Clean eating doesn’t cost a fortune. When it comes to my family’s eating healthy, I make no compromise. Honestly, I started clean eating habits on a very small budget and made rules and guidelines along the way. I’d like to share some of my ways and methods hoping you would find them helpful too.
I started with a clear cut monthly budget. Having a strictly “cash for groceries” principle always ensures you don’t cross over your budget and over spend on your credit card. I divide my grocery budget into seven equal parts and put the cash into envelopes. I can’t spend money I don’t have, after all.
I never ever overload the fridge, freezer or pantry. This way nothing gets pushed to the back and lives incognito forever and nothing goes bad. Reducing wastage is a great way of living within the budget, just like a penny saved is a penny earned.
I came to the conclusion that grocery shopping every fourth day is a great way to plan ahead. It’s almost no challenge to know what’s on hand, especially when one glance at your fridge, freezer and pantry should give you an exact statement. Making meal plans for four days is way easier than for two weeks or a whole month.
I try not to cook for an army. Cooking well defined amounts for two adults and two kids ensures that there isn’t much left over. Using up shortly perishing produce, paying attention to leftovers, making sure everything goes into the fridge to be eaten at the next meal, all these guarantee penny-wise decisions.
I make packed lunches ahead of time and store them in the freezer in meal portion containers. All we have to do is thaw lunch the previous night and microwave it for one minute at the office. Soups, stews, stir fried meat and vegetables and casseroles are very freezer friendly clean eating foods and save time.
If you cannot afford organic produce all the time, pay close attention to the dirty dozen. The list is provided by The Environmental Group, whose mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. I tend to buy less of those or only those organic. Buy plenty of produce from the clean fifteen list.
Organic meat and dairy could be comparatively quite expensive. I cannot stress enough the dangers of eating non organic meat. Chronic use of low quality anti-biotics, increased use of synthetic growth hormones, feeding of unwholesome GMO corn, sewage sludge and irradiation make non-organic meats and diary a horror show. Reducing meat and dairy and enjoying them only on occasion, consuming a lot of fish and seafood, lentils and beans meets the protein requirement of my family.
How do you manage clean eating on a thrifty budget? Please provide your comments.