Top tips for eating clean on a budget

The idea of eating clean might be appealing, but the cost of such a healthy diet does tend to put some people off. If your knowledge of clean eating is limited to watching Hemsley + Hemsley or reading Deliciously Ella’s books and blogs, you could be forgiven for thinking that only people with large food budgets and plenty of spare time to source biodynamic eggs and grass fed butter can jump on the clean eating bandwagon.

Supermarkets bear out the theory. Check out your local Tesco, Aldi or even upmarket Waitrose and you’ll find a multipack of Hula Hoops is cheaper than a bag of organic baby spinach. A 2014 Cambridge University study backed this up: healthy foods were found to be three times as expensive per calorie as unhealthy foods!

There are ways of using a smaller budget to buy the best possible quality food, though, so don’t give up on that clean eating lifestyle just yet. Follow these tips and you’ll get the best value and quality for your cash – and your health will thank you for it just as much as your purse.

  1. Don’t shop in the big superstores

I don’t know about you but I find the quality of fruit, veg and meat to be awesome AND reasonably priced in places like Aldis compared to other bigger superstores out there. A weekly food shop for me and my partner comes to about 40-50 pounds, and that includes treats like fillet steaks too! Bear in mind here that I eat 6 meals a day…thats a lot of food for my money. Also, local markets, butchers and fruit/veg stalls have better products on offer for lower prices. Not only are you helping your finances, but you are helping local businesses to thrive too. Winner!

2) Plan ahead

If you plan ahead, and buy in ingredients to make low-cost meals like home-made stews, soups, or omelettes, you can feed yourself (and a family) for not very many pennies at all. It’s all about knowing what to buy; get smaller portions of meat and bulk stews and casseroles out with beans and vegetables, and try to plan at least one or two meat free days too. Meat free days are great for reducing acidity levels in your body. Not only cheaper but great for your health and weight loss too!

3) Buy in bulk

When you have a bit of spare cash, stock up on the things that won’t go quickly out of date. Staples like grains, nut butters and beans are worth stockpiling and you can get good deals when you buy the bigger packs. The same goes for spices and oils.

4) Cook in bulk

Make double the amounts of food when making stews, sauces or meals, and freeze extra portions of it for later. This is great for reducing food waste and it’s a great time saver too, for when your good intentions are ready to fly out of the window and all you want to do is order pizza.

5) Eat in season produce

This is great for your health as well as your bank balance, as in-season fruits and veg are tastier and better quality when they are in season, and they come down in price when they are naturally more available.  Strawberries, peaches, apricots, cherries and plums are especially good in summer and taste delicious.

6) Don’t stress about eating ALL organic

Some foods soak up chemicals and pesticides differently to others, some store nasties in their skin so you can just peel it off and throw it away.  If you want to save a few pennies, buy onions, sweetcorn, cabbages and avocado non-organic, but save your cash for strawberries, apples, grapes, celery and peaches, which can all contain a high level of pesticide residue.

7) Frozen stock

There’s nothing wrong with buying frozen fruit and veg – in fact if you’re eating out of season, frozen fruits and veg are often more nutritious than fresh as they are normally frozen within a very short time of being harvested or picked. This means they retain more nutrients than the fresh tuff that has been out on the shelves for long periods of time. You can often pick up great deals on frozen produce too, saving you even more if you have a big enough freezer. Also, freeze fresh seasonal fruits when they are at their cheapest and best so that you can use them out of season.

Do you have any other tips for clean eating on a budget? Post them below 🙂

Love Natasha x

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