Often you hear from others "I just can't afford to eat a clean diet,". Take it from an avid health nut who is also the wife and mother of a one-income family: it is possible. It takes determination, planning and a little bit of sacrifice from our unhealthy dietary habits but it is doable. Here are five tips to help you build a cheap clean eating budget.
First you must plan your clean weekly meals. That means seven clean breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Make a list of all the ingredients you will need to make those meals. Take that with you when you go to the store. Try to take a grocery trip once a week, that will help to keep you from impulse buying.
Keep your head in the game and stick to only the items on your list. Never go shopping when you are hungry.
Do you research and find out what produce is in season because that will be what is the cheapest and the freshest. Organic frozen vegetables are also very cheap. Make sure to avoid the "dirty dozen" which are the twelve fruits and veggies that have the most amount of chemicals in and around them. You do not want to feed those to your family. The dirty dozen include : celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach (kale and collard greens also), cherries, potatoes, imported grapes, and lettuce. Commit these to memory, or at least have them written down and hidden safe in your purse so you have it to look at later.
Remember that farmers are our friends. You will find fresh, locally grown produce for a great price at your local farmers stand. Not only will this help your wallet, but it will help theirs as well. Have you ever had a tomato freshly picked from the garden? It will be the most delicious tomato you have ever had.
Here's the hard part. You know that money you would normally spend on soda or snacks? Put it to some use and buy things that would be beneficial to your body instead of harmful. Try switching to fruit infused water and frozen dark chocolate covered banana slices (organic bananas are very cheap by the way, a great snack for the kids).
It is possible to eat clean and healthy, even when you are on a set income. Don't buy into the "you have to be rich to eat healthy" gig. It is very possible. Wouldn't it be better to give your money to a business that wants to provide healthy food for our family instead of giving it to a business that contributes to our unhealthy addictions? Our kids deserve to have the best start in life and we do that by teaching them to take care of their bodies. Give it a try, feed your family clean meals for one week. What do you have to lose?