Eat Clean on a Budget: Eating clean does not require being rich or ultra-frugal. Instead, you may be surprised to learn that with the right strategies, clean eating is quite affordable. With these nine steps, you will be on the right path to incorporating clean eating into your diet and feeling better about what you eat.
1. Shop in Bulk
When you shop in bulk, you are often able to get a better deal on your foods. Whether it is organic fruits or vegetables, shopping in bulk is a great way to save a few dollars. The problem then becomes, what should you do with all of the food? Freezing the food you will not eat before it spoils is a great solution to this problem and will stock you up with clean foods for weeks to come.
2. Eat In Season and Locally
Another great way to save money on clean eating is by eating in season and buying local foods. With a quick Google search, you can reveal foods that are fresh and in season throughout the year. Pick foods that are currently in season and try to coordinate your meals with this in mind. Shopping locally at the farmer’s market or directly from local farmers is another great way to get amazing foods at a reasonable cost.
3. Plan Ahead
By planning your meals ahead of time, you avoid going into the store and buying things that you do not need. When you go grocery shopping, have one or two week’s meals planned out and buy only the items you need to make each meal. The reason why grocery shopping becomes so expensive are not your primary shopping trips, but the little trips that add up when you just go to the store to grab a few items. Be prepared and save money with this strategy.
4. Go In With a List
Once you have your meals planned, it is simple to go into the grocery store with a list. Take all of the foods off of your meal plan, figure out how much you will need of each, and bring this list to the grocery store. Avoid diverting from the list and it will be simple to buy only the foods that you need and stay on budget.
5. Pick Your Grocery Store Wisely
It is amazing how big of a difference pricing can make based on where you shop. If you live somewhere with several options for grocery stores, pick ones that are the most affordable. Sometimes this may mean going to multiple stores for different items, but it can be worth it for the cost savings.
6. Keep an Eye Out for Sales
Spend a few minutes flipping through the advertisements from your local grocery stores. Keep in mind the things that are on sale and note on your grocery list the items that are on sale at certain stores. Some grocery stores now even price match, giving you more flexibility in scoring those deals on your clean eating meals.
7. Avoid Waste
Meal planning helps with avoiding waste, as you are only buying the foods you need, but it can still be challenging to avoid waste entirely. By reducing the amount of food you throw away, you are able to cut costs on what you buy and avoid having to return to the grocery store sooner. Sometimes this means eating leftovers or freezing foods that will spoil quickly.
8. Avoid Shopping While Hungry
This is a classic trick, but also applies to clean eating. Go shopping after you have already eaten to avoid impulse buys and stick to the list that you created ahead of time. Instead of going for the quick junk you may grab when you are hungry, you are more likely to stick to your pre-planned meals, making your wallet and stomach happy!