (for quick meals)
- BioChem Whey Protein
- Lily's Chips
- Paleo Chipotle Lime Mayo
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- Coconut Flakes
- Fair Trade Coffee
- Apple Cider Vinegar