Don't Break the Bank - 6 Ways to Eat Clean on a Budget


What’s holding you back from eating clean? For many, the concept of buying fresh ingredients to cook healthy meals is associated with higher grocery bills. It seems that you would save time, and money, by swinging into a drive-thru for tonight’s dinner. While you might save time eating fast food, it’s possible to eat a clean diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables without breaking your bank account. Below are 6 tips to eat clean on a budget!

  • Avoid pre-made and packaged foods. While this is also a good idea for your overall nutrition and health, it is also a smart financial move! When you buy a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut broccoli pieces, you are paying for this convenience. Instead, opt for whole foods and fresh whole produce.


  • Eat less meat. High-quality cuts of meat can get expensive. While you may be concerned about getting enough protein, there are plenty of tasty ways to get protein from plant-based sources! Instead of browsing the beef and poultry section, pick up a few cans of your favorite beans and cook them with a whole-wheat grain to create a complete protein option!


  • Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. Eating seasonally is not only delicious, but practical too! Head to a local farmers market for fresh, affordable produce. During the winter, opt for frozen or canned fruits and vegetables to get the most bang for your buck.


  • Grow your own. Basil, rosemary, bell peppers, spinach – you name it! Some of the healthiest greens and herbs can be grown right from the comfort of your own home (or garden). While this will be an investment at first, it will pay off deliciously in the long-run!


  • Love your leftovers. Don’t forget about that Tupperware in the back of your fridge! Re-work your leftovers into new and exciting dishes. Consider freezing extra portions of a meal to use later in the week. The goal is to waste as little good food as possible!


  • Don’t fall for the foodie trends. While chia seeds, flax seeds, and acai berries are fun to cook with and great for you – they aren’t the be-all and end-all of a clean lifestyle. “Superfoods” like these can get extremely expensive – it simply isn’t realistic to purchase them all the time. Don’t fret, you can still get all the nutrients you need from whole foods!


What’s your favorite way to save a few bucks while eating clean?

Tara Collingwood
Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

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