How can you make eating clean affordable? Here are some great ways to to work eating real, whole clean foods into your kitchen while you are on a budget.
I have an organic kitchen and cook with all real ingredients. We grow a lot of our own food that we eat and we share with our local community. I share a lot of what we eat daily on my Instagram stories.
The one question that I get asked the most is “how can I eat the way you do without breaking the bank”. And the comments on posts are – it is too expensive to eat clean, there are never coupons for organic food, real food costs more, and so on. The truth is, YES – organic food can cost more and YES – real, whole, clean foods can be more expensive.
The one thing you need to remember is that while it may cost more and you may need a little more prep time real, whole, clean foods are more filling. For example, whole milk Greek yogurt when you add your own mix ins or fruits is far better for you but second lower in sugars and more hearty than an inexpensive pre-mixed yogurt. So you eat less and you feel better.
And you need to think about your health. Eating well keeps you and your family healthy. Staying healthy means less medicines, less doctor appointments and less missed school and work. All of that costs you money!
Finally time, yes it may take more time to work with real, whole, clean foods but if you batch your prep work and get the family involved you will all benefit. Having kids involved allows them also to be invested in their food.
Now onto the biggest concern people have and that is the cost. Grocery prices continue to rise and finding the extra money in your monthly budget may be harder to find. But think about it this way, eat out less, think about what you can remove from your budget if you choose to make eating a part of your lifestyle.
And ditch all the convenience foods. Just by cutting out the little yogurt containers, pre-packaged junk and granola bars you can find a lot of room in your budget. Spending a little time doing prep work and making your own food with real foods like homemade granola bars will save money and your health.
Here are some great ways to to work eating real, whole clean foods into your kitchen while on a budget:
Local farmers market and farm stores in your area are a great way to shop. One note on farm stores. Often they buy the same items that are at the grocery store and just package them differently. So ask questions. They are both a great source of local produce, diary, and eggs, meat and seafood depending on where you live. Since these items don’t need to be trucked in from across the country (or overseas), you’re getting fresh, high quality food at a decent price.
Get to know your farmers. Follow them on facebook and Instagram and watch for when they offer special end of season deals or have blemished products they are selling.
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes are another great source of local food. Basically you buy a share of a farmer’s produce for the year and end up with a box of assorted fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season. You get what you get and you don’t get upset. I loved my CSA as it introduced me to produce I did not typically buy. Go to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to learn more and find farms in your area that participate.
Eat In Season
Eating what is fresh each season means you are getting what grows naturally. Strawberries in December ot forced to grow like a specialty item or comes from far away. It will be cheaper, both in the grocery store and at the farmer’s market, but also be fresher. There are so many additional benefits to eating in season. The food tastes better since it is picked in its prime season and it’s better for the environment when food doesn’t have to be picked early and shipped across the country.
Make It From Scratch
This is one of the biggest ways to eat real, whole, clean foods. The cost of making a whole batch of homemade granola bars is less than one granola bar in some brands, literally! We’ve lost the art of making things from scratch in the past few decades. We spend our hard earned money on sodium free, organic chicken broth instead of boiling up the bones from the chicken we had for dinner last night and making our own.
Using real, whole clean food and cooking from scratch may seem overwhelming. But once you get your flow going it is super easy. Cook your own beans, make soups and stews from scratch and make it a goal to learn to make one new homemade thing each week. Try your hand at baking bread or make some homemade barbecue sauce. Not only will you save money, you also get full control over the ingredients. And this can be fun for the whole family.
Grow Your Own
If you want to get savvy you can turn part of your yard into your own personal grocery store. It is very easy to grow your own lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Give it a try. You can even do this in containers on your patio if you don’t have much of a yard.
Growing your own produce is even possible in an apartment. Grow some herbs, have some sprouts sprouting and make a growing salad bowl. You can grow spring greens in a pot or bowl in the kitchen window and enjoy a nice bowl of fresh salad every few days.
As an added bonus you get outside and learn a lot more about where your food comes from and what it takes to grow healthy fruits and vegetables that are good for our bodies.
Buy In Bulk
Is it easy to find real, whole, clean foods in bulk. You can purchase staple foods like rice, whole grain flour and even dried beans and peas in bulk. Just using dry beans and soaking overnight versus a can of beans saves you so much money. See what your local grocery store has to offer, or see if you can get even better prices online.
Buying these items in bulk will save you quite a few dollars on your food budget and it makes weekly grocery trips easier since those things are already crossed off the list. I love to keep all my staples stocked year around and now I grow a large portion of our dry beans too.
Please don’t let budget constraints keep you from eating healthier. Not only is it very doable on a limited budget, you’ll be saving even more down the road in avoided health care costs.
Try these delivery services
There are delivery services that re-purpose real, whole, clean foods that the markets cannot sell. I actually use both of them in the colder months, we have shipping issues being last of the UPS and FedEx routes in the warmer months and because we live in the country. If you live on a typical route you will be fine year round.
Check out these two and here are my links for special offers.
My clicking the link above you will get $20 off your first four orders
By using the code below you can get $15 off your first order