Many think Eating Clean is expensive.Somehow the concept of eating fresh, wholesome foods conjures up the idea that it is going to cost more and that the added expense will interfere with your budgetary bottom line. Many of us have suffered plenty of financial strain lately so it should make you sigh with relief when I tell you Eating Clean is not going to break the bank.With a bit of planning Eating Clean proves to be more economical because you are not relying on convenience and processed foods, items that normally carry a hefty price tag dollar and health wise.
Food manufacturers are paid huge salaries to “create” processed foods like Twinkies and cold cereals.More costs are incurred with packaging, transport, storage and so on.The person who pays for this is you.Let’s vote with our hard earned dollars to Eat Clean and do it smart so that you not only save money but revitalize your health.
The minute you switch your dependence from processed to natural foods, you are saving money.A diet based on whole foods gives you control over what goes into your mouth.Whole foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fish and meats are far more nutritious than anything processed ever could be and since they are clean, they don’t contain dangerous, unnecessary ingredients.
Eating Clean is a healthy, budget conscious lifestyle way of nourishing yourself and your family.
BUDGET FRIENDLY EATING CLEAN TIPS
- Whole grains are often the least expensive part of your food budget.Grains such as brown rice, barley, oats, buckwheat and spelt are tiny nuggets of food densely packed with nutrition.Whole grains provide much needed fiber and minerals and can easily be the focus of a perfect Eating Clean meal.
- Whole grain cereals like cream of wheat or oatmeal are more nutritious and energy dense and more economical than manufactured cereals.
- Shop a local bakery for end of day sales on whole grain breads or purchase bread on sale and freeze.
Stock up on whole grain pastas when on sale.Pasta keeps, unopened, in your cupboard for years.
- Buy natural, long grain, brown rice.The long grain contains more nutrition and only takes a bit longer to cook.
- If you buy a large loaf of bread, remove a few slices for the day and freeze the rest so the loaf won’t go bad.Each day you can take a few slices out of the freezer for that day’s use.
- Make muffins and cookies from scratch rather than purchase store bought goods or mixes.
- Store whole grain products in the refrigerator to avoid them going off.
- Stock up on low cost produce options like carrots, apples, celery, bananas, oranges and cabbage.
- Berries are wonderful for their antioxidant power but can be pricey.Purchase them in season and use immediately or freeze extras for those months when store bought berries are too expensive.
- Cabbage is one of the cheapest vegetables all year round. Use all varieties in soups, stews, salads, to stuff wraps and sandwiches or to use as wrap instead of bread.
- Sprouts are power packed foods that add nutritional power to sandwiches and salads.Buy these instead of expensive lettuces.
- Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season when they are at their nutritional peak and cheaper.In winter buy oranges, grapefruit, bananas, turnips, onions, carrots, parsnips and potatoes.In spring buy berries, rhubarb, lettuce, spinach and root vegetable greens.In summer buy cherries, melons, berries, peaches, salad vegetables, tomatoes, corn, peas and beans.In fall buy apples, pears, plums, grapes, cauliflower and squash.
- Rather than buying expensive and frankly, heavily manufactured string cheese, serve chunks of full fat cheese or serve goat cheese, cottage cheese or plain yogurt instead.
- Kefir is delicious and an excellent alternative to milk if your child or loved one is lactose intolerant.Also try milk alternatives like rice milk, almond milk, or goat’s milk for difficult tummies.
- Less costly protein sources include tofu, tempeh, nut butters, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, water packed canned tuna, sardines, rump roast and seaweed.
- Purchase meats in bulk and when on sale to help bring cost down.Freeze extras.
- Cheaper cuts of meats can always be improved by marinating and cooking in a slow cooker or via some other slow cooking method.
- Look for “utility” grade poultry, which simply means a leg or wing may be missing.The bird will be cheaper but provides the same meat as a fully limbed individual at less cost.
- Dried beans, legumes and lentils are excellent sources of protein and fiber that don’t break the bank.
GENERAL SHOPPING STRATEGIES
Buy in bulk.
Plan meals ahead of time.
Don’t shop when hungry.
Eat at home as much as possible.
Pack your own lunch to take for work.
Use coupons when possible.
Shop after you have eaten to reduce impulse purchases.
Buy in bulk when possible.
Buy locally if you can.
Avoid convenience foods.
Shop at farmer’s markets for in season foods.
Join a food co-op where members receive a discount of 5 to 10%.
Grow your own foods – this trend is coming back in a big way!
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A fitness model, motivational speaker, and Oxygen and Clean Eating columnist, Tosca is the best-selling author of “Your Best Body Now, The Eat-Clean Diet® series,” and star of her own reality TV show, and The Start Here Diet. At 40, she transformed her overweight and unfulfilled self into a strong, fit woman by eating clean. For over a decade she’s been helping people lose weight and get healthy with her no-nonsense, friendly, compassionate approach.