The biggest complaint I get form my clients when they start to eat healthy isn’t about the great food they are eating now. Fresh, homemade, organic food is delicious! Their annoyance isn’t giving up those ‘unclean’ processed foods. There may be that one food you just can’t let go of, but that isn’t the issue either.
The issue is the bottom line, your hard earned cash. When you try to switch to a clean, organic, GMO-free lifestyle and you hit the checkout line for the first time, you almost faint when the total comes up.
Maybe you didn’t even make it to the cash register. Maybe you picked up the package of organic oatmeal or cereal and took one look at the tag on the shelf and walked the other way thinking, “How do people afford to eat this way?
I can tell you, unless you have a whole lot of left over income, changing your way of eating and shopping doesn’t usually happen overnight. You have to start making small changes and look for ways to eat clean on your budget. Look for ways to funnel more money over to the lifestyle of health and wellness. It is an investment, but I can tell you that it is one worth making. For instance, I use to go to Starbucks every day for a venti coffee. That’s $21.00 a week that I was wasting when I could have made coffee at home. Now, I make delicious coffee at home and use that $21.00 for organic greens, cucumbers, apples and lemons for my homemade juices.
To help you out, here are my top 8 tips for eating clean on a budget:
- Make it from scratch – Cooking at home saves money over eating out any day. You can even take it one step further and start making food from scratch which is even cheaper than buying those fancy, boxed sides and mixes. You will save money and, better yet, you will know exactly what’s in the food you’re eating. Try mastering one new dish a week!
- Plan your meals and shop with a list – It is always a good idea to have a plan. You will save money by knowing what you need and making less trips to the store.
- Garden – Healthy clean eating is about eating fresh and you can’t get any fresher that growing your fruits and veggies in your own back yard. Make sure you start with organic seeds and let nature takes it course. If you feel you don’t have a gardening thumb, start with herbs on the kitchen widow seal.
- Buy in bulk – If you can, purchase items in large quantities. Then you can freeze and store the extra for another week. Stores always have larger packaging that cost less per unit. Be wary, though: sometimes the big package isn’t less expensive. Be sure to check the unit price and be a smart shopper.
- Shop local and in season – Foods that are in season are generally cheaper than the foods that have to be shipped halfway around the globe. Also, it pays to know your farmer and buy directly from the source. Local farmers markets are a great resource.
- Use discounts or coupons if you can find them – Sometimes, you can find a deal or get a coupon on some of the healthy, organic convenience foods.
- Join a group – There are plenty of local groups that share in the savings by pooling their buying power. Check out a local co-op or CSA (what is a CSA – community supported agriculture) or start one in your area. You can find them at coopdirectory.com or localharvest.org.
- Go meatless – If you haven’t cut meat out of your diet yet, you can start by eliminating it from a few meals a week. Beans are cheaper than beef and full of fiber and protein to keep you feeling satiated.
If you’re committed to your weight loss, health and vitality, there are ways to fill your fridge with nutritious foods without breaking the bank.
Do you have any local resources to share or any tips that can help save a buck? Leave a comment below.