6 Tips for Eating Clean When You’re Kinda Broke

Stop making money your reason for eating unhealthy – healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive.

By: Ashley Brewer

There’s a rumor floating around out there that eating healthy and clean is expensive. While there is some truth to this, healthy eating doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Finances shouldn’t be a reason (or an excuse!) to eat unhealthy, processed foods that make us sick and overweight.

But, trust us-we get it. Making a weekly trip to Whole Foods and filling your cart with organic foods can definitely rack up the grocery bill, there’s no doubt about it. But, there are so many things you can do to cut back on your grocery bill without sacrificing quality and healthy foods (even if you’re on a tight budget.)

So, we’re breaking it down for you by sharing our top tips on how you can save some serious dough next time you hit the grocery store.

6 Ways to Save Some Serious Cash on Your Next Grocery Trip

#1 You don’t always have to go organic. In a dream world, we’d love to eat all of our fruits, veggies, and meats without having to worry about the use of chemicals. Eating non-organic is totally fine. Produce like corn, avocados, pineapples, onions, and cabbage absorb a very minimal amount of crop chemicals when conventionally grown, so you can rest easy when buying them non-organic. Want a cheat sheet on what you can get away with buying conventional? Check out EWG’s 2019 Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list where they break down which foods you should buy organic and which you can buy conventional. You can avoid as much pesticide exposure as possible while still saving money not having to purchase everything organic.

#2 Shop in bulk. Shopping in bulk is amazing for people on a budget. Yes, you have to spend a little more upfront, but – it’s totally worth it in the long run. Go to your local health food store and check out their bulk section. Stock up on items like dried beans, quinoa, coconut and almond flour, and nuts. Have a Costco or BJ’s membership? Even better. You can get some serious deals for shopping in bulk at these stores. Not to mention, many of them are doing so much better at offering an abundance of healthy foods as well.

#3 Forget the fancy stores. Don’t think you have to shop at Whole Foods every single time you get your groceries. Healthy eating is definitely not an all or nothing thing, and you can still  find great clean foods like produce and seafood at regular grocery chains at a lower price point. Even discount stores like Grocery Outlet offer some of the same quality selection.

#4 Make it a point to buy in-season produce. When fruit is in season, it’s high in availability, so, the cost and price will drop. If you’re not sure which fruits and veggies are in their prime season, the staff in the produce section of the store should be able to point you in the right direction. In the warmer seasons, get out to your local farmers market. Not only will this save you a ton of cash, but you will help support local farmers at the same time (win!)

#5 Cook large dishes and use your freezer. There are so many yummy and creative recipes for healthy casseroles, slow-cooker meals, or soups out there, and you can find thousands of options online for free. Save money by finding a delicious family-size recipe and freezing meal-sized portions of it. Now, you have meals to heat up whenever you’d like. This is also a great opportunity to use those veggies in the fridge that aren’t going to last much longer.

#6 Frozen doesn’t mean unhealthy. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as a fresh option (just check the ingredients for no added sugar, sodium, or preservatives). Frozen produce can also be cheaper than their fresh counterparts, especially if you’re looking for something that isn’t in season. Don’t forget to look for in-store coupons for extra savings.

The Bottom Line

Even when you’re on the go, there are still so many options for you to make healthy food choices. Lots of fast food restaurants offer salad or fruit cup options. Plus, you can usually find nutritional information about their menu online to help you make smart choices.

There’s an entire community of people online who are all about sharing tips, insight, recipes, and more when it comes to eating clean on a limited budget. Sure, it might take just a little bit of creativity, but that’s what makes it fun and worth it, right? You don’t have to compromise your wellness and eating habits just because bills were higher than usual this month. No matter your budget, your health should always be a priority.