Cheap, Clean & Chic (you CAN afford to eat healthy)

by Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cheap, Clean & Chic

Eating clean on a budget.

The most common misconception concerning eating clean is that “keeping it healthy” is too expensive. That may have been so 10 years ago but in the age of low carb, vegan, gluten free buzz words – it’s just not true. Trending concepts are apart of any companies business model and eating healthy has been trending for years. These companies study their consumers, the business world even at the most bottom levels still thrive on supply and demand. Foods advertised as fresh and fat free can be found on any fast food menu these days and most chain restaurants offer low cal/fat menus for the right price. Both those solutions sound easy enough to loose weight on the scale and not your pockets. That being said, healthier budgeted restaurant choices are not what I would like to focus on in this notice. 

Easier & cheaper still – is your local market, fruit stand or deli. As much I as would LOVE to include the organic haven Whole Foods, I can’t  truthfully give advice on saving a buck while recommending. My favorite place to score cheaper clean eats is my LOCAL market. Local is key, often markets in your neighborhood or residential areas have lower priced produce. Simply because they can’t afford to throw away large amounts once it’s gone soft or wilted. Also a percentage of the local markets in my area buy from local farms, this is great because buying local keeps cost down on transport costs AND the smaller the crops are harvested the more likely the produce is truly organic. It’s a win win combination. I stick to buying anything that has a 2-for offer, strawberries, carrots, blueberries, broccoli florets any of these can be juiced or blended later in the week once they become bruised or wilted. A main key to eating clean and cheap is to be resourceful, plan your meals around the fresh produce you buy early in the week and use EVERYTHING. It is known that any fruit or veg works amazingly as a snack between meals. The more comfortable you become with adding at least two fresh fruits and two fresh vegetables to each shopping trip the more accessible better health choices for you and your family will be.

The initial shopping trip is where it begins, while not only purchasing the 2-for sale fruits and vegetables and whatever brown bread that’s on sale, you should brown bag your breakfast and lunch for work or school. Spending the extra money in the beginning of the week on foods to make healthy meals will stack your pockets throughout the week. Not only will bagging your own breakfast and lunch save you money but it ALSO gives you full control of the foods and ingredients you put into your body. Think about it! What goes into that mystery sauce they put on your burrito or falafel from the cart at lunch? That salad you bought at the deli – is the dressing REALLY fat free? Are the chickpeas REALLY fresh? and did they use butter instead of olive oil to sauté your vegetables and if so – HOW MUCH?  

Being smart about where you’re purchasing and what your putting in your body is key in a clean but cheap daily diet. Check out local stores for fruit and vegetables instead of huge chains that may offer more shopping convenience, PLAN to use all produce you buy and pack your own breakfast and lunches to insure you’re the boss of what goes into your body and what stays in your pockets. 


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