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I’m Jen Hansard, mom of two, ultra runner and lover of green smoothies, coffee & tacos. I took my family's health into my own hands while broke and without health insurance...and have helped 1 million+ other families along the way.

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Eating healthy on a budget: How to thrive when money is tight


Eating healthy on a budget can be a challenge. We all know healthy food can cost some serious green…and I’m not talking kale.

After all, I’ve been there myself.  In 2011, my family hit a rough patch. We were struggling. Healthy eating became a serious financial hurdle— and we relied on WIC checks from the government to help us afford healthy food for our kids.

Eating Healthy on a Budget | SimpleGreenSmoothies.com
With the WIC program, we’d get a $6 a week voucher for fresh produce. We’d spend it on spinach, bananas and mangos. But we wanted even more goodness for our smoothies— like chia seeds, almond butter and coconut oil, which weren’t part of the WIC program.

We’d buy these specialty items online or we’d drive 3 hours to the nearest Trader Joe’s and stock up like crazy to compensate for the gas. #truestory

There’s no doubt about it— we struggled to get healthy foods on a limited budget. But it forced us to get creative, and we did the best we could for that season of our life.

We stopped eating out.
We bought “new” furniture on Craigslist.
I stopped going to Target. 
We made crafts out of recyclable trash.
We ate lots of meals with friends.
We rode our bikes to save gas money.
I shopped at garage sales + thrift shops.
Family & friends sent us money.
We simplified.
We embraced the good stuff.
We made it work.


If Thrive Market been around back then, it would have been a game changer.


Thrive Market is on a mission to make eating healthy on a budget easy and affordable for everyone. Even for mom’s on WIC. Their online marketplace has over 4,000+ popular organic, GMO-free products at around 40% below traditional prices. It’s crazy… in a really good way.

I also love the fact that they’ve done the “healthy research” for you— and only carry non-GMO products that have been ethically sourced. They’ve already done the work for you. No more label reading for 20 minutes in the supermarket. Just shop, buy, and wholesome products will be shipped to your door in a few days.

Thrive is more than a supermarket site— it’s a movement.  For every member that signs up, Thrive gifts a membership to a low-income family, schoolteacher, veteran or student. Can we get a “kale yeah!”?

Bottom line: Thrive is passionate about helping people create healthier lifestyles without driving themselves crazy with costs or confusing recipes. I couldn’t agree more with that— and it’s exactly what we’re doing with green smoothies!! Right now,

I’d love for you to get in on this money-saving, healthy goodness. That’s why I want to let you know that for a limited time, Thrive is offering an extra 25% off your first order + free shipping! Stock up on all your staples while doing good for the world, and save some serious green in the process.

Eating healthy on a budget IS possible—it just takes a little creativity!

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  1. Michele

    June 12th, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I am a single mom of two boys, 21 and 16. It is hard to get all healthy foods on my budget. This would help me a great deal as I work full time. I would like us all to eat healthier!

  2. Jan S.

    June 12th, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    I am already a member of Thrive and it’s a great moneysaver. And so easy to shop — sent right to your door. I bought my regular vitamins that I take for more than 50% off what I normally pay at other stores. A lot of really good prices and a selection that gets bigger each month.

  3. Rachel

    June 12th, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Oh my goodness! I had no idea about this website!! This is truly a Godsend…I am so excited! This will save me time, time, time trying to run to different stores to get what I need!! THANK YOU!

  4. Mari

    June 12th, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    This is the first I have heard of Thrive. I’m so excited for this. I can finally find and afford healthy foods for ALL of my family. So excited!!!

  5. Laura

    June 13th, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Wow, count me as another who had no idea this site existed. I am so excited to do some shopping tonight. thanks!

  6. Tiffany

    June 14th, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I have a new job which keeps me at a desk. I really need to focus on choosing the right foods and planning because if I do not, I will eat the unlimited frozen pizzas they have for us here and that’s no bueno. Need to be healthy, happy and fit for my son! Hook me up!

  7. LaKesha

    June 15th, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I also had no idea this site exist! Working a different schedule each week (2nd/3rd shift) is hard on the diet. Healthy eating has been extremely difficult to maintain. I look forward to finding products that work with my budget and schedule.

  8. sade

    June 16th, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I am on a journey to begin eating healthier and have overall wellness. this website will help a lot because im a struggling college student. im judt excited now

  9. Vanessa

    June 17th, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Great article and site! We have the SGS often, the kids and I love them. Fabulous pictures by the way!

  10. Ruth

    June 21st, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I’m most excited to use a service gifts a membership to a low-income family, schoolteacher, veteran or student when we purchase memberships!! SO amazing!!! Even if I don’t win, I will still buy a membership to support the cause!

  11. Lisa

    June 22nd, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Most excited to learn more about affordable healthy living. Single family income of 4 and need help.

  12. sallythomsen

    July 13th, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Hi I’m a retired wife, mom & grandma, with a cat & dog. Unable to work because of back problems. I try to walk my dog a few times a week, it hurts my back, but I try. I want to exercise & stretch more to get healthy. I’m excited to get started with some learning about healthy and affordable living. We coupon, but it’s not enough to get by. when my husband and I have medical bills. I want to enjoy life with others again, and become a better helper to my husband in saving with our bills, by proving to him we can enjoy foods & life on a budget! We have a new Walmart that is very close, I could almost walk to. Thanks, I’m excited to hear from you! 🙂

  13. Alicia

    July 23rd, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I find it sad that eating healthy is so expensive. I totally understand where the increase in cost comes from, but people shouldn’t have to struggle to afford healthy food for their families. We have been gradually eating more and more healthy (my husband is not a fan of the grocery shopping experience, but he amuses me 😉 ) and I just cannot get over the increase in the grocery bill. To me, it’s 100% worth it but I can see why it does not work for a lot of people in the US. I am a nurse and trying to promote a healthy lifestyle is difficult when you know that your Patients can barely afford to leave their houses. I hope someday a healthier lifestyle can suit the majority of people instead of the opposite. PS I just recently came across your website and I am in love. I finally can successfully make and drink a green smoothie! -Alicia

  14. Alicia

    July 23rd, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I am most excited about having all of the product readily available and not have to go searching through the grocery store or travel to a Trader Joes!

  15. Ashley

    August 3rd, 2015 at 7:42 am

    I hope to find more affordable ways to keep eating healthy!

  16. Jackie

    August 11th, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I’m excited to see the benefits of a healthier lifestyle!

  17. Soph

    June 15th, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    We’ve been working hard at kicking debt from student loans for over ten years but we aim to eat healthy. It’s a hard line to walk with good knowledge and four robust appetites! Am excited to learn about thrive and to give it a try- would be way easier to cost out online than in a grocery store and stick to our budget! Thanks for the opportunity!

  18. Andrea Johnson

    September 30th, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I am a 52 yo soon to be grandmother. My husband is a year away from retirement. My boys grew up when I was at my sickest with autoimmune myasthenia gravis. I have improved from that point and they know me as a health nut now. I have loved SGS, and always look to preserve energy for activities I will enjoy, like my upcoming granddaughter! Using Thrive Market would be wonderful to get everything I need delivered to my door. Hubby’s a teacher/coach at a rural high school. Far away from a Trader Joe’s or the like.

  19. Pam

    May 11th, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I live in Canada and am disappointed that Thrive does not currently ship to Canada. Thanks for the information and in my perfect idea of a world, finances should never be a barrier when eating healthy.
    I try to have a green smoothie each morning, and find it an excellent way to clean out my fridge & freezer. Your website helps me to enjoy each smoothie since my want to get as much goodness in usually does not taste very delicious. Thanks!

  20. Selina

    June 15th, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    As a long-time student (for about 10 years now, embarrased to admit it), I’ve always been low on money. I live with my parents, but the rule here is that If you want to have something else for dinner than mom’s cooking, you pay for it yourself and since I don’t really like the staple food here -cooked potatoes, over-cooked veggies and Some sort of meat- I had to buy my own dinner. Only fair, right?

    But as broke student, it’s hard sometimes. It made very creative in finding ways to eat cheap. Meal-prep, smoothie-prep and buy fresh produce at the local farmer’s market. The freezer is my biggest friend nowadays and it’s full of greens and other fresh and healthy goods!

    Only thing I want to say is, that if I can manage to eat healthy and whole foods on a very tight budget, I think everyone can, just get inspired and Creative!

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