Friday, February 28, 2014

Clean Eating: How to Keep on Budget

After a couple of weeks of break, I am back with the continuation of my clean eating series!!
Did you miss the first part?  No worries!

Find out what clean eating is.
Find out what the benefits are of eating clean.
Find out how to get started.

One thing that I have heard so many people say over the last year is this:  "Eating healthy is sooo expensive."  Yes, eating healthy can be more expensive than eating packaged foods full of ingredients that you have never even heard of.  But spending the money on food now is waaaay better than spending money on doctors, medications, and hospital bills later.

I truly believe that I am worth investing in.  My health is worth investing in.  That may sound selfish, but in reality I think it's also selfless.  I want to be the best person that I can be for my family...that includes spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.  I want to be able to live a long, healthy life.

But eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive.  
Here are some tips for keeping your health in the budget:

1.  Shop meat sales!  The grocery stores have meal sales quite often here.  Depending on the week, you can get beef, chicken, and seafood for a decent price.  We eat a lot of meat in our house, so when I can find a really good deal, I will stock up.  Then I'll freeze the meat in portions so that we have options to choose from in the future!

2.  Find a cooperative near you!  A friend of mine told me all about the local co-op that she was a part of.  You can get almost anything through this co-op including fresh dairy from a farm over in Illinois.  One thing that I really like is that the co-op supports local farmers, and if you know me (a farmer's daughter), then I will of course support the farms!  During the winter, it's harder to support local since basically nothing is in season.  But come Spring through Fall, they have such fresh produce.

I got all of this produce for just $20.  Our co-op orders every two weeks, and I personally order about once a month.  There is a lot of produce to last us a while.  Emails are sent ahead of time to let us know what is in the basket for the week, and then another email is sent to share different recipes using those ingredients.  I plan my meals around the produce that I will be receiving in the basket.

If you're in the St. Louis area, check out St. Louis Community Helpings Co-op to find a group near you!

3.  Shop your pantry.  After you've started eating clean, you will get the hang of it.  As I mentioned above with meat sales, I like to stock up.  This goes for anything.  I might have purchased grapes for the week but didn't eat them all that week.  So I will eat them the next week.  When you're meal planning for the next week, open your fridge and freezer to see what you have in stock already.  This will not only help you save money, but also clean out some room!

4.  Plant a garden.  I cannot wait to be able to start planting my "garden" this year.  I won't have a huge plot of land like my parents do, but I am going to try container gardening this year!  I can definitely cut down on my grocery bill by growing my own peppers, tomatoes, basil and other herbs.  I have started a list of things that I want to grow, so I can be prepared when it is time to plant.

These are just a few ideas to help you save money!  What do you do to save your family money when eating healthy?

Leave them in the comments and I'll respond!

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