Sunday, November 16, 2014

Clean Eating on a Budget

Do you want to eat clean but feel like it will be too expensive? Let’s put that myth to rest! There are lots of ways to incorporate eating clean into your life without busting your budget.
1. Shop at farmer’s markets. Once spring hits, farmer’s markets start back up again. If you happen to live in a temperate climate, they sometimes stay open year round! You will always be able to cut costs by buying directly from the farmer because you cut out the middle man. Plus, it’s always beneficial to actually speak to the person who grew your food. You’re also helping your local economy so it’s a win all the way around!
TIP: You can sometimes get an even better price on items at farmers markets if you shop late in the day.
2. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, buy items that are in season. It’s always cheaper to purchase seasonal produce.
3. Shop your pantry FIRST. Before you head off to the grocery store, shop your pantry and fridge. This will keep you from unintentionally buying duplicate items. I’ve even had times when I was able to throw together a meal with items I forgot I had in the pantry!
4. Have breakfast for dinner once a week. Kids really love this idea. Something about having breakfast at night makes dinner fun for everyone! It sort of shakes up the routine a bit.
5. Join a CSA. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. With a CSA you pay your local farmer up front at the beginning of the growing season and you’ll receive a box of produce every week throughout the entire season. It ends up being a much cheaper way to get your local vegetables every week.
6. Grow your own! Growing your own vegetables is not only economical but it’s  a really satisfying experience. And it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment either. You can grow vegetables in containers if you don’t want to put in the time on an entire garden. If you’re limited on space you can simply use containers to grow your produce.  Every year we grow vegetables in containers and my two kids LOVE it! There’s just something so fantastic about eating something that you grew yourself. 
7.  Make your own trail mix instead of buying the packaged varieties with added sugars, preservatives, etc.
8.  Make your own salad dressings!  Super easy and MUCH healthier too!
9.  Bake your own veggie chips and swap them out for potato chips.  Just chop up the veggie, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with no salt seasoning. Bake and eat!
10.  Wrap your lettuce in paper towels when you bring it home, place it in a zip lock bag and in the crisper. Your lettuce will last a lot longer (about 2-3 weeks) in the fridge!

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