Nutrition

Clean Eating on a Budget

By: Katie Lawing

Can it be done? Absolutely. Will you need to be intentional about it? For sure!! 

You aren’t careless with your goals, obviously because you’re here, so planning for success over the next 6 weeks is no different. Failing to create a plan for your success, a guide map to your goals if you will, will only result in spending more time and money than you’d like. 

You can absolutely do this. And I’m going to show you how. 

Clean Eating: Moderate fat, moderate protein, moderate to low carb, but not necessarily high dollar. Yes, the ultimate goal is to buy pasture raised, farm fresh, grass-fed meats and produce, but you don’t have to mortgage the house to do it. You can live a clean lifestyle a lot more affordably than you think. 

SHOP IN BULK! 

Hello Costco. (Insert all the heart eye emojis for Costco here.)

No, but seriously.. It doesn’t have to be Costco, or Sam’s Club or BJ’s, but a grocery store that offers a wide variety of items at a lower cost point based on quantity is going to add some major bang to your buck. Buying items that have a longer shelf life in large volume will save you so much on your weekly grocery bill. These items include; Avocado Oil/ Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Ghee, Almond Flour, and nuts like Cashews, Pistachios and Almonds. Unless you buy your meat directly from a farmer, the most cost effective place to buy your meat will likely be a place like Costco, Sam’s or Bj’s. That being said, not all meats are created equal and not all things advertised are a good deal. If you can find a clean bacon (no nitrates/nitrites and no sugar) for under $6 per lb – BUY IT ALL! Keep your eyes peeled for a bargain and then stock up!

Choose cheaper cuts or bone-in cuts of meat. 

Back to buying your meat in bulk. You can save some money by choosing a cheaper cut of meat, trimming the fat yourself and removing the bone. I like to buy several pounds of pork, bone in steak, or beef and trim and remove the bone, then portion out the meat to be frozen and used later. The type of cut can save you money too. Buying a shoulder, shank or hock will be much cheaper per pound than other cuts. Take these larger, seemingly “tougher” cuts of meat and cook them down in a slow cooker with some spices and liquid and you have a delicious meal. It takes a little bit longer than other cuts, but definitely worth your time. A whole chicken is simple to roast and then use for several meals throughout the week vs. cooking several batches per week. Don’t toss those bones either! Use them to create your stock which can also be stored or frozen for later use.  And let’s not forget our ground meat! Ground meat is versatile while still cost effective! 

Buy “in-season” items from your local farmers market. 

Shopping your local farmers market for in season fruits and veggies can save you big on your produce bill. Oftentimes farmers will have a surge of one or two products and you can score some ultra fresh produce for pennies on the dollar. Think outside the box here too… you can buy tomatoes from the market, remove the seeds, boil them down and make your own pasta sauce that can easily be frozen and stored for later. Same with fruits and veggies. Chop and freeze for smoothies and recipes in the future. 

Grow it yourself. 

I have to be upfront with you about this one…I am not the best when it comes to gardening. However, there are many items that grow quite well in a pot or small bed. Lettuce, herbs, peppers and other produce can thrive in smaller maintained plots. If I can do it, trust me… you can too. 

Buy frozen fruits and veggies.

There are many fruits and veggies that retain their nutritional value when frozen. Keep your eyes open for deals on frozen fruits and veggies. ‘Buy 2, Get 3 Free’ is a fantastic way to stock up on these items. Be sure to check for the ingredients. We want to make sure there are no added oils, sauces or sugars. 

Conclusion; spending a little extra thought at the store, will save you tons on your grocery bill. Think outside the box, stick to your goals and you’re on your way to being a budgetary ninja!
Wife, mother, coach, and busy professional. Firm believer that creating a positive impact in people’s lives through health and wellness leads to healthier individuals, families and communities. Head of Corporate Wellness at CrossFit 926.

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