It’s very possible to eat clean on a budget
The convenience food industry wants you to believe clean eating on a budget is impossible, and why wouldn’t they? They’re trying to sell you their processed food bombs. These “foods” are very tempting since we are all short on time, have very tight schedules, endless to-do lists, and let’s face it — cooking is just one more thing and it can be hard to come up with meal ideas your family will like. Fast food just seems so much easier and affordable.
Taking a toll on your waistline, energy levels, and budget
The truth is, convenience foods are not less expensive, usually they cost more! For example, consider fast food meals for a family of 4. 4 “value” meals with drinks will run you about $6-$7 each, totaling about $25. That same family can eat clean with 2lbs of chicken (about $5/lb), a pound of veggies/salad (about $3) and sides brown rice or potatoes (about $2). That’s only $15 to feed 4 people!
Unfortunately, we are now several generations down the chain of Americans who don’t know how to cook. With obesity levels higher than ever, America is getting sicker and sicker. Many people don’t have the knowledge to shop smart and eat clean for less.
10 tips to eat clean on a budget
- Buy meat in bulk. Don’t have the mind-set that “it’s too much food”. Make use of your freezer for stocking chicken, ground beef, pork chops, and fish. Costco is GREAT! They sell bags of individually wrapped portioned meat, making it extremely easy to freeze and keep portions under control. Plus since you’re buying in bulk, prices are much less!
- Shop at your local farmer’s market in season. It’s a win-win: You get healthy locally grown food at good prices, while supporting your local community and farmers!
- Don’t think you have to go to high-end expensive grocery stores, shop at discount stores.
- Buy seasonings and dried herbs from bulk bins. I bet you didn’t think of this one. : ) This can save you a lot of money.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where most of the fresh foods are. Avoid the isles for the most part, this is where all of the expensive packaged foods with little to no nutritional value lurk.
- Check out the organic section of regular grocery stores, you’d be surprised, some items are not that much more than conventionally grown items.
- Use a crock pot. This is one of the best inventions ever. Put in a roast with any seasoning and a chopped onion for 6-8 hours and come home to a finished meal after work!
- Cook in bulk and eat clean all week. Set aside an afternoon and cook several days worth of simple foods like baked or BBQ meats, rice, and veggies. You can even put individual portions in containers in the fridge, making it easy to grab a snack or dinner. Cooking in bulk will save you a lot of time in the long run! Try making these fast and easy turkeyburgers. You can also buy pre-washed and cut salad mixes, all you need to do is put it in a bowl!
- Make your own coffee at home. Not only are coffee shops VERY expensive (drinks can be up to $7!), but also horrible for you, packed with either tons of sugar or artificially sweetened syrups, GMO milk, and fake whip cream. Make your own lattes at home for pennies per day!
- Look up easy recipes online. This sounds like it might be time consuming, but it’s not. There are so many easy and delicious ideas. It might help to look up a few before shopping, so you have all the ingredients needed.
You CAN eat clean with a budget in mind. And it’s so worth it, you will feel better, look better, and sleep better!