Clean Eating on a Budget
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Clean eating doesn’t have to be expensive. I have had a number of people tell me they don’t eat as healthy as they’d like is because of how expensive it is. I understand I was the same way. It felt like I was spending so much more by buying the healthier alternatives.
My mindset changed when I realized what I was saving on my grocery bill; I was spending in medical expenses, plus more. So I decided to go all in. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy some of my old items from time to time and still indulge in my favorite sweets. But I learned to shop smarter when it came to the healthy, clean foods.
Tips For Clean Eating On A Budget
- What do you have on hand– Look through your cabinets and fridge and see what you have that can be used in meals for the week. Make a note of it.
- Meal Plan– This is going to be your biggest asset when saving money. First, use the items you have already to meal plan with. When making the rest of your meal plan try reusing What I mean by that is, if you make chicken tacos one day, make chicken tortilla soup another day that week. Or perhaps you buy marinara sauce for spaghetti, make pizza the next and use the leftover marinara sauce. That way you are buying fewer ingredients, and you aren’t letting anything go to waste.
- STICK TO YOUR LIST– If it’s not on the list don’t buy it.
- Don’t shop hungry– Make sure you’ve eaten before you shop. If you are hungry, you are more likely to stray.
- You don’t have to buy organic– Follow the dirty dozen list for buying organic but you can skip the organic and shop conventional for the clean fifteen.
- Buy what’s in season- Seasonal produce is cheaper. If you are wanting something that is not in season buy frozen.
- Only buy enough for the week– Especially when it comes to perishables. I have over judged how much I need and then I’m left with fruits and veggies that go bad.
- Buy Bulk– I buy most of my staple items at Sams The eggs, cheese, chicken breast, ground meat, etc., are so much cheaper for me when I buy them at Sams.
- Use coupon apps– Since most of the coupons are for processed, bigger name items, you don’t find as many coupons to use in the Sunday paper. But, use your grocery stores app, most have an app to clip coupons, and it’s super convenient. HEB, Albertsons, Krogers, etc. I also like to use IBOTTA and get cash deposited into my PayPal.
- Aldi– I don’t have an Aldi near me, but I hear that they make eating clean easy on the pocket book when it comes to produce.
- Stick to the items you know– I use a lot of the same things multiple times a week for the kid’s snacks and meals. Items like whole wheat bread, all natural peanut butter, almond milk, cheese, real butter, yogurt, etc. Sticking to the items you have researched and read labels for makes sticking to your budget easier.
- Prepare– We have been spoiled but the convenience of “snack food.” It’s ready to grab-n-go. There is no needing to cut, clean, make, etc., to eat. Once you get home from the store, prepare your snacks. Clean and cut up your fruits, veggies, cheeses, nuts, etc. Then divide them out into grab-n-go snacks. You will be much more likely to grab the healthy stuff when it’s readily available.
Ever family is different. There are different likes and dislikes. There is no fool-proof system to budgeting healthy eating. It will most likely take some trial and error. You might have higher grocery bills until you get a routine down and work out the kinks. I did, but it got better as I went. Stick to your list, prepare your own foods, buy in bulk, and buy what’s in season.