I have always bought healthy food, so I can’t speak to food budgets changing when you stop eating processed foods, but I can tell you how I keep our bill relatively low (and I usually make enough food for my brother as well, who lives with us, so our grocery budget is more for 3):
– Buy frozen vegetables. They are easy to throw in a pan with some olive oil and seasonings, or to throw in a crockpot to make chili or soup. My freezer is full of veggies and I’m always restocking!
– Buy fresh fruit and vegetables from a farmers market when you can. I can usually get a week’s worth for about $30.
– Get creative with your recipes. I search for recipes and then pin them onto my Pinterest for later. I also try to only pin recipes that have ingredients I already have or that I know are fairly cheap.
– If you can deal with eating the same lunch or breakfast every day for a week, I’d suggest doing that. My Fiance eats kale and turkey wraps along with an apple and string cheese for lunch, while I eat a big salad with avocado, olive oil, salt, pepper, and some deli meat or leftover meat from dinner.
– Buy a rotisserie chicken already cooked or buy a whole chicken and throw it into the crockpot. I usually get two meals from a whole chicken, and at $6.99, that’s a pretty good deal!
I think that you will need to talk to Fiance and get him on board with buying healthier food if the two of you want to lose some weight. It’s definitely easier to be successful when you have someone else doing it with you. When I decided to go paleo/primal, I told my Fiance he’d be doing it with me (because I wasn’t about to make two different dinners every night!), and he seemed skeptical at first. I had done a lot of research, so I presented him with the science behind why this would be the best way to eat for both of us, and he tentatively agreed. Almost two months later, we are both loving our lifestyle change without any intention of going back. So far, he has lost 16 lbs (he wasn’t overweight at all, just had a little belly that is now completely gone) and I have lost 14 lbs (though I am overweight and plan to lose about 40 more pounds), without much exercise on either of our parts.
As far as stress eating, I’ve definitely been there. I have always felt a need to eat out my feelings, whether they are good or bad. In the end, you just need to want it bad enough and to have the self discipline to say no to yourself or to say yes, but only a little. I also found that now that I am paleo/primal, I find myself not stress eating as much, if at all.