Sticker shock is no joke when it comes to cleaning up your diet. With organic foods being upwards of 20% more expensive than their conventional counterparts, and gluten-free and dairy-free options considerably more pricey, many just throw in the towel and keep on with their standard diet. Don’t let that be you! There are numerous ways to lower your food bill while still eating clean.
Shop The Perimeter
You’ll find prepackaged and convenience items in the grocery aisles that have cleaned up ingredients - think of Rx bars, Larabars, and the variety of items in the baking aisle - but all of those items come at an increased price. Build your meal plan and grocery list from items that are typically on the perimeter of the grocery story - the produce section, meat counter, and dairy coolers. Full, well-balanced, and nutrient-dense meals and snacks can be made just using these whole foods. If you can eschew the shortcut, prepackaged foods most of the time, you will see a remarkable difference in your bottom line.
You have probably heard of the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” when it comes to shopping for organic produce. While we would all like to buy only organic produce all of the time, sometimes that just isn’t feasible. Certain produce is more likely to be contaminated by pesticides and chemicals than others. Different versions of the list exist, but there are similarities among them. Produce that is more likely to be contaminated includes berries, apples, grapes, tomatoes, and potatoes. Produce that is less likely to be contaminated includes avocados, onions, cauliflower, and broccoli. Consider buying conventional produce if it’s less likely to be contaminated and saving those dollars to buy organic where it matters most. If you look at the right time, they might even have discount deals on produce.
Order Your Groceries
Grocery stores simply cannot carry every option, and often will carry more conventional items than organic or clean. There are multiple options for ordering your groceries and having them either delivered to your door or to a local pick-up point. Azure Standard Market offers a wide variety of items in bulk. A monthly or yearly Thrive Market subscription will bring organic items directly to your doorstep. The substantial discount on clean, healthy items from these services will more than offset any delivery or subscription cost.
Buy Direct From Farmers
Cut out the middleman! From spring through fall, check out your local farmers markets to find fresh, clean produce. Packaging costs, shipping costs, grocery store overhead - all of these are avoided. And you’ll be supporting local farmers and keeping your money in your community! Find a livestock farmer with animal practices you approve of and buy a half or a quarter of beef or pork directly from them. Again, you’ll cut out any number of costs. You’ll also be pleased with the quality of meat you receive, and you can work with the butcher to get the specific cuts you’d like.
Waste Not, Want Not
Don’t roast that pasture-raised chicken and then throw the bones away! Keep your carrot tops, celery bottoms, and onion skins, and steep them with the chicken carcass to make a deeply nourishing bone broth. It can be frozen to use later in any number of soups, and with high-quality bone broth costing upwards of $5 a package, you’ve just saved money by utilizing your leftovers! Fruit that has gone a bit soft doesn’t need to be thrown away - it needs to be made into a smoothie. Vegetables that are a bit past their prime are the prime ingredient for a stew. Basically, when you eat clean, you eat more produce - and it is a shame to throw your money in the trash can as the week goes on and the produce gets less fresh.
Published by Bharti