Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid-Shopping Healthy on a Budget

Getting healthy in 2017 is not a resolution. It’s my new lifestyle. Last year, I had a major surgery, and I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)  which is a degenerative autoimmune disease. I also have high blood pressure and desperately need to lost weight…a lot of weight. I realized I couldn’t get healthy on my own, so I sought out the help of a nutritionist.

She determined that the Mediterranean diet food pyramid would be the best choice for me. The diet alleviates fatigue and inflammation in RA sufferers. It’s a plant-based diet that emulates how the people in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea eat.


This is a lifestyle not a diet to lose weight. The focus is on vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits. You can eat poultry, fish, seafood, and dairy products in moderation. Very little red meat and sweets should be eaten. Here’s a complete breakdown of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

*Basically, build your lunch and dinner plates this way. 50% vegetables, 25% starch/whole grains and 25% protein.

I’m rebuilding my pantry and refrigerator throwing out the bad…making way for the good. I went to four stores over a two-day period looking for the best sales. I plan my meals for a two-week period and shop according to that meal plan. Here we go.


Recently, I’ve been shopping at ALDI’s which is a discount grocery store. They’ve always had good deals on their produce, but now they’ve really stepped up their selection of items overall. Here are the deals I found.

Spinach =.69 (I bought three bags.)

Zucchini=.99 for a package of 3

Yellow Squash=.99 for a package of 3


Green peppers=$1.29 for 2

Dole Romaine Hearts=$1.99

Bananas=.29 a pound

Grape tomatoes=$1.29

Broccoli heads=$1.99



Freshly squeezed orange juice=$1.99


Potatoes=$1.99 a bag (not pictured)

Sweet potatoes=$1.29 a bag (not pictured)


Barley =$1.69

Black Olives=$1.29 ( I got robbed but these are great as meat substitutes in pasta dishes.)

Unsalted peanuts=$1.99

Italian dressing=.49

Tropical Trail Mix=$4.99 a bag

Unsalted Rice cakes=$1.29

Intercontinental Super Grains=$1.99 A bag loaded with whole grains which can be used as  a side dish or put in soups.




Fit & Active Plain yogurt=$1.89. I plan to add granola and/or cereal with the yogurt for breakfast. I can also use it in recipes.

Friendly Farms 100 calorie Greek yogurt=.65 a piece

Happy Farms Colby Cheese cubes=$1.99

Sea Queen Salmon Fillets=$3.79

Chicken Breast Tenderloins=$5.60 * I noticed when I got home that the chicken has carrageenan in it which can lead to inflammation. You can read about it here Carrageenan. I plan to wash the chicken with vinegar and lemon, and hopefully that will reduce the amount carrageenan in the poultry.

***In addition to the meat I purchased, I have ground turkey, shrimp, and fish in the freezer, so I’m set for my two-week time period.



I stopped by Big Lots to see if I could find any bargains and I hit the jackpot.

Erin Baker’s Homestyle Granola Ancient Grains Coconut Chia=$2.50

Erin Baker’s Homestyle Granola Ancient Grains Vanilla Almond Cashews=$2.50

Barilla whole grain penne=$1.00

Barilla whole grain spaghetti=$1.00

Bean sprouts=.99

Artichoke hearts=$1.00

Rosemary seasoning=$1.00

Runa raspberry clean energy drink=.50


Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn=$1.00

Beanitos=$2.00. This is a great replacement for tortilla chips. I love them

Kellogg’s Muesli cereal=$2.80


I made a trip to Meijer for some additional produce. I like to make guacamole at least once a week, so I got a couple of avocados and limes.  I purchased a package of brown rice and quinoa for $1.00. ( This is great to heat up quickly on a weeknight.) I like the tuna packages on my salads. I have a nice supply so I just grabbed one which was on sale for a buck.


My last stop was at HSU health store. I picked up a package of Protein Superfood for $1.75. I’m going to start making smoothies again, so I ‘m looking for a protein powder. I also got a bar of tea tree oil and aloe vera and bee pollen. They were around $2.40 a piece.

So this is what I bought. I’ll show you how I prepped all this food in my next post.

Stay Blessed,



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