How to eat Cleanly on a Budget

I struggled at first on what to write for this post, this is the third draft of this post. My first few drafts felt too wordy and too much like lecture. I know that when people talk about clean eating it can feel a bit like a long boring lecture full of too much information. There is something about this subject that can ignite passion in the author and it can come off as preachy which puts people off. We don’t really need to be lectured about how important it is to eat healthy, I think we all do know that but life gets in the way and makes us feel that we can’t. Instead I just want to share a few tips that are helping me and my family on the road to cleaner eating.

Tip #1
Don’t think you have to do it all at once. There are a lot of clean eaters out there who I think are unhelpful because they are a bit all or nothing. You won’t be able to do it all at once so just find one area you want to work on and take it from there.

TIP #2
Start reading the ingredients list. If you do nothing else but this one tip it can have a dramatic impact on your shopping. Learning what is in your food can help you make more informed and healthier choices. The food shouldn’t contain ingredients that you can’t even pronounce let alone know what it is. If you couldn’t buy the ingredients yourself and make the food from scratch then it isn’t worth you consuming. Why? Because it is over processed food that will only leave you feeling hungry hours later. That is why we can eat an entire bag of crisps and then still be hungry for more. It is cheap food that doesn’t contain enough to fill you up but enough crap it in to make the scales climb.

Tip #3
You don’t need to give up meat but reduce your meat consumption. Also start buying your meat from your local butcher. Buying from a local butcher helps you know where your meat came from and how it was handled. One of the reasons people go on about buying organic meat is because there are so many additives shops have to put into meat in order to be able to package and store it for longer periods of time. Buying from a small, local butcher is cheaper then buying that expensive organic meat from the supermarket. Also having a relationship with people the supply your meat can give you peace of mind about what you are feeding your family. Local butchers are sometimes a bit more expensive then buying cheap meat at a supermarket but I can fill a book on how much better you and our economy would be if everyone did this but I won’t bore you. If you reduce your families consumption of meat paying a little bit more per ounce from a local butcher for meat that is more locally sourced you won’t see a dramatic impact to your budget.

Tip #4
Eat seasonally. I know our supermarket lifestyle has given us the luxury of eating everything all year round but eating seasonally is not only better for your it is better for your budget. That punnet of strawberries that has been artificially ripened in December is not only less nutritious but it is also more expensive. It also helps keep life interesting only eating food that is seasonally available.

Tip #5
Of course we all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables so adding a tip that just says eat more fruits and vegetables doesn’t feel helpful. So instead challenge yourself to serve a new vegetable dish every week. People get bored with simple steamed veggies on a plate so over time they stop serving it as much. Coming up with just one new way to serve up veggies a week after a year you will have 52 different ideas of how to serve vegetables to your family. Keeping variety around your healthy eating makes it more likely that you will stick to it.

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4 Responses to How to eat Cleanly on a Budget

  1. Sue says:

    Hooray! And thank you, it is common sense really but isn’t it helpful to have someone go over the details once in a while just to remind me!

  2. Vicki says:

    I love the synchronicity of this post – I was just thinking yesterday about clean food and then here is a post from you about it! Perfect timing. I particularly love the idea of having less meat that is local. I would be vegan because of the impact it has on the planet but my boys love meat and I do not enjoy cooking different meals! So the idea of buying smaller quantities of meat really struck a chord with me. Thanks Laura. Happy New Year. xx

  3. Tina Muir says:

    Great tips! I think these are all extremely important, and make it seem less overwhelming to eat clean. I am slowly working my way towards this, but as an elite athlete I need to be careful not to do it too fast and alter my training. Thanks so much for the advice!

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