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Fitness Minutes: (960) Posts: 6 11/24/13 2:29 P
Fruits and veggies at ethnic markets (where produce is often labeled in a language other than English) is the way I keep my food budget to a minimum. An entire week's worth of produce and beans only comes to $25 or so. I save the rest of my money to splurge on sustainable, pastured eggs, dairy products, and (on rare occasions) meat. My total food budget (for me, as a single person) cannot exceed $50 per week.
Posts: 427 9/4/13 10:30 A
I find that if I choose my menu and stick to my list it just seems to fall in place. I buy in bulk for things I can store and freeze some things.
current weight: 142.0
Posts: 686 7/25/13 12:23 P
whole grains in bulk from organic market and then seasonal or frozen vegetables. Very little meat...
Posts: 647 7/3/13 2:06 P
I just read through the previous posts and was amazed at all of the different ways people are eating clean on a budget! I have found that when I removed process/refined foods from our family's diet my food budget actually went further! I shop only on the "exterior" of the grocery stores now (produce, meat dept, dairy) and I'm able to splurge at our local market for the yummy locally produced items that are seasonal in nature. Our home garden is just ramping up, in fact we just picked our first bowl of raspberries this morning! With home grown herbs, salad fixings, root vegetables our summer food budget is really reduced!
current weight: 187.0
Fitness Minutes: (3,824) Posts: 264 6/13/13 3:06 A
We grow a garden and preserve our own food. We buy locally what we can't grow when it is in season and freeze or can what we think we might use in a year. I got many of my canning jars at auctions, yard sales, and believe it or not a few are my grandma's and mothers. Just be sure there are no chips in the glass. We have 7 chickens which provide us with all the eggs we need--this is not necessarily money saving, but we take care of our 'girls' and they give us healthy eggs. Occasionally, we go fishing and stock up a few fish in the freezer. We like to go mushroom hunting in the spring, on good years we freeze a few for special occasions. If we have time, we also gather wild polk greens, raspberries and asparagus mostly as an 'activity with benefits'.
At the supermarket, I buy plain, non-fat yogurt and use it to make my own low-cal, healthy salad dressing, vegetable dip and sandwich spreads. If I want to go 'sweet' I add fruit, honey and vanilla. Buy dry beans and brown rice in the bag and cook yourself you can make a double/triple batch and keep for other recipes and will keep for about a week or can be frozen for a short time. Not only do you save money, but you are buying less packaging.
I buy a whole chicken and slow cook to make broth which can be cooled and the fat skimmed off (for next day use) and the chicken boned and separated for two or more meals. Learn to plan a day or so ahead so you can utilize your bulk cooking efficiently. Ground turkey is reasonably priced and can used like hamburger. I have learned to reduce ($) my meat portions in recipes and double up on the vegetables. I make a bean, veggie, meat mix w/oats/egg for burgers and meatloaves. We have local butchers that sell and sometimes trade wild game, fish and locally grown, sometimes organic beef and pork. We raise and butcher a couple cows and a pig or two every couple of years. However, the once easy find of a pig or two is no longer as easy. Local producers have went high tech and homesteaders just can't find them as readily. There is an auction near here, held every week and they buy and sell a variety of farm stock on the hoof, but I leave that task to my husband who goes once or twice a year.
We buy some whole wheat/grain breads, but also grind our own corn meal/wheat and make our cornbread as well as pitas, pancakes, etc. Cooking from scratch with fresh, cooked or home preserved really isn't a big deal once you decide to make it a lifestyle. When I was about 20 my husband and I decided to adopt a simple, natural, healthy lifestyle and have been working toward attaining and maintaining a 'green' lifestyle for the past 36 years. We've not always been able to do it all, all the time, and sometimes we strayed, but we do what we can, where we can. Healthy AND economical!
Wiggle room on my weight! Getting consistent with exercise tipped the scales . . . in a good way~just don't think I need to lose any more--just get firm and fit!
SW: 275-276 Ht. 5'6" GW: 135 (goal range: 130-140) CW: 124.7 My focus is fitness! (I'm getting there . . . )
current weight: -9.9 under
Fitness Minutes: (3,734) Posts: 496 6/10/13 12:10 P
We Participate in Bountiful Baskets; the organic ones. All the fruits and vegies are organically grown without pesticides. They also have other valuable options for boxes of organic fruits, vegies, herbs etc. So very much comes in a basket, so our son and his wife split an order with us. I wash, separate then vacuum seal anything we aren't going to use quickly.
When I make meals, and there are leftovers, I simply make up my own version of frozen dinners, vacuum seal them and they are available anytime.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new". ~Socrates
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
Smile...Crochet...Have a GREAT DAY...IT IS MANDATORY :0)
current weight: 160.0
Posts: 180 6/7/13 7:17 P
When starting out eating clean, never buy produce you can't use in more than one way. Great inexpensive buys are tomatoes, summer squash, onions, bananas, apples, pears, carrots, celery--anything that you can eat fresh or cooked, and especially anything that you can eat fresh or cook and then freeze is huge.
I buy spinach and kale instead of lettuce because if they start to wilt, I can throw them in smoothies or steam them as a hot vegetable or freeze for use later. I know lots of people swear by saving on frozen veggies, but I always seem to be able to get at least one serving I can freeze out of every fresh vegetable I buy. Also, I dish out everyone's food for dinner, then put the extras into individual serve containers. When I need a quick meal, I have separate grab and go portions of veggies, starches and proteins that I can mix and match however I want to create a bunch of different meals. Try not to buy condiments that you only need for one meal, no matter how "clean" they are.
Last, and I have said this before, look at all of the non-food things you can save on. If you can save a few dollars a week on buying cheaper shampoo/dishsoap/toilet paper or eliminating stuff you don't truly need like paper towels, you can afford better food, which has a much more direct impact on your health. To put it in perspective, if you are buying cheap food and expensive wine, you are tricking your tongue, not your liver. : )
No rain, no rainbows.
current weight: 255.0
Fitness Minutes: (6,019) Posts: 27 6/4/13 7:59 P
We buy any organic food that is 1/2 OFF because it's bruised or a couple of days old looking. Tastes just fine. If it's truly an ugly banana we use it in a smoothie.
Posts: 349 5/9/13 6:50 P
We subscribe to a service where we pick up local, organic groceries (produce, meats, grains, dairy). They have different levels of subscription; the least expensive is $30 a week. You never know what you're going to get in the bag, so you have to love adventure, trying new things, and being flexible. It works out so well for us, though. We started out with the small bag last summer, and have bumped up to the large bag this summer.
Pounds lost: 9.0
Fitness Minutes: (1,403) Posts: 27 4/2/13 9:08 P
I amped up my kitchen with cooking essentials so I always have something on hand. I have lots of rice, lentils, beans (dry and canned), quinoa, oats. Cooking oils: coconut, olive, and sesame. I buy nuts in bulk, especially if I find them on sale. I've also built up my spice collection over time, so I can always add lots of flavour to my food.
As long as I have everything in stock I can usually go a few weeks of just buying veggies, eggs, and a little bit of cheese.
Pounds lost: 11.0
Fitness Minutes: (2,360) Posts: 1,498 2/27/13 4:15 P
I focus on the bare essentials and elimimate the rest. For example, instead of a fantastic all kinds of pretty veggies for a salad, I just do greens, red peppers, and tomatoes. I usually eat the same meals. It is also much easier to track.
~Trina, in WI "A strong woman is ageless. She is not defined by her shape or size, but rather by her personal strength. She demonstrates emotional and spiritual endurance, and mental and physical strength to help her overcome daily stresses. She strives for harmony within herself and brings peace and balance to those around her." Ernestine Shepard, 74 yro Bodybuilder
Doing Single and Double Kettlebells RKC/SFG Hard Style!
BLC 23 Tenacious Jungle Tigers
current weight: 221.5
Fitness Minutes: (705) Posts: 12 2/20/13 12:51 P
I juice for one meal a day so I use up a good amount of vegetables and I buy almost all of them from a little local Asian market; the produce is always good and always at a great price. It may be worth looking to see if you have any little markets like that near by. Likewise, I get my meats from a local meat market that tends to have great sales on things I eat a lot, like fish. I have I also use the juice pulp to make yummy vegetable soups! I agree with others below, eating clean becomes less expensive when you aren't spending money on processed, sugary foods!
current weight: 223.0
Posts: 49 1/8/13 3:12 P
I just looked it up, organic PLU number starts with a 9, not a 4, oh well. I know now to keep my eyes open for the nubmer 9!
Pounds lost: 19.0
Posts: 49 1/8/13 2:59 P
Aldi is great! I think I even found organic pears there last week. They were not advertised as such, but the number on the sticker started with a 4, and I think i read some place that that is an indicator of them being organic? After shopping at Aldi, I HATE to shop any where else because the prices are way too high. For example, I can get a loaf of bread for 88 Cents, not at stop and shop~!
Pounds lost: 19.0
Posts: 2,124 12/29/12 1:08 P
I've no idea if it's acceptable to other clean eaters, but I soak and cook a whole pound of dried beans at a time and freeze them in batches. Cheaper than buying tinned ones, and you can get any kind of dried organic beans you want, whereas tinned ones, you tend to be restricted.
Pounds lost: 33.0
Posts: 216 10/21/12 4:14 A
In my view it's cheaper not more expensive. Buy a large quantity of eggs each week. Drink only water - it's all I ever drink (tap water). Buy lots of raw carrots. I eat a lot of tinned fish. Tinned sardines and tuna fish is not too expensive in the UK. Onions. Lots of greens. These are not very expensive compared to going out with a friend to a coffee shop and having a drink and cake.
Posts: 637 10/14/12 8:29 A
One thing we do at the end of the week is to cook a rice (brown rice) dish with all our left over veggies from the week. We buy a box of organic veggies every week (our organic grocer provides a nice mix), but inevitably we still have a few small servings by Friday. So, they all go into the rice casserole...typically a few leafs of chard or kale, some chopped tomato, yellow squash, zucchini, etc.
Pounds lost: 17.0
Posts: 88 9/20/12 3:08 P
Any one have advice or guidance for a law student on a VERY restricted budget to eat clean and green?
"All things are possible to Him who believes!"
current weight: 130.2
Fitness Minutes: (2,667) Posts: 70 9/10/12 3:04 P
Question:: Is frozen chicken still considered clean? Or does it need to be fresh??
current weight: 109.0
Fitness Minutes: (3,028) Posts: 84 8/21/12 8:11 P
Eating clean is one of the best ways to invest in your future, your kids future. We have found the need to prioritize in order to have a bigger food budget, especially where we live. We do not have cable or cell phones and we buy used whenever we can. We garage sale but do not buy just anything, we buy things we need and save the difference. Our food budget is large but I am a concervative shopper when I can. Coupons don't help much because we buy so much produce. I buy very little animal products (for my family but not me) and very few snack foods that are not whole foods.
Seeking to please Him
December Minutes: 0
Fitness Minutes: (3,875) Posts: 538 8/20/12 5:43 P
Andrea, you are so right! Farm markets are my best friend. I have been eating clean for so long that I know no other way. A baked potatoe here, oatmeal there, frozen is always a great substitute for fresh. You can do it with out expense. Good luck Cat
With Love and Hope for a bright Future. Caty G
current weight: 112.0
Fitness Minutes: (13,542) Posts: 465 8/19/12 9:49 P
I buy the produce that's in season - whenever it's in season, it's cheaper. Otherwise, I buy frozen, which has been known to be picked at the peak of its ripeness (so it's just as nutritious as fresh, as long as you don't overcook it).
AndreaG89 ----------- Goal: Focus on this moment.
Pounds lost: 8.6
Posts: 637 8/18/12 9:15 P
We also planted a garden (organic)...we planted a lot of herbs, which I find to be fairly expensive at the grocery store.
Pounds lost: 17.0
Posts: 782 8/18/12 9:03 A
I watch sales - especially 2 fers. One of the grocery chains has a nice 2 fer going this week in fact. Also, coupons. Finally, I make stuff up in advance and freeze so buying in bulk helps.
Next summer I plan on planting my own garden to try and reduce my summer produce bill.
current weight: 369.4
Posts: 35 7/10/12 10:06 A
We gave up cable TV and became a one car family in order to afford a clean eating lifestyle. We are all eating much less meat because the local, grass fed beef and organic chicken is definitely pricey but it's worth it. Now that it's summer and we can get all of our produce from the farmer's market in season we are spending less as well.
December Minutes: 0
Fitness Minutes: (5,258) Posts: 101 7/6/12 2:58 P
I find that clean foods usually go further than processed foods, and though it sounds cliche--buying in season and in bulk saves a lot of money. Even with produce, buying the unprocessed items is much cheaper (think whole carrots, instead of baby carrots).
You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. Jim Collins
Pounds lost: 0.0
Posts: 109 7/5/12 12:55 A
While you typically think of clean eating as including only organic foods, certain fruits and vegetables are okay to eat conventional. There is a list called the "Dirty Dozen" that is created by the Environmental Working Group each year (Google it) that is of the foods with the highest pesticide residue. There is a complimentary list of things that test the lowest. It gives you some idea of where it makes sense to spend that extra money.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to buy organic the things you eat the most, too. LIke if you only eat yams once a month, buy conventional. But you eat romaine lettuce every day - buy that organic.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Pounds lost: 14.1
Posts: 109 7/5/12 12:40 A
I have found that Whole Foods has the cheapest honey - probably because it's locallly harvested. It's in their bulk foods section, and you can typically choose from a couple of different kinds. It's 1/2 to 1/3 of honey in my regular grocery store.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Pounds lost: 14.1
Posts: 250 6/24/12 8:18 A
Juicing has been easy on my budget. Can't believe how full I fell afterwards.
Pounds lost: 21.0
Posts: 3,024 6/6/12 11:21 P
My parents are immigrants and I am a first generation American. The first time I drank soda, I was in middle school. I never even knew what a TV dinner was until college! My father broke his leg so badly when I was little, he was out of work for two years and we lived on my mother's salary of about $12,000 at the time (late 70s)
But I never felt poor and we alway ate well.
Our secret was that we had a big garden....out of necessity.
Soup was a staple. You can make it out of anything, including leftovers.
Try boiling chicken broth. Add a little spinach and some scrambled egg. Yum.
Dinner would sometimes be just fresh tomatoes, olive oil, basil and bread. (Can you guess that I'm half Italian?)
Beans were prominent. Lentil salads and soups. Lots of rice and pasta dishes too.
Not a lot spent on candy or sweets. Halloween really meant something when I was a kid.
Oh no...I just said "when I was a kid!" I'm sounding like my mother.....
23 Days until: Days until the end of 2013
Posts: 792 5/28/12 9:06 P
i have been trying to figure out the same thing! Thanks for the tips. I checked out the webiste to-great info
Pounds lost: 0.0
Fitness Minutes: (1,650) Posts: 4 5/23/12 12:33 P
I agree! Since I don't buy anything with more than two ingredients, I have kept my costs down. My weekly grocery bills are around $80 for three of us. I shop at ALDI and other local grocery stores. I steer clear of the big corporate chains, they have too much overhead for good prices.
The other thing is do is make more from scratch. I make my own bread and yogurt, it's not hard and costs WAY less. The side bonus is less packaging going into the landfill.
Posts: 138 5/14/12 12:05 P
My husband and I have found that we actually SAVE money when we eat clean! We don't spend as much money on sugary snacks or desserts. It's awesome! "Eat boring, have an exciting body". And like my mom said...food is just food. Eat to live, don't live to eat!!
Eastern time zone (USA) (We will be on DST from March 10 to November 3, 2013.)
Motivational Leader (ML) for Casual Travelers.
Fitness Minutes: (7,065) Posts: 106 4/29/12 8:26 A
I also eat a lot of eggs. It's great to have hard boiled ones on hand. I also buy bagged spinach at wal-mart for salads for a little more than $2. Lots of frozen veggies. I'm a couponer, so when they go on sale I use coupons and stock up in my freezer. I bake a lot of my own stuff from scratch and that saves (granola bars, muffins, etc.) Carrots are cheap in the US as well, and a little dip made with yogurt, or some salad dressing goes great. Store brand triscuits (only whole wheat, salt and oil) are cheap great with cheese or homemade hummus. If you want the low fat cheese, it goes for just over $2 at my super walmart. Sunflower seeds are cheap and a great addition to homemade granola.
Things I splurge on...honey, and...well I know there are other things, but a good raw honey is expensive, but worth it.
current weight: 171.7
Posts: 216 4/29/12 2:54 A
Breakfast - eggs and bacon which is not too expensive in the UK and I have a little bit of brown basmati rice heated up ni microwave with each meal. Typical lunch might be a tin of tuna or sardines (or salmon grilled although that's more expensive), the rice again and raw carrots which are cheap in the UK or people grow their own. Dinner last night was a piece of meat with the rice and spinach.
Another fairly cheap meal is baked potato in the oven with tin of tuna fish over it. I buy a swede/turnip or whatever you call them in the US each week and cut bits off it through the week as an additional vegetable.
I think I spend less by eating no processed foods not more.
I only drink tap water by the way so no alcohol, juices, coffee, tea etc. That saves money.
Fitness Minutes: (11,215) Posts: 786 4/29/12 1:07 A
I know times are tough and food isn't getting any cheaper. Then you add in the fact that you want FRESH, WHOLE FOODS! *gasp* It's enough to send anyone into cardiac arrest!!
How do you eat clean on a tight budget?
GW:130 by 6/15/12
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Phillippians 4:13
"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow them where they lead." ~Louisa May Alcott
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll fall among the stars"
current weight: 150.0
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