Clean Eating on a Budget

I get a lot of questions on how I can afford to eat clean! Well at first it was very pricy which was partly due to the fact that I needed a lot (and I really mean a lot!!!) of new products in my pantry. But with time I learned to eat clean on a budget! However, you do need to realise that this lifestyle just is a little bit more expensive then a more unhealthy lifestyle. White bread is just cheaper compared to Spelt bread and a lot of canned foods are often on sale which you then can buy in bulk but this isn't as healthy as, for example, making your own pesto.

So as part fourth of the mini-series to help you get started on your clean eating journey I want to share with you all some things that I have learned budget wise on my own journey towards a healthier lifestyle so you can make the most of your money:

  • Never (and I mean NEVER) go to the store hungry! If you do this you will be more inclined to buy items you don't really need (impulse shopping) or items you crave which are impuls decisions! So try to avoid this since supermarkets sell a lot of unhealthy items!
  • Make a shopping list and stick to it! This will help you to plan your meals and planning helps you to seek new recipes so you can use some vegetables twice a week so you don't have to trow away any food! And most important stick to the meals you planned!
  • Before you do your grocery shopping and meal prepping make sure that you check which items you have left in your refrigerator from that week and see whether you can use these that day for a (leftover) lunch or dinner! This will also keep you motivated to find and try out new recipes.
  • Check the weekly advertising brochures for the items that are on sale in different stores in your area. It takes a little bit more time to do the groceries but by buying products on sale you will safe a lot of money! Products which I can freeze or store in my pantry I'll buy in bulk when it's on sale. But don't buy raw products in bulk as you might not finish it and not everything can be freezed. Also compare the regular prices at different stores in the neighborhood. It could maybe only be a couple of cents difference but if you count it all up this will help you save a lot of money. Make time for a pitstop at another grocery store if you can get a better deal there! Also check the prices at the local market, these could very possible be lower then at the supermarket!
  • Try to do all your grocery shopping for the week at once! If you only go to the store once you can get everything you need! If you're going multiple times you will be more inclined to buy additional items which isn't good for your budget!
  • Buy in bulk for items that have a long expiration date. For example, I always get my pumpkinseeds in the organic store and they have 3 sizes of bags, buy the biggest one! This is much cheaper on the long run.
  • If you have some leftover  pasta sauce, couscous, soup, lasagna etc. store it in the freezer! And make sure that every week you have one day in which you eat these leftovers. This will save a lot of money, it makes sure that you always have a healthy option and you don't have to trow away any food!
  • Make things yourself! Items which are cheaper to make by yourself include: granola, raw food bars, jam, salad dressings (also much healthier because store boughts almost always contain sugar), pesto's and maybe even your own bread!
  • Eat fruits and vegetables according to the season. The price of any given fruit or vegetable that is in season will be lower so this will really help your budget. A post about seasonal fruit and vegetables will come soon!
  • Avoid getting foods and snacks (even if it are healthy snacks) when you're on your way for example at a gas station or railway station. A bottle of water in those stores is at minimun 2 euros! Think about how much you can safe if you just buy bottles at the supermarket for €0.30 cents a piece instead of a new bottle ever day!
  • Avoid eating out at a restaurant but just invite friends over for dinner and split the costs equally. It's all about changing your priorities! Of course once a while it's fun to eat out, but don't do it as often as before! This is one of the best ways to make sure you stay on budget.
  • In the summer, try to start your own 'garden' with home grown herbs and maybe some tomatoes or cucumbers! You can also do this in a smaller version on your balcony but the seeds are way less expensive then the products itself. 
  • Do your meal prepping! This not only helps you to stay on the healthy track but it also makes sure that you have a delicious option ready so you don't have to get anything at the railwaystation or on your way to work. 

This list is of things I focus on to save money. If you have any other helpfull tips please share!

No comments:

Post a Comment