One of the big concerns when people consider eating clean – or eating healthy, in general – is cost. Grocery prices have gone up so much in the past few years, it’s hard to find an extra $100 in the budget to spend on healthy food.
Find your local farmers market and scout out farm stores in the area. They are great sources of local produce, dairy, and eggs – and, if you’re lucky, even meat. Since these items don’t need to be trucked in from across the country (or overseas), you’re getting fresh, high-quality food at a decent price.
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box is another great source of local produce. You buy a share of a farmer’s crop for the year and end up with boxes of assorted fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season. Go to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to learn more and find farms in your area that participate.
Eat in Season
Eat the food that’s in season during any given month. Again, it will be cheaper, both in the grocery store and at the farmer’s market. But it will also be fresher. Plus, there are additional benefits to eating in season. The food tastes better since it is picked in its prime season, and it’s better for the environment when food doesn’t have to be picked early and shipped across the country.
Make It From Scratch
We’ve lost the art of making things from scratch in the past few decades. We spend our hard-earned money on sodium-free, organic chicken broth instead of boiling up the bones from the chicken we had for dinner last night and making our own.
Learn to cook things from scratch. Cook your own beans, make soups and stews from scratch, and make it a goal to learn to make one new homemade thing each week. Try your hand at baking bread or make some homemade barbecue sauce. Not only will you save money, you will also have full control over the ingredients.
Grow Your Own
Turn part of your yard into your own personal grocery store. It is very easy to grow your own lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Give it a try. You can even do this in containers on your patio if you don’t have much of a yard.
Growing your own produce is even possible in an apartment. Grow some herbs, have some sprouts sprouting, and make a growing salad bowl. You can grow spring greens in a pot or bowl in the kitchen window and enjoy a nice bowl of fresh salad every few days.
As an added bonus, you get outside and learn a lot more about where your food comes from and what it takes to grow healthy fruits and vegetables that are good for our bodies.
Buy in Bulk
Last, but not least, let’s talk about buying in bulk. You can purchase staple foods like rice, whole grain flour and even dried beans and peas in bulk. See what your local grocery store has to offer, or see if you can get even better prices online.
Buying these items in bulk will save you quite a few dollars on your food budget, and it makes weekly grocery trips easier since those things are already crossed off the list.
Please don’t let budget constraints keep you from eating healthier. Not only is it very doable on a limited budget, but you’ll be saving even more down the road in avoided health care costs.
It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.
That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.
Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.
When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!
I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.
So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?
I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.